First lady Jill Biden decked the halls of the White House with a “We the People” theme for this holiday season, drawing inspiration from the US Constitution.
The first lady, joined by a group of volunteers and National Guard leaders and families from across the country, will unveil the decorations later Monday “offering a holiday message of unity and hope,” the White House said in a statement.
“The soul of our nation is, and always has been, ‘We the People,’” the first lady will say in prepared remarks. “And that is what inspired this year’s White House holiday decoration.”
The salute to the National Guard is in keeping with Jill Biden’s “Joining Forces” initiative to support military families.
The first lady’s stepson, Beau Biden, who died in 2015, was a major in the Delaware National Guard.
”As a fellow National Guard mother, Dr. Biden wanted to show appreciation for, and honor, the special role the National Guard plays in serving our country,” the White House said.
The decorations include 77 Christmas trees bearing more than 83,000 lights, along with garlands, wreaths and other displays. The north and south facades of the White House will be adorned by 25 classic wreaths.
A copy of the Declaration of Independence will be on display in the mansion’s library.
The first Christmas trees on the White House tour will be adorned with mirrored Gold Star ornaments inscribed with the names of fallen service members.
The East Room, the largest in the White House, will reflect nature and recreation.
Snowy trees will be placed in the corners of the room, and four well-known national parks — Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Great Smoky Mountains and Shenandoah — will be depicted in displays on the fireplace mantel.
The Blue Room will feature the centerpiece of the decorations — an 18-and-a-half-foot fir tree brought to the nation’s capital from Auburn, Pa.
It will be decorated with handmade renderings of the official birds of all 57 states, territories and the District of Columbia.
The State Dining Room will carry the theme of “We the Children.”
The trees in that room will be decorated with ornaments crafted as self-portraits by the students of the 2021 Teachers of the Year, “ensuring that children see themselves in this year’s holiday display.”
The Biden family stockings will hang from the fireplace.
The State Dining Room’s eagle pier table will also feature a gingerbread White House, made from 20 sheets of sugar cookie dough, 30 sheets of gingerbread dough, 100 pounds of pastillage, 30 pounds of chocolate, and 40 pounds of royal icing.
Another part of the display will feature a sugar cookie replica of Independence Hall in Philadelphia, where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were signed.
A menorah, created by White House carpenters from wood removed during renovations to the executive mansion during the Truman administration, will be a new addition to the displays in the Cross Hall.
The White House expects to receive about 50,000 visitors during the holiday season.