“This year’s theme is ‘Joy to All.’ It celebrates the many joys of the holiday seasons: the joy of giving and service to others; the joy of sharing our blessings with one another; and, of course, the joy of welcoming our friends and families as guests into our homes over these next several weeks.”
-First Lady Michelle Obama, November 28, 2012
The tradition of selecting an official holiday theme for the White House began with First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, and all subsequent First Ladies have created their own special themes. This year, Mrs. Obama is honoring the tradition with four trees in the Grand Foyer. The trees hold collections of iconic ornaments that represent the legacies of former First Ladies, beginning with Mrs. Kennedy. Midway down the special holiday page is a photo slideshow giving glimpses of each of these special trees. Mrs. Obama’s 2012 theme pays tribute to our Armed Forces and their families.
Highlights of the White House Christmas:
- The East Landing Christmas tree is one that honors men and women in uniform. It is decorated with special Gold Star ornaments that bear the names of some of our greatest heroes – those who gave their lives for their country. Gold Star families are invited to decorate their own ornament to add to the tree.
- The Blue Room tree is a “Joining Forces” tree covered with hand-decorated ornaments made by military children living on US Military bases around the world.
- Stunning tour books and a fun, interactive bookmarks are available for download.
- Instructions for recreating White House Traditions at home, including a snow globe, terrarium, star ball, beaded star, flag wreath,and the traditional White House Ginger Crinkles.
My favorite: The 2012 Gingerbread White House Christmas time-lapse video.
An important part of the 2012 White House Christmas decor features a 300 pound representation of the White House made entirely from edible treats. The Gingerbread Dough White House, built by Pastry Chef Bill Yosses and his team, took months of planning, baking, building and decorating. It’s fascinating to watch the work in progress in time-lapse!
The White House staff and the First Family did a beautiful job of providing us a glimpse of the magical world of a White House Christmas. Wonder if Chef Yosses’s team does any side work? I’d like a gingerbread house like that next year.
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