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What it takes to deck the halls for Christmas at the White House

Christmas spirit, in the form of twinkly lights and bright red bows, has arrived at the White House.

The walls, windows and grand rooms have been adorned with holiday traditions, thanks to first lady Melania Trump, who paid special attention to the “Spirit of America”-themed detail.

Here’s an inside look at how some of the most eloquent details emulate American tradition.

The Official White House Christmas Tree

The official White House Christmas tree is from Pitman, Pennsylvania, and stretches more than 18 feet in height. The Douglas fir tree is decorated symbolically with floral emblems, each representing one of the 50 states and territories. The tree portrays the beauty and diversity of America.

The official White House Christmas tree decorated in the Blue Room on Monday, Dec. 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The Gingerbread White House

The White House’s gingerbread house is an exact replica of the South Portico of the White House. Some other national landmarks are featured next to the house, including the Golden Gate Bridge, Space Needle, Mount Rushmore, the Alamo, Gateway arch, Liberty Bell and Statue of Liberty. The columns of the gingerbread White House are made of pasta noodles and the display used a total of 200 pounds of gingerbread.

The gingerbread house is seen in the State Dining Room of the White House. Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019. (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

Melania’s Signature Christmas Wreath Tradition

Each year, Melania Trump has carried out her tradition of hanging Christmas wreaths on the façade of the White House. There are a total of 106 wreaths hung throughout. Some other traditions that have returned include the Gold Star Family Tree, with more than 400 stars arranged, the Christmas card display and the White House crèche.

The Red Room of the White House. Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019. (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

 

American Flag Inspired East Room

The East Room is decked with décor inspired by the American flag. Decorations include gilded eagle tree toppers, mirrored stars, and red and blue ribbons. Decorative elements in the East Colonnade highlight American innovation and architecture.

 

By the Numbers

Two hundred twenty-five volunteers, representing all 50 states, were selected to participate in decorating this year. Volunteers helped hang, dress and place the following:

  • 58 Christmas trees
  • More than 800 feet of garland
  • More than 2,500 strands of lights
  • More than 15,000 tied bows
  • More than 400 handmade paper flowers
  • More than 4,000 floral stem varieties

And, everything else mentioned above.

The Grand Foyer of the White House, Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019. (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

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