Washington, December 1
US First Lady Melania Trump on Monday unveiled this year’s White House decorations for Christmas under the theme “America the Great”.
On Monday, the White House in a statement said that this year’s theme is a “tribute to the majesty of our great Nation”.
“From coast to coast, our country is blessed with boundless natural wonders. The timeless treasures represented in this year’s holiday showcase remind us of the true American spirit,” the statement added.
In a tweet, the First Lady shared a video and captioned it: “During this special time of the year, I am delighted to share ‘America the Beautiful’ and pay tribute to the majesty of our great Nation. Together, we celebrate this land we are all proud to call home.” On Monday, President Donald Trump also tweeted the video, which showed the First Lady in a virtual tour of the traditional decorations which feature many Christmas trees with white lights and red ornaments adorning the halls and lining the corridors.
On the entry to the East Wing, visitors will be greeted by the Gold Star Family Tree, an annual tradition among the holiday decorations, according to the White House statement.
“Draped in blue, the colour of perseverance and justice, it pays tribute to our American heroes and their families who walk beside them in service.
“This year, families who decorated the tree placed the name of their fallen family member on ribbon that will adorn the tree,” it said.
The 2020 display also featured a “Be Best” ornament and a Christmas village hospital figurine in the Red Room, a nod to healthcare workers and other essential workers during the pandemic.
“We salute America’s everyday heroes who serve as first responders and frontline workers. Handmade ornaments highlight the many professionals and volunteers who serve their communities with a spirit of generosity,” the First Lady’s office said in a statement.
Other details of the decorations seen in the video included a “White House Express” train with the words “America the Beautiful” inscribed on the carriages, and a Christmas tree in the White House Library decorated with a ribbon celebrating the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote.
For the first time, the annual gingerbread replica of the White House this year included not only the East and West wings and the Executive Residence, but also the Rose Garden and the First Ladies’ Garden.
The White House’s 2020 decorations appear to be much less controversial than in the previous years, said a Fox News news report.
In 2017, the First Lady’s all-white adornments drew comparisons to the “Chronicles of Narnia” film franchise, with some even likening the look to that of certain horror films.
In 2018, some critics took issue with the crimson trees decorating one of the White House’s halls.
That year, however, Trump brushed off the criticism, saying she thought the adornments looked “fantastic”.
The US First Lady has historically been tasked with choosing a theme for the White House’s Christmas decorations since 1961, when Jacqueline Kennedy decorated the estate with a “Nutcracker Suite” theme, according to the White House Historical Association.