The White House has decked the halls for the 2015 season, and it’s breaking a few holiday-decorating records. Here’s a breakdown of just how the Obamas are upping the bar for future White House occupants.
That’s a lot of gingerbread: The gingerbread house, which has been a centerpiece of the White House holiday decorations since the Nixon administration, weighs in at just under 500 pounds. Dipped in dark chocolate, this house is the first one ever to include both the East and the West wings. It includes 250 pounds of gingerbread dough, 150 pounds of dark chocolate, 25 pounds of gum paste, 25 pounds of pulled and sculpted sugar, and 25 pounds of icing. Sharing the state dining room with the gingerbread house is a 7-foot-tall tree made of nearly 4,000 gum balls. Next to it stands a tree of candy canes and gum balls.
All the trees: This year’s display features 62 Christmas trees, which is a whopping 26 more trees than the previous record for 36 Christmas trees, held by the Clintons. The official White House Christmas Tree, which is displayed in the Blue Room, is an 18-foot tall Fraser fir which came from Lansdale, Pa. The tree’s decorations are dedicated to military families, and is covered with red, white, and blue ornaments. Swirling the tree is a ribbon covered in messages from military families to the servicemen and servicewomen.
Ornaments galore: There are more than 70,000 ornaments displayed on the 62 Christmas trees, many of which are dedicated to honoring military families. The official tree features 800 to 1,000 ornaments, according to a decorating volunteer who said they lost count of the number as they decorated it. Two trees in the cross hall featured 500 ornaments total. The trees in the state dining room featured rows of antique nutcrackers circling the trees.
Designer holidays: Three rooms in the White House are decorated by fashion designers who were picked by first lady Michelle Obama. In the Vermeil room, the Nigerian-born designer Duro Olowu featured seashell Christmas trees and teddy bears covered in vintage fabrics. In the library, designers Carol Lim and Humberto Leon of Opening Ceremony and Kenzo collaborated on the theme of “Power of Knowledge.” Trees were adorned with handmade ornaments, and books took the place of stars at the top of the trees. Finally the china room was adorned with plaid fabric selected by Caroline Herrera. Trees were decorated with ribbons of Kailua blue, which is the same color on the Obamas’ official china.
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