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Jill Biden Reveals Festive White House Christmas with Crafty Decor and Sweet Treats

The White House is embracing the magic and joy of the holiday season with its enchanting Christmas display, titled “Magic, Wonder, and Joy,” which aims to capture the unbridled excitement of children.

First lady Jill Biden expressed the importance of awakening our senses during this time, from the smell of family recipes to the sight of festive lights and decorations.

A dedicated crew of 300 volunteers, one of the largest numbers in recent years, worked diligently to bring the vision to life. The White House is adorned with 98 Christmas trees adorned with nearly 34,000 ornaments, over 142,000 holiday lights, and nearly 15,000 feet of ribbon.

Credit: DepositPhotos

Despite the grandeur of the decorations and the effort put in by volunteers, the rush to complete everything before the Bidens’ return was evident. Carlos Elizondo, White House social secretary, mentioned that they were scrambling a bit but managed to finish just in time.

The East Colonnade, known for Melania Trump’s famous forest of red topiary trees, now features whimsical depictions of holiday candies and confections hanging from the ceiling. The Library showcases the first lady’s passion for reading, with a cozy brass bed surrounded by stacks of children’s books and celestial decorations.

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A highlight of the decorations is the 2023 White House gingerbread house, which pays tribute to the 200th anniversary of “A Visit From St. Nicholas.” The gingerbread house required extensive work and includes 40 sheets of sugar cookie dough, 40 sheets of gingerbread dough, 90 pounds of pastillage, 30 pounds of chocolate, and 50 pounds of royal icing.

A reproduction of Santa’s sleigh and reindeer hang from the Cross Hall, creating a festive atmosphere. The centerpiece of the display is an impressive 18½-foot Fraser fir in the Blue Room, accompanied by a vintage passenger train circling around it.

The tree is adorned with ornaments representing the 50 states, territories, and the District of Columbia. The East Room features interactive advent calendars that resemble the White House, with each window opening to reveal a surprise.

The first lady and other participants will open the windows each evening, and photos will be shared on social media. The Red Room celebrates crafters and DIY creations, with ornaments made by children from military and veteran families.

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The White House anticipates approximately 100,000 visitors, including guests attending official holiday parties. Past themes have included Jackie Kennedy’s “Nutcracker Suite” in 1961 and Melania Trump’s “America the Beautiful” in 2020.

This year’s display also pays tribute to former first lady Rosalynn Carter, who recently passed away. A special display with her portrait draped in black and arrangements of amaryllis and candles has been set up.

Credit: Carter Center

Rosalynn Carter’s unique style was showcased in her 1978 Victorian Christmas, featuring over 2,500 antique toys. For many of those involved in creating the decorations, the experience is overwhelming and emotional.

The festive music playing in the Grand Foyer before the media preview brought tears to the eyes of volunteers Setteducati and Boza. The White House Christmas display truly captures the spirit and magic of the holiday season.

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