U.S. first lady Michelle Obama received Friday, together with her nephews and the two family dogs, Bo and Sunny, the Christmas tree that will be displayed in the Blue Room of the White House this year.

As is customary, the fir tree was brought to the North Portico of the presidential residence on a horse-drawn carriage.

Dressed in a black overcoat and trousers, Michelle Obama went out to accept the tree together with two of her nephews, Austin and Aaron Robinson, ages 6 and 4, respectively.

“These are our replacement kids,” the first lady joked about the absence of daughters Malia and Sasha, traditionally on hand for such events.

“This is what happens when you get teenagers, one’s asleep – these two are up,” Michelle Obama said.

Malia and Sasha were also absent on Wednesday from the last Turkey Pardon ceremony to be presided over by their father, President Barack Obama, at the White House.

Then too their place was taken by Austin and Aaron Robinson.

The tree that will adorn the Blue Room during the Obamas’ final Christmas in the White House is a 19-foot (5.8-meter) Douglas fir from a farm in Pennsylvania.

A group of volunteers will decorate the tree, to be unveiled to the public along with the rest of the White House Christmas decorations next Tuesday.