24 glittering photos of the White House all decked out for Christmas

24 glittering photos of the White House all decked out for Christmas
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  • Jill Biden
    Jill Biden
    First Lady of the United States
  • Joe Biden
    Joe Biden
    46th and current president of the United States
The Cross Hall of the White House decorated for Christmas.
The White House is decorated for the holiday season.Evan Vucci/AP
  • On Monday, the White House unveiled its 2021 Christmas decorations, themed "Gifts from the Heart."

  • Christmas trees feature photos of past presidential families and letters to President Joe Biden.

  • The gingerbread White House honors frontline workers with gingerbread hospitals and grocery stores.

The theme of this year's White House Christmas decorations, chosen by first lady Dr. Jill Biden, is "Gifts from the Heart."

An archway of red presents at the East Wing entrance, part of the 2021 White House Christmas decorations
The East Wing entrance of the White House.ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images

The theme of the White House Christmas decorations is chosen by the first lady every year.

President Joe Biden and first lady Dr. Jill Biden wrote that "Gifts from the Heart" such as faith, family, friendship, and unity "tie together the heart strings of our lives."

A red ribbon with a tag reading "Gifts from Home" as part of the 2021 White House Christmas decorations.
A large ribbon above the East Wing entrance of the White House.ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images

"The things we hold sacred unite us and transcend distance, time, and even the constraints of a pandemic: faith, family, and friendship; a love of the arts, learning, and nature; gratitude, service, and community; unity and peace. These are the gifts that tie together the heart strings of our lives. These are the Gifts from the Heart," President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden wrote in a welcome letter at the beginning of the commemorative 2021 White House Holiday Guide.

"As we celebrate our first holiday season in the White House, we are inspired by the Americans we have met across the country, time and again reminding us that our differences are precious and our similarities infinite," they wrote.

A White House hallway decorated for Christmas in 2021.
A Marine White House military social aide stands at attention in a hallway of the White House.ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images

The letter continued: "We wish you a happy, healthy, and joyous holiday season. As we look to a new year full of possibility, may gifts from the heart light our path forward."

Over 6,000 feet of ribbon, 300 candles, 10,000 ornaments, and 78,750 holiday lights were used to decorate the White House.

The Marine Band plays holiday music in the White House, decorated for Christmas with trees and stars projected on the ceiling.
Members of the US Marine Band play holiday music.ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images

During the unveiling Monday, the US Marine Band played holiday music as stars were projected on the ceiling.

There are a total of 41 Christmas trees throughout the White House.

The Red Room of the White House decorated for Christmas in 2021.
A Christmas tree in the Red Room.ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images

One of these trees is located in the Red Room.

The official White House Christmas tree sits in the Blue Room.

The Blue Room in the White House decorated for Christmas in 2021.
The official White House Christmas tree in the Blue Room.ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images

The tree is decorated with doves carrying a banner with the names of every US state and territory.

In the East Colonnade, clear blue circles line the windows and glowing stars hang from the ceiling.

Christmas decorations in the White House East Colonnade in 2021.
Decorations in the White House East Colonnade.ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images

The windows look out to the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden.

Cutouts of doves hang amid the window decorations.

Dove cutouts by a window, part of Christmas decorations in the East Colonnade of the White House in 2021.
Doves and shooting stars decorate the East Colonnade of the White House.Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

The doves and shooting stars represent "peace and light brought to us all by the service of frontline workers and first responders during the pandemic," according to the White House Holiday Guide.

The East Landing's Gold Star Tree honors fallen members of the US military.

A Gold Star Christmas tree in the White House honoring fallen soldiers.
The Gold Star Tree honoring fallen members of the US military in the East Landing of the White House.Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

The gold star ornaments feature the names and ranks of the fallen soldiers, as well as their dates of death.

The Library is decorated with butterflies and birds made of recycled newspapers, as well as ribbons reading "Hope," "Kindness," and "Joy."

The White House Library decorated for Christmas in 2021 with ribbons that say "Hope," "Kindness," and "Joy."
Decorations in the White House Library.ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images

The Library decorations are dedicated to educators who "found ways to connect with students in new and innovative ways, pushing through the challenges of the pandemic," according to the White House Holiday Guide.

Paintbrush wreaths in the Vermeil Room "celebrate the Gift of Visual Arts," according to the White House Holiday Guide.

