White House Christmas Tour 2018

HGTV continues its tradition — now in its sixteenth year — of providing viewers with a room-by-room holiday tour of the White House as well as an online gallery of exclusive photos. Host Alison Victoria was there to provide you with behind-the-scenes access.

White House Christmas 2018

The holiday celebrations have begun. The theme for this year’s White House Christmas is “American Treasures”, celebrating the country’s unique heritage, landmarks, parks and monuments. Continuing the tradition from last year, each exterior window at the White House features an evergreen wreath — 105 wreaths in all.
The host for HGTV’s White House Christmas special this year is Alison Victoria, seen here in the Grand Foyer just outside the Blue Room, as decorating and preparations are underway.
In another ongoing tradition, this one dating originally to 1801 and the John Adams administration, the “The President’s Own” US Marine Band fills the White House with seasonal and traditional music.
The holiday decor is once again designed by First Lady Melania and was executed by more than 225 holiday volunteers representing all 50 states.

The Blue Room

The Blue Room, just off the Grand Foyer, is always a visual focal point and is home to the official White House Christmas Tree.
This year’s Official White House Christmas Tree is an 18-foot Fraser Fir from Newland, North Carolina.
Patriotism is front-and-center in this year’s holiday color scheme, with the palette drawing from the colors of the American flag. Red is the dominant color in the Grand Foyer, Cross Hall and East Colonnade, while white is highlighted in the State Dining Room and blue in the East Room — with all three coming together in the Blue Room in homage to the flag.
In the Blue Room, more than 500 feet of blue velvet ribbon is featured on the tree and elsewhere throughout room and is embroidered in gold script with the names of US states and territories.
The embroidered ribbon extends to the Blue Room’s mantel decor as well.

The Cross Hall

The Grand Foyer and Cross Hall are decorated with multiple Christmas trees bearing red ornaments and white lights.
Each tree in the Cross Hall is surrounded in a skirt of shiny red Christmas-tree balls. In all, more than 21,000 ornaments were used in the White House decorations.

East Reception Hall

The East Room

The Cross Hall opens at one end onto the spacious East Room.
This year marks the 51st anniversary of the White House crèche, showcased in the East Room. Its inclusion in the holiday decor spans ten presidential administrations.
Also featured this year in the East Room are several custom designed cityscapes celebrating the nation’s skylines and architecture.
This decorative cityscape sculpture depicts St. Louis’s skyline and famed arch.
More than 11,000 feet of ribbon were used in creation of the white house decorations, and more than 12,000 bows tied.
Tree ornaments in the East Room continue the theme of celebrating the nation’s monuments and architecture.

The Green Room

The Green Room is one of the three state parlors located off the Cross Hall. The other two are the Blue Room and the Red Room. The Green Room features green silk-covered walls. The green silk tapestry was installed in 1962 and was selected by First Lady Jacquelyn Kennedy.
Garlands and mantel decorations in the Green Room this year contain vegetables and fruits as well as foliage and are intended to remind Americans of their country’s bounty and harvest.
Among the Green Room’s decorations are fruit baskets with artichoke, tomatoes, figs and strawberries.

The Red Room

The Red Room is another of the White House state parlors. The furniture in the Red Room is in 19th century Empire style, a theme dating to the Monroe presidency and retained when the room was redecorated during the Kennedy and Nixon administrations.
Under some presidencies, has been used as a music room.  In recent administrations it has been used to host small dinner parties. The portrait hanging above the mantel is of Angelica Singleton Van Buren,daughter-in-law of President Martin Van Buren, and was painted by Henry Inman.
The First lady Melania Trump’s ‘Be Best’ initiative is represented in the Red Room’s decorations.
The ‘Be Best’ initiative was conceived to celebrate children and the ways in which they can excel in their own path.

The China Room

The China Room, originally known as the ‘Presidential Collection Room’ was designated by the First Lady Mrs. Woodrow Wilson in 1917 to display the growing collection of White House china.

The Diplomatic Reception Room

The Diplomatic Reception Room traditionally serves as an entrance to the White House from South Grounds and a space for the President to receive foreign dignitaries and ambassadors. It was from this room that President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered his Fireside Chat radio broadcasts.
This year’s decorations in the Diplomatic Room include two Christmas trees flanking the fireplace and a portrait of first U.S. president George Washington.
The Vermeil Room (pronounced vur-MAY) takes its name from the display of a collection of gilded silver – “vermeil” in French –  that was bequeathed to the White House in 1956 by Mrs. Margaret Thompson Biddle. For formal occasions the room serves as a ladies’ sitting room.
This year framed gold paper silhouettes depiciting early presidents celebrating Christmas hang in the Vermeil Room’s windows.
This year framed gold paper silhouettes depiciting early presidents celebrating Christmas hang in the Vermeil Room’s windows.
Photo by Ken Cedeno / Getty Photo Agency

The Library

The White House Library is located on the ground floor of the White House and was originally a laundry room, then a waiting room and, finally, in the 1930s, designated as the library. It currently holds more than 2700 books. The Library is highlighted this year by two Christmas trees decorated in red and gold.

The State Dining Room

During the holidays the State Dining Roomfrequently serves as a reception area for Christmas celebrations.
The portrait of 16th president Abraham Lincoln showcased in the State Dining Room was painted in 1869 by George Peter Alexander Healy.

The Gingerbread White House

The State Dining Room serves as home to the elaborately engineered gingerbread replica of the White House.
This year the replica is expanded to include the entire span of the National Mall, highlighting the northern exterior of the White House, the Capitol, the Lincoln Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial and the Washington Monument.
Photo by Ken Cedeno / Getty Photo Agency

Happy Holidays from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

See the full HGTV article 

All photos by Ken Cedeno / Getty Photo Agency

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