Bidens’ Christmas decorations: ‘Gifts from the heart’

Tinsel, turtledove ornaments, family photos and presents in bright red boxes mark the holidays at the White House this year. One hundred volunteers helped to decorate, using 25 wreaths, 41 Christmas trees, 300 candles, 6,000 feet of ribbon, 10,000 ornaments and nearly 80,000 holiday lights.

For the Bidens’ first Christmas in the White House, first lady Jill Biden recently unveiled the mansion’s 2021 holiday theme as “gifts from the heart” — faith, community, family, friendship, learning, nature, gratitude, service, peace, unity and the arts — that bring together Americans of all ages and backgrounds.

Left: Thank-you cards grace a Christmas tree in the White House, a reminder that gratitude unifies Americans. Right: The Gold Star Tree, which honors U.S. military families who lost service members, sits in the east landing of the White House. (© Evan Vucci/AP Images)
Each room of the home reflects this theme in some fashion. For example, in the East Colonnade, iridescent doves and shooting stars represent “the peace and light brought to us all by the service of frontline workers and first responders during the pandemic,” the White House says.

The alcoves and trees depict wintry scenes in the grand foyer and cross hall at the White House. (The White House)

In the library, stacks of decorative books, birds and butterflies, all crafted from recycled newspapers, represent the gift of learning. And in the China Room — designated as such by first lady Edith Wilson in 1917 to display the growing collection of White House china — a table is set for a dinner party, highlighting the gift of friendship. Handwritten thank-you notes, on display in the East Room, celebrate the gift of gratitude.

Left: The White House gingerbread house is displayed in the State Dining Room. Right: A table set for a dinner party conveys a theme of friendship. (© Evan Vucci/AP Images)

The official White House Christmas tree — festooned with dove ornaments representing the gifts of peace and unity — is located in the Blue Room, where the chandelier was temporarily removed to accommodate the tree’s towering height. And the annual gingerbread White House, created by White House pastry chefs, was expanded into a gingerbread village complete with a school, grocery store, warehouse and hospital, as well as police, fire and gas stations.

The White House East Colonnade is lined with iridescent doves and shooting stars. (© Evan Vucci/AP Images)

“We wish you a happy, healthy, and joyous holiday season,” the Bidens said in a statement. “As we look to a new year full of possibility, may gifts from the heart light our path forward.”

Christmas decorations adorn the outside of the White House, as seen December 2 in Washington. (© Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

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