Christmas wreaths with paint brushes in the Vermail Room of the White House.
Paint brushes and swatches decorate the Vermeil Room.Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

The Vermeil Room contains portraits of first ladies Jacqueline Kennedy and Lou Henry Hoover.

A wreath hangs from the back of each chair in the China Room.

The China Room in the White House decorated for Christmas in 2021.
Wreathes on the back of chairs in the China Room.ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images

The China Room displays tableware and china sets used by past presidential families.

Upon closer inspection, the wreaths feature stars comprised of interlocking hands.

White House Christmas wreaths featuring interlocking hands in the shape of stars.
Wreaths of interlocking hands adorn the chairs in the China Room.Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

"This holiday, as you gather hand-in-hand and heart-to-heart around the dinner table, we hope the China Room inspires you to share healing laughs, comforting meals, and warm memories with loved ones, extending the Gift of Friendship and Sharing," the White House Holiday Guide reads.

The China Room table is set with the Obama state china.

The Obama China in the White House China Room as part of 2021 Christmas decorations.
A table set with the Obama china in the China Room.Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

In 2015, former first lady Michelle Obama chose an ocean-inspired "Kailua Blue" color for their state china as a nod to former President Barack Obama's home state of Hawaii.

The East Room decor centers around the theme of gratitude.

Christmas trees in the East Room of the White House in 2021.
Christmas trees in the East Room.ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images

The East Room is the largest room in the White House, often hosting public receptions and ceremonies.

Letters and thank-you notes sent to Biden hang among the ornaments.

Thank you notes on Christmas trees in the White House.
Letters to President Joe Biden decorate a Christmas tree in the East Room.ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images

"Dear President Biden," one letter reads, "I just wanted to let you know that you are in my thoughts and prayers continually."

Notes and drawings from young writers have also been included.

Letters to Joe Biden on a White House Christmas tree.
Letters to President Joe Biden on a Christmas tree in the East Room.ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images

One of the cards features a drawing of Biden ("age 78") alongside an American flag.

Christmas trees in the State Dining Room feature photos of the Bidens, as well as past presidential families.

Photos of the Bidens and Obamas on a Christmas tree at the White House in 2021.
Christmas trees in the State Dining Room.Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

A photo of the Bidens hangs next to one of the Obamas.

Former presidents John F. Kennedy and Franklin D. Roosevelt are pictured with their families.

Photos of the Kennedys and Franklin Roosevelt on a White House Christmas tree in the State Dining Room.
Christmas trees in the State Dining Room decorated with snapshots of US presidents and their families.Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

FDR is pictured holding his grandchildren in the 1930s.

Former President Donald Trump and former first lady Melania Trump are also included in the photo collection.

A photo of the Trumps on a White House Christmas tree in 2021.
A photo of former President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump sits in a Christmas tree in the State Dining Room.Evan Vucci/AP

The Trumps are pictured welcoming the White House Christmas tree.

The main attraction in the State Dining Room is the official 2021 Gingerbread White House, created by White House pastry chef Susan Morrison.

White House Pastry Chef Susan Morrison with the gingerbread White House.
White House Pastry Chef Susan Morrison stands with the official 2021 Gingerbread White House.Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Morrison, who is the first female White House pastry chef, built the gingerbread White House with 55 sheets of baked gingerbread, 120 pounds of pastillage, 35 pounds of chocolate, and 25 pounds of royal icing.

The gingerbread buildings on either side of the White House honor frontline and essential workers.

A gingerbread White House honoring frontline workers.
Gingerbread houses on display.Evan Vucci/AP

The display features a gingerbread hospital, police station, fire station, gas station, school, post office, and grocery store.

On the other side of the State Dining Room, stockings hang from the mantle in between two large Christmas trees.

The White House State Dining Room decorated for Christmas in 2021.
Christmas trees in the State Dining Room.ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images

An engraving in the mantle reads, "I Pray Heaven To Bestow The Best of Blessings Upon This House…."

Finally, the Grand Foyer and the Cross Hall decorations center around the "Gift of Faith and Community."

Christmas decorations in the Cross Hall of the White House in 2021.
The Cross Hall of the White House.ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images

"The hallway alcoves and tree displays depict wintry scenes of life within our towns and cities, reflecting the solace of faith, the lasting bonds of community, and the perseverance of the American spirit," the White House Holiday Guide reads.

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