Wednesday, December 2, 2009

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

The Blue Room of the White House in Washington is adorned with an 18-foot high Douglas Fir illuminated with LED lights, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2009. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Courtesy: AP

Inspiration for the Obamas' first Christmas in the White House came from the house itself. Reflecting on its Georgian style, first lady Michelle Obama chose traditional decorations to reflect the scale, architecture and color palette of each room.

Natural materials such as magnolia, hydrangea, honeysuckle vine and pepper berries decorate trees and wreaths in all the rooms on the State Floor, along with dried root materials from the first harvest of Mrs. Obama's vegetable garden on the South Lawn.

Blue Room: Location of the official White House Christmas Tree. The 18 1/2-by-13-foot Douglas fir is lit with environmentally sound LED lights and decorated with between 650 and 700 ornaments from previous administrations. The ornaments were sent to 60 community groups around the country for refurbishing, with instructions to decorate them with favored American landmarks. Landmarks honored range from the Statue of Liberty and Mount Rushmore to the Kennedy Space Center and the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, the Obamas' hometown. The ornaments were hung with blue ribbon embroidered with the words "reflect, rejoice and renew" — this year's holiday theme — in several languages.