White House Holiday Decorations Through the Ages

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Decking the White House halls for the holidays is a long-standing tradition. 

First lady Melania Trump unveiled this year’s White House Christmas decorations on Twitter Monday, including a hotly debated line of blood- red trees. The decor also features ornaments and wreaths adorned with “Be Best,” Melania’s slogan for her initiative advocating against bullying. The theme? "American Treasures."

The decorating tradition began with first lady Jacqueline Kennedy in 1961, with a display that paid homage to “The Nutcracker.” Since then, first ladies have taken it upon themselves to help design some truly unique holiday decor. 

In 1981, Nancy Reagan chose an “Old Fashion Christmas with the Museum of Folk Art” as the theme. The museum lent furniture to the White House for the elaborate display.

First lady Barbara Bush returned the Kennedy’s "Nutcracker" theme in 1990 as well.

More recently, Michelle Obama chose a "Reflect, Rejoice and Renew" theme in 2009, marking the start of the family’s eight years in the White House. Part of the reason for the theme was to advocate for recycling

"We took about 800 ornaments left over from previous administrations, we sent them to 60 local community groups throughout the country, and asked them to decorate them to pay tribute to a favorite local landmark and then send them back to us for display here at the White House," Michelle said at the time. 

Check out more of the White House's holiday decorations through the years above!


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