White House holiday decor honors COVID-19 frontline workers

WASHINGTON – Joe and Jill Biden’s first White House Christmas honors were unveiled Monday for holiday decorations for frontline workers who have remained in service during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nurses, doctors, teachers, grocery store workers and others are recognized at this year’s giant gingerbread White House, which is known to house a school and police, fire and gas stations, as well as a 350-pound (158.76 kg) gingerbread village. was built in. As a hospital, a post office, a grocery store and a warehouse to honor the workers who lived there.

Fewer people are likely to see the ornate mansion in person this year, with public tours still suspended as there is a constant threat from COVID-19. But videos, photos and other details are available at WhiteHouse.gov/Holidays.
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The theme is “Gifts from the Heart”.

While thanking the volunteers for decorating, the first lady explained the vision behind her theme, speaking of unity and stating her idea that everyone should share faith, family and friendship, gratitude and service, and love for their community. Comes around together.

“For all our differences, we are united by what really matters,” she said. “Like points on a star, we come together in heart. That’s what I wanted to reflect in my White House this year. In every room we tell a story of gifts from the heart.”

The first lady, a longtime community college professor, invited a Maryland second grader to the unveiling of holiday decorations on Monday. According to the White House, they were inspired by people the president and first lady met while traveling across the country this year.

AP Photo/Ivan Vucci A Marine Band plays Christmas music in the Grand Foyer of the White House during a press preview of White House holiday decorations on Monday, November 29, 2021 in Washington.

Frontline workers are also represented in the rainbow doves and shooting stars that light up the East Colonnade hallways, the guidebook says, “of the peace and light brought to us by all front-line workers and first responders during the pandemic.” represent.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the White House holiday season in other ways, though it’s unclear how parties and receptions might be changed to compensate.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki has said the parties will be held, although they will be “different” from previous years. Some hints will come on Wednesday when President and First Lady and Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, will light a menorah to celebrate Hanukkah. Emhof, who is Jewish, helped light the National Menorah on the Ellipse on Sunday.

Volunteers decorating the White House came only from the surrounding area, rather than the entire United States as in previous years due to COVID-19 concerns.

The White House was also not spared the supply shortage that many Americans are grappling with. Social Secretary Carlos Elisondo said some topiary trees took a little longer to arrive.

The second showstopper of the holiday at the White House is the official Christmas tree, the 18-foot-tall (5.5 m tall) Fraser Fir that commands the Blue Room and is trimmed with white doves and ribbons bearing the names of all US states. and region to celebrate peace and unity.

More than 100 volunteers decorated the White House, including the Oval Office, while the Bidens spent Thanksgiving week in Nantucket, Massachusetts. They cut down 41 Christmas trees and hung some 6,000 feet (1,800 m) of ribbon and more than 10,000 ornaments.

Twenty-five wreaths adorn the exterior of the White House, and approximately 79,000 lights illuminate Christmas trees, garlands, wreaths, and other holiday displays.

AP Photo/Ivan Vucci The Grand Foyer of the White House is decorated for the holiday season during a press preview of White House holiday decorations on Monday, November 29, 2021 in Washington.

Christmas stockings for each of the Biden grandchildren — Naomi, Finnegan, Macy, Natalie, Hunter and baby beau — hang from the fireplace mantel in the State Dining Room, which celebrates the family, while the two trees in that stately room are framed by the Biden family. decorated with. Photos and photos of other First Families during the holiday season.

Elizabeth Alexander, the first female communications director, said many of the photos are personal favorites of Jill Biden, who picked them from old family albums on a trip to Delaware.

The decorations are the product of months of work in the White House East Wing by the First Lady and her staff, beginning in June.

A second grader from Malcolm Elementary School in Waldorf, Maryland was invited to the White House and invited PBS Kids characters Martin and Chris Kratt of “Wild Kratts” and costumed characters Miss Elena, Daniel Tiger, Molly of Denali, Arthur and Rosita. was joked about. From “Sesame Street”.

The first lady then read her children’s book, “Don’t forget, God bless our soldiers.”

After pausing to ask the kids about their pets, she said, “Let’s move on to the happy stuff and a boy starts talking about his dogs that had died.

She invited a local National Guard family, whose daughter was among a second grader, to highlight the Guard’s role in the US response to COVID-19, and military families vacationing away from their loved ones.

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