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‘Magic, Wonder and Joy’: White House Christmas theme announced

Christmas decorations

WASHINGTON — The first lady has debuted the holiday decor that will be gracing the White House this year.

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Jill Biden announced that the theme for 2023 is the “Magic, Wonder, and Joy” of the holidays.

“The 2023 White House holiday theme is inspired by how children experience this festive season: completely present in the beauty and bounty around them, their senses alight, with hearts open to the magic, wonder, and joy of the holidays,” the first family wrote in a letter in the 2023 White House Holiday Guide.

The White House expects about 100,000 visitors during the holiday season, but if you can’t make it to Washington, D.C. and still want to see the holidays at the people’s house, you can experience it from home online. For more information on how to visit virtually, click here. To visit the White House in person, you must submit a request through your lawmakers. The tours are first come, first served and can be submitted up to 90 days in advance, but the minimum time is 21 days in advance. For more information, visit the White House tour website. Tours are free.

Highlights of the decor include the Gold Star Tree covered in wooden star ornaments that have the names of the military men and women killed in service. The Ground Floor Corridor has messages from Americans sent to the president and first lady. It also pays tribute to the 200th anniversary of “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.”

The Library is decorated with moons and stars hanging above holiday storybooks. Santa can be seen flying past the window.

The Vermeil Room is themed to music, including a representation of the United States Marine Band playing herald trumpets.

The China Room is decorated as a sweet shop filled with cakes and cookies.

The East Room is filled with Advent calendars to count down to Christmas and a Neapolitan crèche or Nativity scene.

The Green Room is lit by candles and decorated with stained glass that “symbolize the peace, strength, and joy we find in faith.” The display also features orchids, which are a favorite of the first lady.

The Blue Room is the home of the White House Christmas Tree, which came from Fleetwood, North Carolina. The tree is decorated with scenes, landscapes and neighborhoods from all across the country. Every state, territory and the District of Columbia is represented. A replicate of a vintage passenger train circles the tree.

The Red Room theme is crafting during the holidays and has fresh cranberries integrated into the decor.

The State Dining Room is home to Santa’s workshop.

The Cross Hall houses the official White House Menorah, which was created in 2021 and made of wood that was saved during President Harry Truman’s renovation of the White House.

The Grand Foyer has a recreation of “’Twas the Night Before Christmas.”

The 2023 White House holidays by the numbers:

  • About 14,975 feet of ribbon
  • More than 350 candles
  • More than 33,892 ornaments
  • More than 22,100 bells
  • 98 Christmas trees in the White House complex
  • 142,425 holiday lights
  • 72 wreathes
  • 300 volunteers from across the country help decorate over a week

The Gingerbread White House has:

  • 40 sheets of sugar cookie dough
  • 40 sheets of gingerbread dough
  • 90 pounds of pastillage (sugar paste or modeling paste)
  • 30 pounds of chocolate
  • 50 pounds of royal icing
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