Washington, DC – The First Family is all set to celebrate their first Christmas in the White House with a nod to tradition. According to a White House statement, the theme, “Time-Honored Traditions” was designed by First Lady Melania Trump to pay respect to 200 years of holiday traditions at the White House.
“The President, Barron, and I are very excited for our first Christmas in the White House,” said First Lady Trump. “As with many families across the country, holiday traditions are very important to us. I hope when visiting the People’s House this year, visitors will get a sense of being home for the holidays. On behalf of my husband and Barron, I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and joyous holiday season,” she added in a statement.
A select group of journalists were offered a preview of the decorations this morning (Nov. 27). Glistening wintry branches line the half of the East Colonnade and brings one to a display of official White House cards in the East Garden Room. The first official card was sent in 1953 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
As one enters the Executive Residence, poinsettias fill the Ground Floor Corridor with a blanket of red and crimson. A “tree” comprised of green-spines books and red-ribbon bookmarks is located under the chandelier.
As you move through the Vermeil Room, China Room (which honors the holiday traditions of dining and hospitality), Green Room (honors the festivities of crafts, paper, and classic design) and East Room with their historic and majestic displays, you enter the Blue Room and come face to face with the official White House Christmas Tree which stands at 18 feet and 6 inches tall.
In the Red Room, two “trees” made of cranberries can be seen on the tables nearest the Cross Hall. This became well-known as First Lady Nancy Reagan’s favorite holiday decoration.
The most festive tradition of the White House is the Gingerbread House. Constructed by the White House team and displayed on an eagle-supported pier in the State Dining Room, it depicts the South facade of the White House and features Mrs. Trump’s signature Christmas wreaths. Although this edible house boasts 200 lbs. of gingerbread, 100 lbs. of pastillage dough, 20 lbs. of chocolate and 20 lbs. of royal icing, it is not meant for eating. It takes a Marine sentry to protect this enticing gingerbread house from visiting children who try to sneak a bite.
As one steps into the Grand Foyer and the Cross Hall, the celebration of music within the White House is highlighted. For more than two centuries, the Marine Band has filled the space with joyous sounds.
Now for the statistical minded readers, the Movie Theatre, is opened for the first time to the visitors. This is where the First Family gathers to watch their favorite films. President John Adams and First Lady Abigail Adams hosted the first Christmas Party in December1800. This year marks the 50th anniversary of display of the White House creche in the East Room.
According to the White House estimates, throughout the month of December, it will host more than 100 open houses and many receptions. More than 25,000 visitors will walk the halls taking part in public tours.