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Melania unveils ‘Time-Honored Traditions’ holiday decor

Judy Kurtz

Her husband may be considered a nontraditional commander in chief, but when it comes to Christmas decor at the White House, Melania Trump is sticking to custom.

In a preview for journalists on Monday, the White House unveiled its annual holiday theme: “Time-Honored Traditions,” with an array of seasonal décor.

The theme, designed by the first lady, is aimed at paying “respect to 200 years of holiday traditions at the White House,” a statement from Melania Trump’s press office said.

The White House emphasized the role Melania played in plotting out the decorations, crediting her with personally selecting “every detail of this year’s holiday season” at the executive mansion.

Melania tweeted a video showing her helping to craft the embellishments throughout the White House


As White House guests enter the East Wing, they see the Gold Star Family Tree, dedicated to military servicemen and women. As in years past, alongside the tree are tablets to send digital holiday messages to troops abroad.


A walk through a hall in the East Colonnade is filled with white tree branches and offers guests a peek into the White House movie theater.

“Here, for the first time, visitors can view the space where first families gather to watch their favorite films,” a holiday booklet from the White House says of the viewing space, which is decked out in red velvet.

While President Trump quipped at the Thanksgiving turkey pardon last week that he’s been “very active” in rescinding Obama-era policies, a vestige of the previous administration remains at the White House. A display of presidential holiday cards prominently features the Obama family’s messages through the years, underneath Trump’s 2017 note.

The official White House Christmas tree is in the Blue Room. Measuring more than 18 feet tall, it is adorned with blue and gold ornaments bearing the seals of all U.S. states and territories.

There’s a sweet smell in the air in the Red Room, where a tree decorated with cookie ornaments is surrounded by peppermint candies and other sugary goodies. Two cranberry trees are displayed on nearby tables, in a nod to former first lady Nancy Reagan’s favorite holiday decoration.

The White House gingerbread house is the star in the State Dining Room. While the cookie-filled house is made from 200 pounds of gingerbread dough, 100 pounds of pastillage dough, 20 pounds of chocolate and 20 pounds of royal icing, the White House advises “it is not meant for eating.”

The gingerbread house, according to the White House, highlights Melania’s “vision for classic Christmas décor” and “reflects the southern exterior of the Executive Residence with green wreaths and traditional red bows on every window.”

The White House says it expects more than 25,000 visitors to come through as part of public tours during the month of December.

Tags Christmas Melania Melania Trump White House Christmas tree

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