12 Things You Never Knew About the White House Christmas Tree
‘Tis the season! While families from all around the world are preparing to decorate their homes for the holiday season, it doesn’t compare to the planning and preparations made to make the White House ready for Christmas. Here are all the things you didn’t know about the White House Christmas tree, from former White House florist Laura Dowling.
First Family pets are included in the decorations
Courtesy A White House Christmas Including Floral Design Tutorials
“Each year has its complexities and challenges, but there are definitely some years that stand out,” recalls Dowling. “The projects we developed in 2010 were notable for their scope and ambition: a replica of First Family dog Bo made from 40,000 coiled black and white pipe cleaners, a gilded oak leaf rosette door surround made from 1,500 hand-made roses crafted from fallen leaves, over 1,000 red velvet poinsettias made from recycled ribbon that we attached to garlands, wreaths and topiaries, Green Room decorations made from recycled newspaper, and giant, oversized wreaths made from natural fruits and gourds—involved intricate work and thousands of hours of volunteer effort.” She continues, “One of my favorite projects was the robotic versions of Bo and Sunny we crafted with the help of colleagues in the Office of Science and Technology Policy. The robotic dogs made a strong point about the value of linking design with new technologies—a priority of the Obama administration.” Check out presidential “facts” that just aren’t true.
More than 3,500 ornaments are used
Courtesy Van Vucci/AP
During the Christmas season, over 3,500 ornaments (along with thousands of LED energy-efficient lights) are used to decorate various Christmas trees throughout the White House. The ornaments reflect the season’s theme, political point-of-view, regional symbols, and objects from all 50 states, and sometimes even strange things hidden in plain sight. “One story I like is how, for almost 40 years, a long-time volunteer has been hiding three glass ornaments on the Blue Room tree each year: a pig, frog and a pickle (signifying prosperity, progress, and good luck)—messages that are especially relevant on the White House stage.” Next, find out more facts about the White House you never knew.