Spreading Holiday Cheer at the White House

I’m ever so fortunate to have friends who think of me as appropriate date material for functions. I was the +1 for such an occasion at the White House to celebrate the holidays last week and it was a great time to see friends and of course, to be a guest of the President of the United States and the First Lady. No matter how many years I’ve worked and lived in DC, it really doesn’t get old 🙂 Just think about all the people who have walked through these same hallways and rooms! So get ready to see a lot of photos!

Every year the White House has a theme for its decorations and this year it was a Children’s Winter Wonderland.

The East Visitor Entrance is decorated to honor America’s troops, those who currently serve and those who have retired along with those who have fallen during service. It’s also a place where the families of those who have served are honored as well.

Patriotic tree

As you walk past the entrance you’ll encounter the hallway that runs along the path of the Rose Garden.

Wreaths in hallway

Topiary

Rose garden Doorway garlandAs you enter into the East Garden room, a choir welcomes you to the festivities along with replicas of the First Family’s furiends, Bo and Sunny.

Choir

Sunny and bo

This lovely tree is decorated with scrolls from students around the country who have committed themselves to reach for higher education. This initiative supported by the First Lady is to encourage students to further their education beyond high school (www.ReachHigher.gov).

Close up tree decoration

You next enter the hallway that contains all of the smaller rooms, which is generally viewed only from the hallway.

Hallway trees

The White House Library contains more than 2,700 books, mainly about America’s history and stories about America’s leaders. I particularly liked the hand painted globes.

Globes p2 Globes

My most favorite decoration were the evergreen “skirts” and the necklaces in the Vermeil Room. So beautiful!

Garland dress p2 Garland dress p4 Garland dress necklace Garland dress close up

I had the most fun looking inside the China Room. This space was formerly used as a cloakroom and living quarters for White House employees. It now displays the china services used by previous First Families. I particularly liked the china from Presidents Lincoln and Hayes.

Hayes china p2 Hayes china Lincoln China

 

China room tree

sirat alissa irene p2

Then you head upstairs and the Marine Corps band is playing festive music to welcome you to the rooms most commonly seen on tv.

Presidential seal Clinton

No sneaking upstairs! Those lead to the private residence!

Residence

For nearly the past 50 years, the East Room has displayed the White House creche (it has 44 figurines!). Did you know that an alligator once stayed in the East Room?? (courtesy of President John Quincy Adams).

Crèche Reindeer

photo credit: Sirat Attapit
photo credit: Sirat Attapit

The White House had a lovely buffet for its guests that included carving stations, desserts and plentiful champagne and spiked egg nog (which was extremely delicious!).

Buffet p2 Buffet Dessert display Napkins Yule log

Photo credit: Sirat Attapit
Photo credit: Sirat Attapit

I may or may not have parked myself at this part of the buffet with the stone crabs.

Stone crabs

Charcuterie

This beauty of a tree stands 18 feet tall and is a Concolor Fir from Leighton, Pennsylvania and it has close to 2,000 different ornaments to honor American service members.

Big tree

The State Dining Room has the beautiful gingerbread house of the White House displayed. It was made with 300 pounds of sugar!!

WH close up WH w blair

Train under the tree Decorations in the tree

Blue room tree

sirat moh p2

Flowers

If you ever watch Scandal, you’ll know a similar setting with Mellie aka Scandal’s First Lady eating fried chicken. I was tempted to recreate the scene but thought better of it 🙂

Nellie momentDeparting the White House

Portico

The White House certainly knows how to make merry! Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season!

 

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