With December rolling out fast and the winter holidays being just a few weeks out, we’re bound to see Christmas trees and decorations filling up our feeds, fast. But every year, there’s one home to top them all — even the most exquisite celebrity homes and their their shiny Christmas ornaments — and that’s the White House.
First Lady Melania Trump has just unveiled this year’s choice of decor for 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and it is stunning! And that comes as no surprise, as the first lady has been meticulously planning it since July, when she first tweeted that Christmas preparations were underway.
If you’re wondering why anyone would start planning Christmas six months in advance, check out this short video of the First Lady walking us through the Christmas decorations at the White House, and you’ll see why extensive planning is a must.
A very festive White House
In the East Room, four star-spangled trees stand tall, glimmering with stars and cascading ribbons. Perched at the top of each are gilded eagles, reminiscent of American strength and symbolizing freedom
Features of the American flag have been proudly incorporated in the décor, with red symbolizing bravery and valor, and blue symbolizing perseverance and justice.
A massive 18-foot tall Douglas fir serves as this year’s traditional official White House Christmas tree, and has taken its rightful place in the Blue Room.
Nevertheless, the most mesmerizing part of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is the glistening winter garden, set in the Grand Foyer and Cross Hall. The space was filled with a total of 22 evergreens, 14 golden magnolia topiaries, 10 floral urns, and dusted with fresh-fallen snow to create a whimsical winter wonderland.
The decor includes other notable decorations like a tree dedicated to Gold Star military families — adorned with golden stars and patriotic ribbons — and etchings of 60 buildings that exhibit American innovation, including the Woolworth Building in New York City and the Space Needle in Seattle, according to the Associated Press.
The return of the gingerbread White House
Of course, the iconic gingerbread White House is back this year — made from 200 pounds of gingerbread, with layers and layers of white icing and banisters of the South Portico and Truman Balcony made from raw spaghetti coated black with icing.
The White House pastry team carefully constructed this masterpiece out of 200 lbs. of gingerbread dough, 125 lbs. of pastillage dough, 35 lbs. of chocolate, and 25 lbs. of royal icing.
Models from other landmarks like Mount Rushmore, the Golden Gate Bridge, Space Needle, Liberty Bell and the Statue of Liberty have taken their gingerbread shape as well.
“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’ ” said First Lady Melania Trump in an official 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. 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”.
What it takes to decorate 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. for Christmas
While all creative credit goes to first lady Melania Trump, we mustn’t forget about all her little helpers. Decorating the White House for the holidays is a massive effort, one that requires a big team and lots of hours, not to mention painstaking attention to detail.
Volunteers are hard at work at the @WhiteHouse. Thank you to all who came all across our great nation to decorate the People’s House. Looking forward to view it tomorrow evening! #ChristmasWhiteHouse🎄 pic.twitter.com/SUhhXr4DD7— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) November 30, 2019
This year, volunteers from all 50 states gathered to help put up the decorations, which included 800 feet of garland, 15,000 bows, and more than 2,500 strands of light.
The official Christmas tree that stands 18 feet tall in the Blue Room has been harvested from Mahantongo Valley Farms in Pitman, Pennsylvania. It arrived at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue with a little help from the farm’s owner, Larry Snyder, who delivered it in person.
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