As our President and First Lady prepare to celebrate their second Christmas in the White House, I would like to share some information the spectacular display they’ve created.
Designed by First Lady Melania Trump, the White House is adorned in a way that is both classy and extravagant. She chose the theme “American Treasures” to honor the heart and spirit of the American people and says the home shines with the spirit of patriotism and displays the many splendors found across our great Nation.
In November, the White House Christmas tree arrived by a team of Clydesdale horses and carriage from the North Carolina High Country. It was a 19.5 foot 800 pound Frasier Fir presented by Avery County Christmas Tree Grower, Larry Smith, who has been a Christmas tree retailer for 38 years. Smith won a national tree contest hosted by the National Christmas Tree Association. The contest winners have provided the White House Christmas Trees since 1966.
The tradition of the White House Christmas tree dates back to 1889. President Benjamin Harrison was the first to have a Christmas tree in the Yellow Room, which he decorated with toys and candles for his grandkids. President Taft placed one in the Blue Room in 1912. Since then, the tradition has evolved as you will see.
As you will see in the videos below, it looks like it would be a magical experience to walk through the White House this time of year. I hope you will take time to view these videos and to appreciate the hard work it must have taken to create such an exhibit.
“This is a joyous time of year when we decorate the White House for the Christmas Season. Our theme honors the heart and spirit of the American people. Thank you to the many volunteers and staff who worked hard to decorate the halls of the People’s House in Christmas cheer. On behalf of my family, we wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year”.
The following is from a briefing at www.whitehouse.gov. In the East Wing, the Gold Star Family tree returns. Decorated by Gold Star families, this tree honors all our troops and families who have sacrificed greatly to protect our freedoms. Gold stars and patriotic ribbon decorate the tree and visitors are encouraged to write messages to their loved ones who are on duty or abroad on the digital tablets provided.
More than 40 topiary trees line the East colonnade as guests make their way toward the East Garden Room, where the First Family Christmas card and ornament are on display. The Library remembers some of America’s most cherished authors, housing over 2,700 American classics. Four trees have been tucked away in each corner of the Library displaying the White House Historical Association’s 2018 ornament honoring President Harry S. Truman.
The Vermeil room displays two trees that sparkle in hues of blues and golds amongst the vermeil on display for all to see. Inside the China Room are three tables, all replicas from previous state dinners using pieces from the White House permanent collection. They highlight different eras of state dinners. The Theodore Roosevelt Administration, John F. Kennedy Administration, and Donald J. Trump Administration are all represented. The East Room highlights the diversity and ingenuity of American architecture and design with four custom mantelpieces showcasing the skylines of New York City, St. Louis, Chicago, and San Francisco. 72 handmade paper ornaments representing six regions across America hang from four 14-foot Noble fir trees. For the 51st year, the White House Crèche will also be on display.
As one makes their way through the Green Room, Americans are reminded of the country’s bounty and harvest. A variety of fruits, vegetables, and grains adorn the tree centered in the room, as well as the garland on the mantel. In the Blue Room, the official White House Christmas tree measures a soaring 18 feet tall and is dressed in over 500 feet of blue velvet ribbon embroidered in gold with each State and territory. Moving into the Red Room, guests will be able to celebrate children through the décor, which displays ways in which children can excel in their own path.
The State Dining Room is a celebration of our country’s national symbols, including the bald eagle, the rose, and the oak tree. The space is also host to this year’s gingerbread house, showcasing the full expanse of the National Mall: the Capitol, the Lincoln Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial, the Washington Monument, and, of course, the White House.
Crossing into the Grand Foyer and Cross Hall, patriotism, the heart of America, takes center stage with more than 14,000 red ornaments hanging from 29 trees. The choice of red is an extension of the pales, or stripes, found in the presidential seal designed by our Founding Fathers. It’s a symbol of valor and bravery.
“This is a joyous time of year when we decorate the White House for the Christmas Season,” said First Lady Melania Trump. “Our theme honors the heart and spirit of the American people. Thank you to the many volunteers and staff who worked hard to decorate the halls of the People’s House in Christmas cheer. On behalf of my family, we wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.”
Throughout the month of December, the White House will host more than 100 open houses and many receptions. More than 30,000 visitors will walk the halls taking part in public tours.