White House unveils holiday decor that captures ‘very idea of America’

White House Holidays
The White House Christmas Tree is on display in the Blue Room of the White House during a press preview of holiday decorations at the White House, Monday, Nov. 28, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) Patrick Semansky/AP

White House unveils holiday decor that captures ‘very idea of America’

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First lady Jill Biden unveiled a first look at the White House’s annual holiday decorations on Monday, revealing this year’s theme as “We the People.”

Biden posted photos of the decorations on her Twitter account Monday morning, showcasing a number of Christmas trees donned with lights and ornaments. In all, the decor includes more than 83,600 lights, 25 wreaths, and 77 Christmas trees placed throughout the White House by 150 volunteers.

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“As our country gathers for the holidays, traditions may vary, but our shared American values — a belief in possibility, optimism, and unity — endure each season,” the first lady tweeted. “Room by room, visitors will be reminded of what brings us together during the holidays, and throughout the year.”

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The White House released a media preview on Monday, giving a sneak peek into the holiday transformation that is expected to be seen by more than 50,000 visitors. Visitors entering the east entrance of the White House are welcomed by bells and red cardinals, signifying “the presence of lost loved ones,” according to the White House.

As visitors enter the White House, they are first greeted by Christmas trees that are adorned with mirrored Gold Star ornaments with the names of fallen service members inscribed on them.

“The Gold Star trees honor the heroic men and women of our Nation’s military who have laid down their lives for our country, those who are Missing in Action, and the families who carry on their legacies,” the White House said.

Next, tours are guided through the East Colonnade, where people can see winter trees, woodland animals, and glowing lanterns — a scene that is meant to evoke peace and tranquility similar to that felt after the first snowfall of the season. Visitors then enter the library, which is filled with books, trees, and wreaths. Also on display is a copy of the Declaration of Independence that was donated to the White House in 1985.

After being guided through a number of other rooms, visitors are also taken through the State Dining Room with the theme “We the Children” — signifying the importance of the next generation when it comes to the future of the country’s leadership. The room also features the 2022 gingerbread White House, decorated in the semblance of the White House and accompanied by a sugar cookie replica of Independence Hall in Philadelphia.

The White House also unveiled a “new addition” to its holiday decor this year: a wooden menorah that was previously removed from the White House during Truman-era renovations.

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As a grand finale, the White House’s Grand Foyer and Cross Hall are decorated with metal ribbons that include the names of all the 50 states, territories, and the District of Columbia, as well as the years each entered the Union.

The first lady is scheduled to speak about the significance of the decorations during an event at noon on Monday, and she’ll be joined by National Guard members as part of her “Joining Forces” initiative to support military families.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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