The White House Decks the Halls


Photo via ABC News

During the holiday season, homes across the country are decorated with lights and trees, and the White House is no exception. The 2022 decor at the executive mansion is unsurprisingly stunning.

Each year the White House decorators select a theme. This year is ‘We the People’ and it focuses on unity and togetherness. President Biden and his wife stated “As our country gathers for the holidays, traditions may vary, but our shared American values — a belief in possibility, optimism, and unity — endure season after season.” ‘We the People” recognizes the impact that people who came before us had. Every room and design element in the White House holiday decor represents something that brings Americans together during the holidays and beyond.

The doors to the East Wing display this years holiday decor theme; “We the People” (photo via The White House)

The East Wing represents honor and remembrance. The entrance is adorned with bells to symbolize the power music has to heal and unify. The east wing lobby contains red cardinals which signify loved ones who have been lost. The State Dining Room represents the next generation of Americans, the children. The tree in the room is decorated with self-portraits by students of the 2021 Teachers of the Year, “ensuring that children see themselves” in the White House decor. On trees called the “Gold Star Trees” gold star ornaments bear the names of fallen service men and women. The White House stated in regard to these “The Gold Star trees honor the heroic men and women of our Nation’s military who have laid down their lives for our country, those who are Missing in Action, and the families who carry on their legacies.”The East Room of the Presidential Mansion is set to display “the communion we find in nature” the White House said. As part of the fireplace displays in the room four of the United States most iconic national parks are represented; The Grand Canyon, The Great Smoky Mountains, Shenandoah and Yellowstone.

Another key to the American identity is music. The Green Room represents how music brings people together and has a healing power. It is decorated with sleigh bells, hand bells and jingle bells to represent the sounds of the season. The Red Room is lit with towers of candles and stained glass windows to show how faith can bring peace and comfort in times of grief and joy. A White House tradition is to have cranberries featured in the decor of the Red Room and this year the First Lady has added orchids to the decoration.

The official White House Christmas tree is a Concolor fir from Auburn, Pennsylvania stands at 18.5 feet tall. The tree is decorated to represent unity and home with handmade ornaments of the official birds from each territory, state including the District of Columbia.

The iconic and classic White House gingerbread house is accompanied this year by a sugar cookie replica of Independence Hall (photo via The White House)

Another iconic part of the White House holiday decor is the giant replica gingerbread house. This year the 300 pound creation is joined by a sugar cookie replica of Philadelphia’s Independence Hall where both the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence were signed, going along with this year’s theme of “We the People.” In order to construct these masterpieces it took 20 sheets of sugar cookie dough, 30 sheets of gingerbread dough, 30 pounds of chocolate and 40 pounds of royal icing.



A new addition to the executive mansion’s holiday decor is a menorah, which will be lit nightly during the eight-day Jewish festival of Hanukkah. The menorah was constructed by White House carpenters out of wood saved from the Truman-era renovation with eight silver candle cups.

For the first time a menorah finds a place in the White House Holiday Decor (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

The decorations include more than 83,000 twinkling lights on trees, garlands, wreaths and other displays, 77 Christmas trees and 25 wreaths on the White House exterior. There were also 12,000 ornaments, just under 15,000 feet of ribbon and more than 1,600 bells used.

It took 150 volunteers to decorate the home over Thanksgiving weekend. The First Lady and her team included some Do-It-Yourself projects in the decor in hopes that people would try them out in their own homes. For example, plastic cups turned into bells and tabletop trees made out of styrofoam. It is expected that almost 50,000 visitors, including tourists and guests will get to enjoy this holiday cheer.