If you were expecting 65,000 visitors for the holidays, how would you get ready? The White House marks the season with an extravagant display for the thousands who tour it during December. The place also known as “The People’s House” puts on a good show for its guests.
The theme of this year’s White House decorations is “A Children’s Winter Wonderland,” and it reflects a child’s sense of wonder with displays both traditional and cutting-edge.
Twenty-six Christmas trees illuminate the White House tour, most notably the 5.5-meter official tree, which honors the service of U.S. troops, veterans and military families. Among the decorations hanging from their boughs are the winning entries in the 3D Printed Ornament Challenge the White House announced in October. The contest invited young makers and innovators to use the latest printing technology to spruce up the Obamas’ home for the season.
Along with the traditional decorations in the East Garden Room this year, an interactive installation integrates visitors’ movements into a projected snowscape. Bo and Sunny, the Obama dogs, get in on the fun, represented by animated replicas made of black and white satin ribbon.
Along with all the new technology, the White House still makes room for a traditional holiday gingerbread house — that is, if you consider a 190-kilogram rendering of the White House with a skating rink and 18 kilograms of marzipan traditional.
“It’s our favorite time of year,” said first lady Michelle Obama, previewing the decorations for a group of military families on December 2.
Those who can’t make the tour in person can nurture their holiday spirit with the White House holiday quiz. You can also download a holiday tour book, a gingerbread recipe from the White House kitchen, and Sunny and Bo-themed gift-wrap patterns.