WASHINGTON — There are few things quite like the White House at Christmastime.
First lady Jill Biden picked the holiday décor theme, “We The People.”
“I chose the theme because I traveled so much this past year all over the United States,” said the first lady. “I met so many people, teachers and nurses and military families.”
For the Gold Star families, three trees grace the entrance, bearing the names of loved ones who made the ultimate sacrifice.
In the State Dining Room, Dr. Biden, who still teaches at a local community college, commissioned handmade, hand-drawn ornaments from school kids.
“I’m a teacher, so I try to celebrate teachers,” she said. “I contacted all of the Teachers of the Year and asked their students to do self-portraits.”
Dr. Biden wanted to make sure that all people feel reflected in the White House.
“You probably noticed a lot of mirrors in the decorations,” she explained. “I wanted people to see themselves at The People’s House.”
Because it’s also their house at the moment, the Bidens brought their own personal touches to add to the décor.
There’s a family recipe hanging for the first lady’s Italian pizzelle cookies, and oranges in the family stockings.
It’s a tradition she carries on from her Italian grandmother.
“We still do the same thing,” she said. “The orange in the toe.”
There are touches of Dr. Biden’s own home in every sparkly corner of her current one, from a concolor fir from Pennsylvania to a sugar cookie replica of Independence Hall.
“I love that since I’m from Philly, I have a piece of my hometown here with me at the White House.”
The first lady is also a huge fan of West Philadelphia’s Quinta Brunson’s hit ABC show “Abbott Elementary.”
“We love the spotlight on teachers,” she says.
The first pets are also prominently featured in the festive décor. And while visitors can tour all 77 sparkly trees, there’s a special family one you won’t see.
“I brought a lot of decorations from home,” she said. “We do our little Christmas tree upstairs and Joe loves the flocking on the tree. He mixes it himself so that everything looks like it snowed on Christmas morning.”
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