The White House is paying tribute to the spirit of America and its everyday heroes in this year’s Christmas decorations, which were unveiled on Monday by first lady Melania Trump.
“I am excited to announce this year’s White House holiday theme, ‘America the Beautiful,’” she said, according to a White House statement.
“Over the past four years I have had the honor to travel to some of our nation’s most beautiful landmarks and meet some of the most compassionate and patriotic American citizens. From coast to coast, the bond that all Americans share is an appreciation for our traditions, values, and history, which were the inspiration behind the decorations this year,” she said.
“Thank you to all of the staff and volunteers who worked to make sure the People’s House was ready for the holiday season. Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.”
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) November 30, 2020
During this special time of the year, I am delighted to share “America the Beautiful” and pay tribute to the majesty of our great Nation. Together, we celebrate this land we are all proud to call home. #WHChristmas pic.twitter.com/fdZmB3rdXL
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) November 30, 2020
The East Wing of the White House features the Gold Star Family Tree.
“Draped in blue, the color of perseverance and justice, it pays tribute to our American heroes and their families who walk beside them in service. This year, families who decorated the tree placed the name of their fallen family member on ribbon that will adorn the tree,” the White House statement said.
Along the East Colonnade, the White House included a piece of each state and territory with urns holding foliage representing all of the nation’s official trees.
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The White House library honors the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment and displays winning pieces of artwork submitted to the first lady’s 19th Amendment child art competition.
“The East Room trees are hung with classic American vehicles, such as the Ford pickup truck, the Jeep, and the CAT dump truck,” wrote Amber Athey for The Spectator.
The White House statement noted that transportation and the East Room have been connected for more than a century.
“In a 1909 ceremony in this room, President William Taft recognized Wilbur and Orville Wright for their unprecedented achievements in aerodynamics. As a country, we proudly commend those who embrace the power of possibility, fueling the next chapter of our history at sea, on land, in skies, and beyond,” the statement said.
“The real showstopper is the over-18-foot-tall official Christmas tree in the Blue Room. It is massive,” Athey wrote.
The tree is decorated in children’s art.
“Students across the country were asked to artistically depict what makes their state beautiful by highlighting the people, places, and things that capture the spirit of the state in which they call home. Glistening on the branches, their mini masterpieces collectively showcase America, the beautiful,” the White House statement said.
“The gleaming tree, bedecked with rays of yellow and gold, unites us in our common goal of building a brighter future for America’s children, aligning closely with First Lady Melania Trump’s ‘Be Best’ initiative which focuses on giving all children the best opportunity to succeed in life.”
In this time of COVID-19, it would be hard to avoid a mention of the impact of the pandemic on the nation.
The White House decorations in the Red Room “salute America’s everyday heroes who serve as first responders and frontline workers. Handmade ornaments highlight the many professionals and volunteers who serve their communities with a spirit of generosity.”
Athey noted that the final part of the media tour of the decorations was one of its best moments.
“On the way out of the White House, visitors are greeted by the Marine band responsible for the lovely Christmas carols that floated down the halls during the tour. It’s hard not to feel touched by the Christmas spirit after such a display,” she wrote.