From the the Recreation.gov Web site:
“You can submit a lottery application here for The 2009 National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony beginning at 12:01 AM (EST) Wednesday November 4, 2009 through midnight (EST) Friday November 6, 2009.
The 2009 National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony The ceremony is a time-honored holiday tradition which includes the illumination of the National Christmas Tree on the Ellipse just south of the White House. Nationally known entertainers and the United States Marine Corps Band add to the celebratory evening in which the President is invited to bring a message of peace to the nation and the world. With the White House as the back drop, in what becomes the “Christmas Pathway of Peace”, the National Christmas Tree and 56 smaller trees – one for each state, five territories, and the District of Columbia – serve as the event focal point.”