JIM LO SCALZO/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock Holiday Decor at the White House
This year's White House holiday decorations included a personal touch: stockings hung by the chimney with care — one for each of the Biden grandchildren, in a room dedicated to the "gift of family."
First Lady Jill Biden unveiled this year's White House decorations — themed "Gifts From the Heart" — at an event honoring National Guard service members and their families on Monday.
A team of more than 100 volunteers helped deck the halls of the White House for the holidays with 41 Christmas trees and 25 wreaths, 6,000 feet of ribbon, more than 300 candles, 10,000 ornaments and 78,750 lights.
Dr. Biden, 70, touched on the importance of family (a central part of this year's decorations) and shared traditions in prepared remarks Monday.
"We all have our own traditions that make the holidays special — whether it's decorating the tree together or watching your favorite Christmas movie; the annual family photo by the fireplace; or fishing out that faded, butter-stained recipe that takes you right back to baking with your grandma when you were just a kid," Dr. Biden said.
Alex Wong/Getty Images
The first lady added that her own favorite holiday tradition is setting the table, a simple act rooted in memories of her own mother.
"My mom used to put out candles and fresh flowers that she found outside — never store-bought. It made every dinner feel special, especially on holidays," she continued. "We weren't just sharing a meal, we were sharing our lives — we were feeding our spirits. And every year, as I light candles and arrange the flowers just right, I remember her smile in the firelight. I remember how she turned our table into a sacred circle of love, and I hope I can give my family the same feeling."
According to a press pool report, the table settings in The China Room are currently decorated "Nana style," a reference to the candles and flowers of Dr. Biden's youth.
As Dr. Biden explained, each room in the White House tells a story of the overall theme — including the gift of service in the East Room and the gift of learning in the Library.
JIM LO SCALZO/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock The Biden stockings at the White House
The Biden stocking display is hung in the State Dining Room, in which decorations are themed around the gift of family.
The red-and-white knit stockings hanging on the mantle are a tribute to the Biden grandchildren — Naomi, 27, Finnegan, 21, Maisy, 20, Natalie, 17, and Robert Hunter Biden II, 15, and "Baby," meant for one-year-old Beau, who was on hand last week when Dr. Biden received the White House Christmas tree.
ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images
The trees in the State Dining Room are decorated with photos of first families who've lived in the White House throughout history.
"In the State Dining Room, Christmas trees have become photo albums, documenting the families of this home and reminding us of the love that binds all of our families—whether they were born or blended, chosen or discovered," Dr. Biden said in her Monday remarks.
In a letter to welcome visitors to the White House during the holiday season, Dr. Biden and her husband, President Joe Biden, elaborated on the message behind the twinkling lights and colorful ornaments that hang from dozens of trees.
"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," the couple wrote in the visitors' guide. "These are the gifts that tie together the heart strings of our lives. These are the Gifts from the Heart."