1 of 7 | Holiday decor fills the hallway between the East Wing and the residence of the White House during a holiday media preview Washington, D.C., on Monday. First Lady Jill Biden announced the 2023 White House holiday theme: The "Magic, Wonder, and Joy" of the holidays. Photo by Leigh Vogel/UPI | License Photo
Nov. 27 (UPI) -- First lady Jill Biden unveiled the White House holiday season decorations Monday, which include 98 Christmas trees and nearly 15,000 feet of ribbon centered on the theme, "Magic, Wonder and Joy of the Holidays."
Biden welcomed members of the National Guard and their families to be among the first to view the lavish decorations, which encompass 33,892 ornaments, 22,000 bells, 142,000 holiday lights and 72 wreaths adorning the building's north and south facades.
According to pool reports, Biden invited children to join her on a stage for the unveiling before later treating participants to a performance by the cast of the North American tour of Disney's stage musical, Frozen.
The first lady, speaking in the Grand Foyer of the presidential residence, said the decorations are meant to inspire the "pure, unfiltered delight" of children experiencing the wonders of the wintertime celebrations.
In describing the themes in each of the rooms of the White House, Biden said their overall effect is "just breathtaking."
She thanked the 300 volunteer decorators and designers who assembled the display, saying, "I hope that this experience has been as meaningful to you as it will for the thousands of visitors," which this year is expected to reach a total 100,000 people.
"Magic, wonder and joy... I know that they can feel hard to find sometimes, as the days grow shorter and the weather grows colder, as our hearts grow heavy in the face of a tumultuous world, and as we miss those who are no longer with us," the first lady said.
But it is in such times when we are "searching for hope and healing" that the "points of light" from holiday celebrations can be the most meaningful, she added.
Among the highlights of this year's White House display are The Gold Star Tree, which is adorned with wooden Gold Star ornaments engraved with the names of fallen service members; samplings of editions of the poem 'Twas the Night Before Christmas provided by the Library on Congress to mark 200th anniversary of the classic verse; and the Blue Room, which showcases the official White House Christmas Tree -- an 18 1/2-foot Fraser Fir from Fleetwood, N.C.
The Red Room's decorations were created out of the handprints and painted family portraits of military-connected children, while Santa's Workshop can be found in the State Dining Room, while life-sized nutcrackers and dancing ballerinas flank its Christmas trees.