White House Christmas decorations include a quiet tribute

Decorated mantel topped with small replicas of buildings (White House/Andrea Hanks)
The mantel of the Red Room of the White House is decorated for the Christmas season in honor of America's first responders. (White House/Andrea Hanks)

Holiday greenery, colorfully trimmed trees and vignettes representing diverse American landscapes greet visitors to the White House this month. Recently unveiled by first lady Melania Trump, the decorations represent “America the Beautiful” and pay tribute to the country’s natural wonders.

But the Red Room offers a striking departure from the theme in its salute to the courage of first responders and frontline workers. A Christmas tree in that room displays handmade ornaments in shapes such as a mini-hospital, a tiny garbage truck, a nurse’s hat and a lab coat. And the room’s mantelpiece features a striking scene with a hospital, firehouse and other buildings associated with the first responders to the coronavirus crisis.

“Our nation’s heroes are embedded in our hearts, and they are truly what makes America beautiful,” the first lady said via Twitter.