First Lady Jill Biden Unveils This Year’s White House Christmas Decorations: NPR

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First Lady Jill Biden Unveils This Year’s White House Christmas Decorations: NPR

The official Christmas tree, an 18-foot-tall Fraser fir from Fleetwood, North Carolina, stands in the center of the Oval Blue Room during a media preview of 2023 holiday decorations at the White House on Monday .

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First Lady Jill Biden Unveils This Year’s White House Christmas Decorations: NPR - 1

The official Christmas tree, an 18-foot-tall Fraser fir from Fleetwood, North Carolina, stands in the center of the Oval Blue Room during a media preview of 2023 holiday decorations at the White House on Monday .

Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

A winter wonderland has arrived at the White House, as first lady Jill Biden unveiled this year’s decorative theme for the Christmas season on Monday.

The theme “Magic, Wonder and Joy” is inspired by the experiences of children fromseason: “completely present in the beauty and bounty around them, their senses awakened, with hearts open to the magic, wonder and joy of the holidays,” Biden said.

First Lady Jill Biden Unveils This Year’s White House Christmas Decorations: NPR - 3

First lady Jill Biden talks about the holiday season and unveils the White House holiday decor while thanking the volunteers who helped put it together Monday at the White House.

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First lady Jill Biden talks about the holiday season and unveils the White House holiday decor while thanking the volunteers who helped put it together Monday at the White House.

Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Across the grounds of the White House are 98 Christmas trees, nearly 34,000 ornaments, 72 wreaths and approximately 142,000 Christmas lights.

First Lady Jill Biden Unveils This Year’s White House Christmas Decorations: NPR - 7

The China Room is decorated to become the “White House Candy Shop.” The White House expects to welcome approximately 100,000 visitors during the holiday season.

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The China Room is decorated to become the “White House Candy Shop.” The White House expects to welcome approximately 100,000 visitors during the holiday season.

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Here are some of the highlights of the decoration:

  • The blue room displays the official White House tree, an 18.5-foot floor-to-ceiling Fraser fir from North Carolina. The tree is named after all the states and territories of the United States and Washington, DC. A toy train runs at the foot of the tree.
  • The ornaments on the Gold Star Christmas tree The names of deceased soldiers are engraved.
  • The marble arches of the ground floor hallway are decorated with letters to Santa and holiday messages from across the country. Biden thanked mail-in volunteers who stay in touch with Americans year-round. This area also features various editions of the poem ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’ by Clement Clarke Moore to commemorate its 200th anniversary.
  • The East Roomthe largest room in the White House, features a Christmas nativity scene and Advent calendars counting down the days until Christmas, with surprises behind each number.
  • The China room is filled with sweet treats, like cakes, cookies and gingerbread.
  • In the Red Room are ornaments that feature handprints and family portraits of children belonging to military families.
  • The State Dining Room features a rendition of Santa’s workshop, complete with workbenches, stools and ladders leading to Christmas trees. The room also features a gingerbread replica of the White House.

First Lady Jill Biden Unveils This Year’s White House Christmas Decorations: NPR - 11

The ornaments onThe names of deceased service members are engraved on the Gold Star Christmas tree.

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The ornaments onThe names of deceased service members are engraved on the Gold Star Christmas tree.

Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

More than 300 volunteers worked for more than a week to decorate the White House.

To schedule a tour of the White House and view the decorations, you can email your House representative.

First Lady Jill Biden Unveils This Year’s White House Christmas Decorations: NPR - 15

Santa Claus in his sleigh and a team of reindeer fly over the columns of the White House entrance hall. The theme for this year’s White House decorations is “Magic, Wonder and Joy.”

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Santa Claus in his sleigh and a team of reindeer fly over the columns of the White House entrance hall. The theme for this year’s White House decorations is “Magic, Wonder and Joy.”

Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

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A gingerbread White House is on display in the State Dining Room.

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A gingerbread White House is on display in the State Dining Room.

Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

“I know that (magic, wonder, and joy) can sometimes seem hard to find as the days grow shorter and the weather grows colder, as our hearts grow heavier in the face of a tumultuous world, as those who are not We miss more with us. us – an empty seat at the table of our holiday gatherings. But it’s in these moments when we seek hope and healing…that’s when we need each other the most,” Biden said.

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First Lady Jill Biden Unveils This Year’s White House Christmas Decorations: NPR - 23

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