The White House Christmas decorations – personally chosen by Melania Trump – have been revealed. They include 53 Christmas trees, 71 wreaths, more than 18,000 lights, more than 12,000 ornaments, more than 3,100 yards (about 2,800 metres) of ribbon and more than 1,000 feet of garland.
The first lady has opted for traditional decor for her family's first Christmas in the White House, adding a few new touches to the standards. Among the Christmas standards is an 18-foot (about 5.5-metre) fir tree in its traditional spot in the Blue Room, decorated with ornaments bearing the seals of every state and US territory.
The 350-pound (about 160-kilogram) gingerbread house this year offers a view of the White House from the south.
New this year are are glistening wintry branches lining an East Wing hallway that leads guests to a tree decorated with the Trump family's official Christmas ornament, a gold-toned bauble featuring the presidential coat of arms surrounded by a wreath of holly.
Also new this year are the wreaths hanging from the exterior of every window. The family Christmas card is framed and on display. "Merry Christmas and Happy New Year," says the card signed by President Donald Trump, the first lady and Barron, their 11-year-old son.
More than 150 volunteers from 29 states spent 1,600 hours during the long holiday weekend decking the White House halls. One has to wonder who chose the books that make up a Christmas tree in the library – their titles include 'Tainted Evidence', 'American Mourning' and 'World of Golf'.
The first lady's office said she personally chose every detail of the decor. She did a final check late on Sunday after returning from the family's Thanksgiving at their home in Palm Beach, Florida.
The White House holiday celebrations begins on Monday (27 November) with a party for the volunteer decorators and will continue well into December with receptions and parties just about every day — sometimes two a day — for the next several weeks. More than 25,000 visitors are expected to tour the White House for the holidays and the kitchen is ready: a total of 31,000 cookies have been baked, including 15,000 sugar cookies.
"The decorations are up!" the first lady tweeted on Monday morning. "@WhiteHouse is ready to celebrate! Wishing you a Merry Christmas & joyous holiday season!" Her theme is "Time-Honoured Traditions," which the White House said pays respect to 200 years of holiday traditions at the executive mansion.