The White House may be the most important residence in the country, but it is, above all else, a home. And, much like many other homes across the nation, it is decorated for the holiday season.
Over the past decade, the home has seen a host of Christmas decor ideas – from the red, white, and blue theme, as designed by the Obamas in 2015, to Trump's striking colonnade of red trees in 2018. Last year, Jill Biden unveiled small photo ornaments on the White House Christmas tree, including one of her and the President, that aptly celebrated the theme Gifts from the Heart.
In 2022, the decorations follow a different theme – We The People – which is a celebration of the soul of the United States. Every design element was curated to represent the sense of togetherness during the holidays and the New Year – in the hope that people remember that they are stronger in a community than apart.
'As our country gathers for the holidays, traditions may vary, but our shared American values – a belief in possibility, optimism, and unity – endure season after season,' the President and First Lady shared in a statement from The White House (opens in new tab).
A release from HGTV (opens in new tab), in celebration of Jonathan Scott and Zooey Deschanel's tour of the White House, says 83,615 holiday lights, 77 Christmas trees, 300 candles, and 12,000 ornaments all contribute to making the theme a success. There are also 1,600 bells and 14,865 feet of ribbon around the home. The show aired on December 11th on HGTV and is now available to stream on Discovery+.
From indoor Christmas lighting ideas to tree styling that will stand the test of time – this year's White House decor is a trove of inspiration for your home. Here, we take a tour.
The Cross Hall
In the Grand Foyer and Cross Hall (pictured above), metal ribbons are inscribed with the names of all 57 states, territories, and the District of Columbia – along with the year that each entered the Union.
A report from the White House adds that the mirrored ornaments and reflective surfaces celebrate the theme We The People, as it allows passers-by to see themselves in the decor. This hopes to remind all that the country's strength comes from each individual, and it's inspired us to incorporate reflective ornaments into our Christmas tree ideas, too.
State Dining Room
The State Dining room is perhaps an apt place for the official 2022 Gingerbread White House (above) that celebrates America's children. Drawing inspiration from the theme, the display includes a sugar cookie replica of Independence Hall in Philadelphia (the country's birthplace).
The wider space pays tribute to the 'childlike wonder' that is synonymous with Christmas and includes tree ornaments that were crafted as self-portraits by the students of the 2021 Teachers of the Year from across the US.
The Red Room is designed around faith and how it can guide us in times of grief and joy. The concept is seen through towers of candles and glowing stained-glass windows that replicate a holy space – bringing a sublime sense of calm to the home.
The room's decor also includes fresh cranberries – fulfilling a tradition that dates back to 1975. For the first time, Jill Biden paired the fruit with orchids, known to be among her favorite flowers.
Knowing how to make a Christmas Tree look fuller is one way to ensure your decor is a show-stopper this season. However, it makes sense to take design notes from the most famous home in America for the ultimate Christmas set-up. The Green Room is, arguably, the most traditional but impressive space – celebrating music – which is at the center of the harmony and history of the nation.
The pieces were designed with choral masterpieces in mind and include sleigh bells, handbells, and jingle bells to signal the sounds and songs of the season.
Vermeil is French for gilded silver, so it is only fitting that the space epitomizes the act of gift-giving. The entire space is filled with presents wrapped in ornate patterns of paper and ribbon, waiting to be passed to a loved one.
The room also showcases illustrations of the Biden family’s pets, Commander and Willow, who are hiding in one of the many gifts. The gifts are also made to celebrate the work of Operation Gratitude, a non-profit organization that delivers care packages to deployed troops, their families, and first responders who work hard over the holiday.
What is the theme of the White House Christmas decorations?
First Lady Jill Biden chose the theme We the People for the 2022 White House Christmas decorations theme. The spaces, as exhibited above, hope to remind Americans of what unites them throughout the year, but especially over the Christmas season. 150 volunteers fittingly came together to fulfill the theme – a reminder that we are stronger together than we are alone.
Is HGTV doing White House Christmas this year?
Yes, Jonathan Scott and Zooey Deschanel have hosted an in-depth look at the White House’s Christmas Decorations on HGTV and Discovery+. The episode aired on December 11th and is available to stream now.
Megan is the News and Trends Editor at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes. As the News Editor, she often focuses on emerging microtrends, sleep and wellbeing stories, and celebrity-focused pieces. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.
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