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White House Christmas by the Numbers

It takes a lot of volunteers—and a lot of gingerbread.

When she unveiled the White House Christmas decorations on Wednesday, First Lady Michelle Obama paid special tribute to the volunteers who did the decorating and who represent all the states, with 11 from Virginia, 2 from Maryland, and 1 from DC. “This would not be possible if it were not for the 85 volunteers who took time out of their busy lives to come from all parts of the country to help us decorate this house,” she said in the East Room to her guests, an audience of military families and members of the press.

Here’s a breakdown of more numbers associated with the White House Christmas.

  • Number of live trees in the White House: 54
  • Height of the official White House Christmas tree: 18 feet, six inches. It comes from the Estes Family’s Peak Farms in Jefferson, North Carolina.
  • Number of “Bo-flake” ornaments on the official tree: 40
  • Weight of the White House gingerbread house: 300 pounds
  • Number of pounds of gingerbread used to construct the house: 175
  • Number of pounds of chocolate used in the house: 50
  • Needed to create the snowflake and boxwood arrangement in the East Entrance: 25 volunteers, 100 hours
  • Needed to create the berry, pinecone and leaf design of the East Entrance column: 60,000 berries, 15,000 gold pine cone scales, 15,000 pieces of lemon leaf
  • Needed to create the Bo topiary sculpture: 18,000 one-inch black pompoms, 2,000 white pompoms, one volunteer, 85 hours
  • Needed to decorate the Lower Cross Hall arches: 6,000 repurposed ornaments, 12 volunteers, 350 hours
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