White House's 2017 holiday theme: 'Time-Honored Traditions'

By Allen Cone
White House's 2017 holiday theme: 'Time-Honored Traditions'
The Red Room in the White House is seen decorated for the holidays during media tour Monday. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 27 (UPI) -- First lady Melania Trump on Monday unveiled the White House's holiday theme this year -- "Time-Honored Traditions."

To celebrate the family's first Christmas in Washington, Melania Trump personally designed the theme "to pay respect to 200 years of holiday traditions at the White House."


More than 25,000 visitors are expected to visit the White House, and many open houses and receptions will be held there over the holiday season.

"The president, Barron, and I are very excited for our first Christmas in the White House," the first lady said in a statement Monday. "As with many families across the country, holiday traditions are very important to us. I hope when visiting the People's House this year, visitors will get a sense of being home for the holidays."

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Much of the decorating was done last week while the family was at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla., for Thanksgiving. The first family returned Sunday night.

The White House staff had help from more than 150 volunteers from 29 states to hang 71 wreaths and decorate 53 trees. The decorations include 18,000 feet of lights, 12,000 ornaments, 3,000-plus yards of holiday ribbon and 1,000 feet of garlands.


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The first lady posted a video a showing her craft the embellishments throughout the presidential residence.

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Decorations in the East Wing this year pay tribute to military service members and their families with the Gold Star Family Tree -- adorned with gold stars and patriotic ribbon-- and visitors can write a message to loved ones on digital tablets.

The State Floor, the Grand Foyer and Cross Hall decorations celebrate the first themed White House Christmas, the Nutcracker Suite from President John Kennedy's inaugural Christmas in 1961.

The official White House Christmas tree, measuring more than 18 feet, stands in the Blue Room. It features blue and gold ornaments that bear the seals of every U.S. state and territory.

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A tree in the Red Room is adorned with cookie ornaments and surrounded by peppermint candies. In a nod to former first lady Nancy Reagan's favorite holiday decoration, two cranberry trees are displayed on nearby tables.

The White House Green Room honors crafts, paper and classic design -- and the Library features President Franklin D. Roosevelt's edition of A Christmas Carol.


In the State Dining Room sits a gingerbread house made with more than 200 pounds of gingerbread dough, 100 pounds of pastillage dough, 20 pounds of chocolate and 20 pounds of royal icing. However, the White House said "it is not meant for eating."

The China Room honors holiday dining and hospitality traditions -- and, set up for a family Christmas dinner, includes Reagan-era china.

Last year's theme -- the last for President Barack Obama -- was "The Gift of the Holidays." The Obama family's eighth holiday season represented "the gift of family and friends, reflection and remembrance, and excitement and cheer," according to the White House.

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