Jill Biden presents her first Christmas decorations at the White House

(CNN) – The White House unveiled its Christmas decorations on Monday, which follow the theme chosen this year by First Lady Jill Biden, who called her inspiration “gifts from the heart.”

Elizabeth Alexander, director of communications for the West Wing, told CNN that Biden’s idea was to show “things that unite, heal, and unite us.” Biden and the East Wing began planning Christmas decorations in early summer, tweaking ideas and beginning to envision how to make them come true.

Image copyright ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP via Getty Images This is what the decorations in the library look like during a press preview of Christmas decorations at the White House in Washington on November 29, 2021.

In each of the public rooms of the White House, closed to visitors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is an individual representation of the subject. The library room features butterfly motifs that reflect the “gift of learning,” while the Vermeil Room highlights the “gift of visual arts” with Christmas wreaths made from brushes dipped in paint and a tree of colorful ornamental specimens. Pantone.

In the China Room, which displays ceramic items from past presidential administrations throughout the year, a table is set “Nana-style,” according to Alexander, a nod to Biden’s favorite family dinners, with centerpieces and flowers cut out. On the trees in the room, which had the theme of “the gift of friendship and love,” were ornaments made of paper hands in circles and stars, an idea that was also from the first lady, Alexander said.

The China Room in the White House is decorated for the Christmas season. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

In the state dining room, two large trees are decorated with framed photos of former White House families on vacation, various photos from Biden’s private archives that have never been seen in public before.

“The First Lady has spent the past few weekends when she’s at her home in Delaware looking through photo albums and picking her favourites,” Alexander said.

There are also photos of previous administrations, taken from the White House archives: Kennedy, Clinton, Johnson, Reagan; In the back of one of the trees was a small framed picture of Donald and Melania Trump.

A portrait of former United States President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy is displayed on the Christmas tree in the White House dining room in November 2021

Although the show has been quieter than it has been in recent years, the exhibit is Biden’s nod to tradition and continues with his personal touch, even as the country feels the shock of change and loss due to the ravages of Covid-19, Alexander says.

The fireplace in the state dining room holds six socks for each of Biden’s grandchildren, woven by the same Delaware artisan who made the socks for the Biden family’s home.

Less decorations this Christmas in the White House

According to the White House, there are in total 41 Christmas trees, 1,800 meters of ribbon, more than 300 candles and more than 10,000 ornaments.

However, the lack of a huge amount of decor in recent years is felt and seen. There are more unadorned corners, fewer fake snow and flashing lights, and Christmas trees at Cross Hall It does not rub against the ceiling and is not crowded. In the green room are only two purple trees and a handful of purple orchids, one of Biden’s favorite flowers.

(Image source: ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

A statement from the East Wing said the first lady “was inspired by the small acts of kindness and experiences that have lifted our spirits this year and during the pandemic.”

The annual Gingerbread White House, a 160-kilogram replica of the original that took pastry chef Susan Morrison and her team members several weeks to build, was accompanied by smaller baking buildings. A police station, warehouse and school.

A replica of the White House gingerbread in the dining room on November 29, 2021 (Image credit: ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

Carlos Elizondo, the White House’s social secretary, told CNN that the idea was to honor the frontline workers who kept the country running. Elizondo added that the first lady also wanted this year’s gingerbread House White House to include something never seen before, so Morrison placed a large wreath on the north portico.

President Biden and the first lady took a look at the accolades Sunday night after returning from their Thanksgiving weekend in Nantucket, Massachusetts. Jill Biden put the final (edible) shape into the installation: a small gingerbread teacher leaning beside a stair railing made of angel hair paste painted in black food coloring.

Christmas decorations in the White House. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Morrison said the entire gallery, except for the table on which it rests, can be eaten.

On Monday afternoon, Biden will personally thank the more than 100 volunteers who have hung decorations over the past week. Many of them arrived before Thanksgiving to start their work; By Sunday, “everything was ready,” Alexander said, with the finishing touches in place. Alexander said volunteers from all over the country usually apply for decorating positions, but because of the pandemic, this year it has only been locals from Washington.

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