WASHINGTON– First Lady Jill Biden unveiled this year’s White House Christmas decorations Monday and announced the theme as “We the People,” ABC News reported.
More than 150 volunteers from across the country spent a week helping decorate the inside and outside of the White House with 25 wreaths, 77 Christmas trees and over 83,615 Christmas lights. There’s also a Gingerbread White House, which the First Lady’s Office said was made from 20 sheets of sugar cookie dough, 30 sheets of gingerbread dough, 100 pounds of lozenges, 30 pounds of chocolate, and 40 pounds of royal icing.
While officially unveiling the holiday theme and seasonal decorations, Biden offered a holiday message of unity and hope and thanked the volunteers who helped dress up the White House for the season.
“In the last two years I’ve traveled to almost 40 states – rural areas and big cities. Time and time again, the Americans I’ve met have shown me the soul of our nation,” the first lady said Monday in prepared remarks for the event at the White House in Washington, DC “I’ve seen it everywhere I’ve been: When our country comes together, we are stronger. What we share is so much greater than the things that divide us. The soul of our nation is – and always has been – “we the people”. And that’s what inspired this year’s White House Christmas decorations.”
Each room in the White House has been decorated to “represent what brings us together during the holiday season and throughout the year,” Biden said.
“The Gold Star trees honor and commemorate those who gave their lives for our country and the families who continue their legacy,” she said. “In the library we celebrate how the stories we share bring us closer to each other, our history and the world around us. At the Vermeil Room, we honor the importance of the smallest acts of kindness and appreciation. In the China Room, we remember ancestral family traditions and tables full of laughter.”
“In the East Room, we’re highlighting the national treasures that belong to us all — our national parks — and the community we find in nature,” she continued. “In the Green Room, bells of all kinds remind us of the healing and connecting power of music. In the Red Room, we know that in times of joy and sadness, faith can light the way to keep the promise to the next generation and see the holidays through the eyes of children.And in the Blue Room are the official birds of all 57 states and Territories – and our nation’s capital – all interwoven to transform the 18-foot Christmas tree into a stunning symbol of unity.”
As part of her White House initiative to support and empower the sacrifices and needs of military families called Joining Forces, Biden has been joined by National Guard members and leadership from more than 30 U.S. states and territories, along with their families. The first lady, who has a doctorate in education, was scheduled to attend a roundtable discussion on education for military-connected children with National Guard families and aides-general later Monday, according to her office.
“We wanted them to be a part of this special day because they represent the heart of our communities—men and women who choose to serve even as they pursue other careers that so quickly meet the call of duty in our hometowns respond as disasters strike and needs arise,” Biden said. “Though our nation relies on their courage, the service of our Guardsmen and their families often goes unnoticed — particularly by children of National Guard members.”
“As a mother and grandmother in the National Guard, I wanted to welcome National Guard families who are helping us open this holiday season as my honored guests. Your ministry is the embodiment of We the People,” she added.
The White House expects about 50,000 visitors during the holiday season, according to the First Lady’s office.
“Throughout all of these halls, from the glowing bells to the mirrored ornaments in the Grand Foyer behind me, you will see your own reflection — a reminder and a request to see yourselves in this House,” Biden said. “And we’re grateful to be able to welcome Americans home.”
Last year’s Christmas theme was “Gifts from the Heart” to honor those who have persevered through the hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 100 volunteers decorated the White House with about 25 wreaths, 41 Christmas trees, 300 candles, 6,000 feet of ribbon, 10,000 ornaments and nearly 80,000 Christmas lights, according to the first lady’s office.