The White House – Holiday Scene

The White House is decorated to the hilt, with thousands of hours all year, from volunteers to plan and accomplish the task. Apart from the National Menorah and the National Christmas Tree, which are on the Presidential Ellipse, at their appropriate times in December, there are 19 trees inside The White House and 2 more at the entrance on Pennsylvania Avenue.

Each tree has a theme and is coordinated with the room it is in. Long galleries, like the East Colonnade are decorated with decoratively enhanced evergreen garlands or wreaths or both.

The focal trees are usually the main pair in the East Room (the mansion’s largest room) and the singular tree in the classically beautiful Blue Room.

This year the Blue Room tree has a graceful circular presentation with 150 ornaments made by Savannah College of Arts and Crafts, with at least one representing every state and other sub-themes. This is the room which holds the “White House Christmas Tree“, which is delivered to the front portico every year by horse-drawn wagon, the day after Thanksgiving. This year’s 18.5 foot tree came from the same family in Lehighton, PA as did the tree in 2006 — a life-long dream for the father, Francis Botek, now repeated quickly by the son, Christopher Botek. The tree was too tall to have any topper except a fan of wheat sheaths, as it already touches the medallion on the ceiling.

The Green Room has decorations from reuse-recycle theme and it shows how beauty can be resurrected from common things. About 2,500 pounds of recycled paper made many of the recycled decorations in The White House this year. All of this is very appropriate for Mrs. Obama chosen theme “Simple Gifts“, this year.

The Red Room is ablaze with a riot of every shade of red! And, strangely enough, red is the only color which complements itself and looks wonderful with itself in every hue. When visiting The White House, I always felt it was such a bold choice and yet it has been done in such great taste and it is a truly memorable space.

The main pair of beautiful trees in the East Room are topped with amazing, natural-crafted birds from Spring Lake, Michigan artist James Lutke, who gathered the materials from the forests, gardens and byways of his home and transferred them into heirloom pieces to be treasured. The trees flank the impressive mirror centered on one wall and draped with an amazing, crafted garland.

Lutke’s 3 – 5 foot long birds are several peacocks and a dove. Six top trees in the huge East Room; the dove tops the Military Appreciation Tree and what may have been an eagle was given to the Obama’s for their own family tree upstairs. Another Lutke bird is in the White House Visitor Center.

The East Room is where the classic gingerbread house is displayed. For awhile it has been a model of The White House, itself. This year, White House pastry chefs Chris Phillips and Bill Yosses outdid themselves. The house weighs an estimated 450 pounds! That’s 150# more than last year, and this time they opened the front wall to display the two end rooms, in miniature and with electrification!

The chefs had to figure out how to electrify it without the white chocolate coating melting!

It has LED lights, just like the National Christmas Tree, outside, does. It took about 7 people to move the House up the staff elevator and through the halls.

If the President and family are not in residence, they may run more tours, so stay informed.

The White House accepts about 100,000 visitors each year. More on that tomorrow.

Read more about 2010 White House at: 2010 White House Holiday Decorations with room descriptions, recipes, history and more.

James Lutke – White House artist

Washington, DC Travel – Archived Articles

©2010 mystic at Travel Vacation Review

Leave a Reply