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Dec. 11, 2019

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Christmas at White House unveiled

American patriotism theme of holiday decorations

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Published: December 2, 2019, 8:42pm
3 Photos
The Cross Hall leading into the State Dinning Room is decorated Monday during the 2019 Christmas preview at the White House in Washington. (Alex Brandon/Associated Press)
The Cross Hall leading into the State Dinning Room is decorated Monday during the 2019 Christmas preview at the White House in Washington. (Alex Brandon/Associated Press) Photo Gallery

WASHINGTON — Melania Trump is celebrating American patriotism at the White House this Christmas, incorporating red and blue into the traditional holiday green, adding a timeline of American design, innovation and architecture and studding a Christmas tree with her family’s annual ornament, the American flag.

The traditional gingerbread White House shares its stage with American landmarks including the Statue of Liberty and Golden Gate Bridge.

“It is with great joy that our family welcomes you to the White House this holiday season as we celebrate the Spirit of America,” President Donald Trump, the first lady and their son, Barron, say in the signed introduction to a souvenir book visitors will receive as a holiday keepsake. “We hope you enjoy our tribute to the traditions, customs and history that make our nation great.”

The White House previewed the decorations for journalists on Monday before Trump and the first lady departed for London. Journalists were also admitted to the grounds of the Naval Observatory, the official residence for Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, to see the Christmas decorations there.

The East Colonnade of the White House is lined with double rows of see-through panels etched with more than 60 examples of American design, innovation and architecture, ranging from the Woolworth Building in New York City to the Space Needle in Seattle.

A tree dedicated to Gold Star families that lost an immediate relative during military service stands at the beginning of the hallway while a tree decorated with the Trump family ornament — an American flag this year — glistens at the end of the colonnade.

East Room decorations are inspired by the U.S. flag and feature gilded eagle Christmas tree toppers, mirrored stars and red and blue ribbons. In the State Dining Room, at the opposite end of the hallway, the decor continues to showcase American design.

The gingerbread White House, built from 200 pounds of gingerbread and slathered in 25 pounds of royal icing and 35 pounds of chocolate, showcases the South Portico, including a staircase made using angel hair, fettucine and spaghetti.

The popular display also features models of some of the nation’s most famous landmarks, including Mount Rushmore, St. Louis’ Gateway Arch, the Alamo, the Liberty Bell and the Statue of Liberty, along with the Golden Gate Bridge and the Space Needle.

The Blue Room is again commanded by a towering tree, a 18 1/2 -foot Douglas fir from a Pennsylvania farm, decorated with flowers representing every state and territory. The Red Room is decorated with games, including trees made of White House playing cards bearing the president and first lady’s signatures. It’s meant to highlight her “Be Best” youth initiative and serve as a reminder of the kindness, respect and teamwork needed to play together.

Mrs. Trump continued her tradition of hanging wreaths on the mansion’s exterior windows, 106 in all.

More than 225 volunteers flew in from around the country to help decorate the White House during Thanksgiving weekend.

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