Jill Biden unveils White House Christmas decorations

'We the People' is theme behind winter holiday decor inside and outside White House

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US President Joe Biden's wife Jill on Monday welcomed visitors to see this year's White House Christmas decorations, with references to the nation's founding documents as inspiration.

“We the People” is the Biden holiday theme, with White House decorations designed for “the people” to see themselves in the tree ornaments, mantel displays and mirrors.

“The soul of our nation is, and has always been, ‘We the People,’” Ms Biden said at a White House event honouring the volunteers who decorated over Thanksgiving weekend.

“And that is what inspired this year’s White House holiday decorations.”

The East Colonnade depicts winter trees, woodland animals and glowing lanterns. EPA

More than 150 volunteers began decorating the interior and the exterior of the White House last week and continued through the Thanksgiving holiday.

“The values that unite us can be found all around you; a belief in possibility and optimism and unity,” Ms Biden said.

“Room by room, we represent what brings us together during the holidays and throughout the year.”

Public rooms are dedicated to unifying forces: honouring and remembering deceased loved ones, words and stories, kindness and gratitude, food and traditions, nature and recreation, songs and sounds, unity and hope, faith and light, and children.

US first lady Jill Biden hosts White House Christmas festivities - in pictures

The decorations include more than 83,000 sparkling lights on trees, wreaths and other displays, 77 Christmas trees and 25 wreaths on the exterior.

The National Christmas Tree lighting will take place on Wednesday evening.

This holiday season the White House expects 50,000 visitors, including tourists and invited guests for different receptions.

Among them will be French President Emmanuel Macron, who is scheduled to meet Mr Biden on Thursday and be honoured that evening at a White House state dinner, the first of the Biden administration.

Likenesses of the Biden family pets — Commander the dog and Willow the cat — first appear at the end of the hallway before they are seen later in the Vermeil Room, which celebrates kindness and gratitude, and the State Dining Room, which highlights children.

The Biden family stockings hang from the State Dining Room fireplace mantel.

Aides say Ms Biden was inspired by people she met while travelling around the country and by the nation’s founding documents, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

The gingerbread White House was made using 20 sheets of sugar cookie dough, 30 sheets of gingerbread dough, 45kg of pastillage, 14kg of chocolate and 18kg of icing.

The holiday guide book visitors will receive was designed this year by Las Vegas-based Daria Peoples.

Ms Peoples is a former elementary school teacher who has written and illustrated picture books to support children of colour, including those who have experienced race-based trauma.

Later in the day, Ms Biden hosted the children of the National Guard for a forum giving the kids the opportunity to tell their unique stories.

"Your parents have to be ready to support those missions at a moment’s notice," Ms Biden said.

"So, you know what it’s like to have your family’s life put on hold, every time they are called to duty. And you do it with humility and honour."

AP contributed to this report

Updated: November 29, 2022, 4:22 PM
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