15 details you may have missed in the White House Christmas decorations

15 details you may have missed in the White House Christmas decorations
The White House decorated for Christmas
The White House Christmas decorations, themed "We the People," contain hidden details.Patrick Semansky/AP
  • On Monday, the White House unveiled its 2022 Christmas decorations, themed "We the People."

  • Models of White House pets Willow and Commander make a few cameos in the decor.

  • The decorations also feature tributes to fallen soldiers and lost loved ones.

The Gold Star trees in the East Landing honor fallen members of the US military with ornaments recognizing their names, ranks, and dates of death.

Gold star ornaments on a White House Christmas tree
The Gold Star trees honoring fallen members of the US military.JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

The Gold Star trees are the first Christmas trees visitors see when they enter the White House.

The beams and columns of the East Wing lobby are lined with greenery and red cardinals, which are thought to signify the presence of lost loved ones.

Red cardinal decorations at the White House
Red cardinal holiday decorations at the White House.Patrick Semansky/AP

The cardinals, also featured in the Blue Room, continue the "We the People" theme of honoring the impact of those who came before.

Bells hung along the entry way of the East Wing represent the "unifying and healing power of music" as they welcome guests with "melody and song."

Trumpets and ribbons hang as part of the White House Christmas decorations in 2022
Bells hanging in the White House as part of the 2022 Christmas decorations.JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

Bells also hang in the windows of the Green Room of the White House.

"We may sing different songs or say different prayers, but our shared American values endure season after season," the first lady said in a speech while unveiling the decorations on Monday. "May the promise of we the people light our path forward into the new year and bring us together always."

Biden family Christmas cards are displayed in the Booksellers Hallway.

Biden family Christmas cards on display at the White House
Biden family Christmas cards hang among holiday decorations at the White House.Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

The Bidens have three children and six grandchildren.

Depictions of White House pets Willow and Commander keep watch in the East Colonnade.

Depictions of White House pets Willow and Commander in the East Colonnade.
Depictions of Commander, left, and Willow, the Biden family's dog and cat, in the East Colonnade Christmas decorations at the White House.Patrick Semansky/AP

The Bidens welcomed Commander, a German shepherd puppy, in December 2021, and Willow, a tabby cat, in January.

The White House pets show up again in gift boxes in the Vermeil Room.

White House pets Willow and Commander featured in the 2022 White House Christmas decorations
White House pets Willow the cat and Commander the dog depicted in the White House Christmas decorations.Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Willow and Commander are depicted sitting in gift boxes from Operation Gratitude, a non-profit organization that delivers care packages to deployed troops, first responders, and military families.

Their likenesses pop up once more in the State Dining Room.

Depictions of Willow and Commander in the State Dining Room.
Christmas decorations in the State Dining Room of the White House.Alex Wong/Getty Images

Models of Willow and Commander are seated amid piles of books by the fireplace.

Biden family stockings hang from a mantel in the State Dining Room — including one for Naomi Biden's new husband, Peter Neal.

Biden family stockings hang at the White House
Biden family stockings hang from the mantel among Christmas decorations on the theme "We the People" in the State Dining Room.Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

The Bidens' granddaughter Naomi married Neal at the White House on November 19.

Decorations around the White House also honor America's treasures like the National Parks.

Decorations in the halls of the White House show wildlife during the winter's first snowfall.
Decorations in the halls of the White House show wildlife, like owls, during the winter's first snowfall.REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

In the East Room, every National Park is represented along with depictions of winter wildlife during the first woodland snowfall line the halls of the East Colonnade resembling the "communion we find in nature," the first lady said in her speech Monday.

Ornaments on Christmas trees in the State Dining Room were designed by students of the 2021 Teachers of the Year from across the US.

Christmas ornaments at the White House designed by students
Ornaments in the State Dining Room of the White House.Patrick Semansky/AP

The White House had students contribute self-portraits to ensure "that children see themselves in this year's holiday display," according to the official White House website.

In keeping with the "We the People" theme, the gingerbread White House also features a gingerbread model of Independence Hall.

A gingerbread White House and Independence Hall
A sugar cookie replica of Independence Hall and a gingerbread replica of the White House on display in the State Dining Room.Patrick Semansky/AP

Located in the State Dining Room, the gingerbread White House took 20 sheets of sugar cookie dough, 30 sheets of gingerbread dough, 30 pounds of chocolate, and 40 pounds of royal icing to construct.

The White House Christmas Tree features handmade ornaments depicting the official bird of every US state and territory.

Ornaments on the official White House Christmas tree in 2022
Ornaments on the official White House Christmas Tree in the Blue Room of the White House.Alex Wong/Getty Images

This year's official White House Christmas tree, a Concolor Fir standing at 18.5 feet tall, was grown in Auburn, Pennsylvania.

Trees in the China Room are decorated with handwritten recipe cards.

Recipe cards as part of the 2022 White House Christmas decorations
Recipe cards decorate a Christmas tree in the China Room of the White House.Alex Wong/Getty Images

The recipes were contributed by the 150 volunteers who helped decorate the White House for the holidays.

For the first time, the White House's Christmas display also includes a menorah in recognition of Hanukkah, located in the Cross Hall.

A menorah on display at the White House
A menorah in the Cross Hall of the White House.Patrick Semansky/AP

The menorah was built by White House carpenters using leftover wood from a Truman-era White House renovation circa 1950.

Quotes from the preamble of the US Constitution appear on ornaments in the Cross Hall.

Ornaments on a White House Christmas tree reading "We the people"
Christmas decorations on the theme "We the People" at the White House.Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

"Throughout these halls from the shining bells to mirrored ornaments in the Grand Foyer behind me you will see your your own reflection and a reminder that our request to see yourself in this house and we are grateful to be able to welcome Americans home," Biden said in her speech.

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