Trump’s first White House Christmas includes annual Nativity scene

Camille Fine

First lady Melania Trump is set to unveil the White House’s holiday decor on Monday, marking the Trump family’s first Christmas in the White House.

The first lady received a tree on Monday along with first son Barron Trump, and has shared several sneak peeks of the Christmas decor on social media. One key element that has yet to be revealed is a Nativity scene, the White House confirmed on Saturday.

Here’s a look at what this holiday season involves at the White House:

50th anniversary of Nativity scene display

The first lady’s office confirmed to The Hill that the White House will display a Nativity scene honoring the birth of Jesus Christ.


Rumors have circulated online that the scene was not displayed during the Obama administration. Snopes debunked this claim, however, citing a photo of the Nativity scene on display in the White House’s East Room in 2016 during the Obama administration. 

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the scene’s display at the White House.

First lady adds her own touch on the decorations

The first lady welcomed this year’s official White House Christmas tree on Monday, a 19-and-a-half-foot Balsam fir from Wisconsin.

The Chapman family, who also presented the White House Christmas tree in 1998 and 2003, presented this year’s tree.

The family was chosen as part of the 2017 national tree contest, hosted by the National Christmas Tree Association.

Trump continued the 51-year-old tradition of welcoming the tree, which was pulled up by a horse-drawn carriage to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

The tree will be decorated and displayed in the Blue Room.

Trump tweeted several photos of the White House before she left for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Seasonally themed tour

The Trump White House will continue the tradition of showcasing its holiday decor in tours to the public.

Volunteers from across the country have been helping to decorate since Nov. 20 in preparation for the tours, according to the White House website.

White House tours were not conducted during the transition period, however, they resumed after a nearly seven-week absence in March.

President Trump surprised the first tour group with an appearance in March.

Christmas booklet

The first lady last week tweeted a picture of what appears to be this year’s White House Christmas booklet.

The booklet is handed out to visitors and guests at the White House during the holiday season. 

National Tree Lighting

The first family will participate in the National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony in front of the White House on Nov. 30.

Performers, including Kathie Lee Gifford, Dean Cain, Craig Campbell and the U.S. Navy Band, will take part in the event, according the event’s website.

This year marks the ceremony’s 95th anniversary, which first took place during President Coolidge’s administration.

Christmas Ornament

The White House Historical Association released their 2017 ornament earlier this month, commemorating President Franklin Roosevelt. 

The ornament includes a silhouette of a radio, representing Roosevelt’s legendary fireside chats, as well as Scottish terrier Fala.

The four stars at the top of ornament represent Roosevelt’s four terms in office.

The White House Historical Association, which is a private, nonprofit organization, released its first ornament in 1981, according to the National Parks Foundation.

Former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy founded the organization in 1961.

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