MAGIC, WONDER & JOY at The White House

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I was in our nation’s capital on business last week when Joseph A. Farsakh, who serves as an Administration political appointee, invited Emily Glassman, Patrick Mancino and me to join him as his guests to tour The White House. We met at The White House check point.

We entered the East Wing under the festive branches of an enchanting Christmas tree. The decor summons your childhood’s first experiences of this holiday lying under the Christmas tree and gazing up at its decor.

The East Wing was expanded to its current form in 1942, and includes the Office of the First Lady. Outside the windows of the East Colonnade is the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, which was dedicated by First Lady Lady Bird Johnson in 1965.

The entry hallway that is now seen on all over social media.

Holiday candy and sweet treats of the season float overhead in both the East Wing Lobby and East Colonnade.

The first Christmas tree featured inside the White House is adorned with wooden Gold Star ornaments engraved with the names of the fallen service members.

The Gold Star tree honors the heroic men and women of our Nation’s military who gave their lives for our country, including those Missing in Action, and the families who carry their legacies.

The marble arches in the Ground Floor Corridor are sprinkled with holiday messages sent from Americans across the country to the President and First Lady. Letters to Santa Claus are magically flying in and out of vintage mail boxes, ready to be sent to the North Pole with a stamp and a wish.

An engraving on the mantel in the State Dining Room reads, “I Pray Heaven To Bestow The Best of Blessings On This House….” These words were taken from a letter written by President John Adams to his wife, Abigail, dated November 2, 1800. Those same words are now known as The White House Blessing.

Patrick Mancino, Paige Peterson, Emily Glassman, and Joseph A. Farsakh entering the East Wing of the White House.

The 2023 White House holiday theme is inspired by how children experience this festive season: present in the beauty and bounty around them, with hearts open to the “Magic, Wonder, and Joy” of the holidays.

2023 White House Holiday facts and figures …

• Approximately 14,975 feet of ribbon, over 350 candles, over 33,892 ornaments, and over 22,100 bells were used this to decorate the White House.

• There are 98 Christmas trees throughout the White House complex.

• The Gingerhouse White House creation includes 40 sheets of sugar dough, 90 pounds of pastillage, 30 pounds of chocolate, and 50 pounds of royal icing.

• Over 142,425 holiday lights decorate the trees, garlands, wreaths, and displays in the White House.

• Seventy-two classic wreathes adorn the north and south facades of the White House.

• It takes more than 300 dedicated volunteers from across the country working a full week to decorate the inside and outside of the White House.

The Blue Room showcases the official White House Christmas Tree. This year’s tree is an 18½ foot Fraser Fir from Fleetwood, North Carolina and stands floor to ceiling, filling the oval room. Every year, the Blue Room’s chandelier is removed to accommodate the Christmas tree’s full height.

In the Green Room, glowing candles and shimmering stained glass symbolize the peace, strength, and joy we find in faith.

Embodying the “Magic, Wonder, and Joy” of the holidays is Santa’s Workshop in the State Dining Room.

The decor of the Red Room represents the joy of making holiday crafts together.

The Library honors the tradition and magic of bedtime stories during the holiday season.

Favorite flavors and scents of the season are featured in the China Room.

Closing out the 2023 White House holiday display is an incredible, eye-catching recreation of ’Twas the Night Before Christmas in the Grand Foyer.

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