Consider the halls of the White House officially decked. Melania Trump unveiled her 2019 White House Christmas decorations in a video shared across social media earlier this week. And while the first lady has previously faced criticism for her bold taste in holiday decor, this year's slew of trees and wreaths aims to pack a more patriotic punch.
"'The Spirit of America' is shining in the @WhiteHouse!," Trump tweeted Sunday alongside a video of her touring this year's decorations. "I am delighted to share this beautiful exhibit of patriotism for all to see, and excited for everyone to experience the beauty of the #Christmas season!"
This year's holiday decor theme — The Spirit of America — is meant to be a tribute to "the traditions, customs, and history that make our Nation great," according to the White House. From the Gold Star Family Tree in the East Wing to the blush-colored trees honoring past first ladies in the Vermeil Room, the theme is also a celebration of the "courageous individuals who have shaped our country and kept the American spirit alive."
"This Christmas season I want to honor those who have shaped our country and made it the place we are proud to call home," Trump said in a statement shared by the White House. "When I travel the country, I am inspired by the hard working people and families that I meet. No matter which state they call home, many Americans share a strong set of values and deep appreciation for the traditions and history of our great nation."
Although reportedly designed by the first lady, the White House's Christmas decorations are all hung and assembled by volunteers hailing from all 50 states. As the first family celebrated Thanksgiving weekend in Florida, the volunteers descended on the White House to hang 15,000 bows, some 800 feet of garland, and more than 2,500 strands of lights, according to CNN. Talk about magical Christmas elves.
"Thank you to all who came all across our great nation to decorate the People’s House," Trump wrote Saturday in a tweet featuring a handful of photographs of volunteers hard at work.
While Trump, like most first ladies before her, selects new color schemes and concepts for the White House Christmas decorations every year, she also makes sure to include a few traditional pieces of decor. The White House noted that the Italian-made White House Crèche (commonly referred to as a nativity scene), for example, has been put on display in the East Room for the 52nd consecutive year. Similarly, 200 pounds of gingerbread and 25 pounds of royal white icing was used to once again create a replica of the White House for display in the State Dining Room.
But gone this year are the bold and avant-garde displays that have previously sparked jokes and criticism of Trump's taste in decorations. Instead of the blood red trees of 2018 or the stark white branches of 2017, Trump has opted to decorate the East Colonnade with white stars and a timeline of "American design, innovation, and architecture," a theme much brighter and neutral than was seen in years past.
You can get a peek at Trump's 2019 White House Christmas decorations online through the first lady's official Twitter account or, if you prefer, in person. The White House will be hosting tours, receptions, and open houses to allow visitors to take in the decorations up close throughout December.