First lady Jill Biden chooses 'We the People' as theme for White House holiday decorations
By Kate Bennett, CNN
(CNN) -- First lady Jill Biden has chosen "We the People" as the theme for the seasonal White House holiday decorations, according to a release from the East Wing.
"As our country gathers for the holidays, traditions may vary, but our shared American values -- a belief in possibility, optimism, and unity -- endure season after season," President Joe Biden and Jill Biden wrote in a welcome letter in the White House holiday guide.
Jill Biden selected the theme several months ago, according to the release, and over the long Thanksgiving holiday, more than 150 volunteers descended on the White House to decorate the public rooms. Biden will officially unveil the holiday decorations and make remarks on Monday alongside leadership of the National Guard and their families.
Each of the rooms has its own theme within the theme. The East Room, for example, is centered around nature and recreation, and includes representations of four national parks. The Blue Room, which houses the official White House Christmas tree -- an 18.5-foot Concolor fir from Auburn, Pennsylvania -- includes handmade renderings of the official state and territory birds. The Red Room is the "Faith & Light" room with "towers of candles" and, as has been the tradition since 1975, fresh cranberries as part of the décor. The room also includes orchids, Jill Biden's favorite flower.
Again this year, Biden family members' stockings will hang from the fireplace mantel in the State Dining Room, each with an orange in the toe, which is a tradition from the first lady's grandmother.
There are 77 Christmas trees throughout the White House with over 83,615 holiday lights that decorate the trees, garlands, wreaths and displays. Twenty-five classic wreaths adorn the north and south facades of the White House.
The annual White House gingerbread house includes 20 sheets of sugar cookie dough, 30 sheets of gingerbread dough, 100 pounds of pastillage, 30 pounds of chocolate and 40 pounds of royal icing.
This year, a menorah created by the Executive Residence Carpentry Shop is being added to the holiday decorations. The menorah was constructed using wood removed from the White House in the 1950s during the Truman renovation.
The White House expects to welcome approximately 50,000 visitors this holiday season.
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