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Melania Trump

We got a sneak preview of Christmas at the Trump White House


Updated November 27, 2017 11:41 AM EST

First Lady Melania Trump opened up the White House for the holiday season on Monday, and we got a sneak peak of this year's decor.

This year's theme is "Time-Honored Traditions." It reflects Mrs. Trump's vision for a classic, traditional Christmas decor. The entire house mirrored something out of Charles Dickens' holiday favorite, "A Christmas Carol." In fact, a huge copy of the text was on display in the White House Library Room.

Christmas at the White House is a grand affair. Each year, volunteers from across the country help bring some holiday cheer to the famous home. This year, more than 150 volunteers helped decorate for more than 1,600 hours combined.

Adorning the house's rooms and walkways are 53 trees, more than 1,000 feet of garland, 18,000 feet of lights and more than 12,000 ornaments. Naturally, holiday treats are also on display, including 31,000 cookies, 2,000 Pecan butterballs and 2,000 walnut thumbprints. This year's gingerbread house is comprised of 200 pounds of dough, 20 pounds of chocolate and a whopping 20 pounds of icing.

While the entire White House looks magnificent, this year's tree rightfully takes center stage. The eighteen and a half foot fir hails from Wisconsin and is adorned with ornaments featuring the seal of each state and territory.

Christmas at the White House has a history spanning back to 1800, when President and Mrs. Adams hosted a party for their four-year-old granddaughter and other children around Washington. While these events started as quaint family affairs in the 19th century, they became more elaborate as time went on. As mass communication continued to grow, so too did the White House's Christmas events. In 1961, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy started the tradition of giving the tree a theme, at that time, the Nutcracker Ballet.

Another important White House holiday tradition is the annual Christmas ornament. Since 1981, the public has been able to purchase the unique pieces from the White House Historical Association. This year's ornament honors former President Franklin D. Roosevelt, featuring an emblazoned golden eagle on the front.

The White House Christmas display will be open to the public for the rest of the holiday season.

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