White House unveils Christmas decor with 'Spirit of America' theme

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, as the halls of the White House are officially decked out for the most wonderful time of the year.

On Dec. 1, First Lady Melania Trump announced that the White House had been decorated for the holiday season, with adornments inspired by “The Spirit of America,” this year’s patriotic theme.

“’The Spirit of America’ is shining in the White House! I am delighted to share this beautiful exhibit of patriotism for all to see, and excited for everyone to experience the beauty of the #Christmas season!” FLOTUS tweeted on Sunday night, sharing a video of the festive furnishings.

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In the minute-long clip, the first lady walked through the White House’s public floor alongside Christmas trees glowing with white lights, later sprinkling faux snow on a tree, adjusting roses on a fireplace and fixing a miniature wreath on the traditional gingerbread White House in the State Dining Room.

“This Christmas season I want to honor those who have shaped our country and made it the place we are proud to call home, and I am excited to announce our White House holiday theme, ‘The Spirit of America’ ” FLOTUS said in a statement released by the White House.

“When I travel the country, I am inspired by the hard-working people and families that I meet. No matter which state they call home, many Americans share a strong set of values and deep appreciation for the traditions and history of our great nation.”

According to the release, the first lady “personally selected every detail of the holiday season at the White House, making sure to capture the patriotic spirit we all share.”

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(Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

“Thank you to all of the staff and volunteers who worked to make sure the People’s House was ready for Christmas. Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,” she added.

Highlights of the decorations include the Gold Star Family Tree, which was “proudly decorated by Gold Star families” in the East Wing; a timeline of American design, innovation and architecture in the East Colonnade; and the First Family’s Christmas card and ornament in the East Garden Room — which both honor the American flag.

(Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

(Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

The Vermeil Room celebrates the “spirit of generosity” of former first ladies, with two trees adorned with tones of blush, gold and pieces of historic vermeil. The Library features the legacies of presidents past and present with the White House Historical Association’s annual ornaments, with the 2019 ornament honoring President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

(Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

A holiday feast is displayed in the China Room, to illustrate “the joys of family coming together at the holidays and sharing in the spirit of the season.”

(Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

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(Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

In the upstairs East Room, four “star-spangled” trees shine with stars and gilded eagles perched at the top in a tribute to America’s freedom and strength. The White House Crèche is also presented, for the 52nd year running.

(Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

(Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

(Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

As for the parlors, visitors can find the White House Advent calendar in the Green Room, the official 18-and-a-half foot White House Christmas tree in the Blue Room, and yuletide “games galore” in the Red Room.

(Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

(Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

Decorations in the State Dining Room, meanwhile, celebrate “America the Beautiful.” This year’s masterpiece gingerbread White House itself is flanked by national landmarks including the Golden Gate Bridge, the Space Needle, Mount Rushmore, the Alamo, Gateway Arch, Liberty Bell, and Statue of Liberty, making for a 200-pound sweet treat that took 125 pounds of pastillage (sugar-based) dough, 35 pounds of chocolate and 25 pounds of icing to create.

(Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

Tourists can wrap up their visit in the Grand Foyer and Cross Hall in a “winter garden” filled with 22 evergreens, 14 golden magnolia topiaries and 10 floral urns.

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By the numbers, the embellishments used in the “Spirit of America” motif include 106 of Mrs. Trump’s signature Christmas wreaths on the outside of the White House, 58 Christmas trees, over 800 feet of garland, 2,500 strands of lights and more than 400 golden stars. Over 15,000 bows were tied by hand, and another 400 handmade paper flowers were crafted.

Visitors are welcome to see the yuletide display through open houses, receptions, and scheduled tours throughout the month of December.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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