Decorations of the Obamas' last Christmas in the White House are magical
This year's holiday decorations at the White House, the Obamas' last, have the theme "The Gift of the Holidays." A giant red gift, serving as a sort of selfie station, proclaims the theme as you walk into the East Visitor Entrance Hall.
For the media preview, volunteers and military spouses were stationed in all of the White House public rooms. Lego ornaments in the State Dining Room represent 56 states and territories and are made from more than 200,000 of the plastic pieces. This year's decorations are 90 per cent repurposed and 10 per cent new. Last year's snowpeople, who were displayed outside, are now safe and warm indoors in the Ground Floor Corridor.
Meanwhile members of the media were treated to hot cider and holiday cookies, a last-minute tree tagged "Yellow Oval Room" was wrapped in canvas and carefully dragged in the front door of the White House, destined for a charmed holiday life in the Obamas' private quarters.
The official White House Christmas Tree was already on display in the Blue Room: a 6-metre Douglas fir donated by a tree farm in Pennsylvania and trimmed to fit in the space. The preamble to the Constitution can be read on the tree's garland.
As always, the gingerbread White House has a place of honour in the State Dining Room, with 68 kilos of gingerbread, 45 kg of bread dough, 9 kg of gum paste, 9 kg of icing and 9 kg of sculpted sugar pieces.
More holiday trimmings:
- More than 8000 bows and ribbons line the East Hallway.
- Larger-than-life-size replicas of presidential pups Bo and Sunny made of more than 25,000 yarn pom-poms (making a return appearance from last year).
- "Snowball" arches made of more than 6000 ornaments.
- Gumdrop wreaths hang from the windows of the State Dining Room.
- "Let's Move"-inspired healthy decorations in the Green and Red rooms, including wreaths made with fruits and greens, garlands made of limes, and gift boxes made from cranberries.
- A digital interface for sending holiday messages to the troops.
- The Washington Post