News & Politics

PHOTOS: The 2021 White House Holiday Decorations

A U.S. Marine holds open the door to the White House's East Wing, with the "Gold Star Tree" in the background.
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Celebrating her first holiday season as First Lady, Jill Biden unveiled the 2021 White House holiday theme this morning as “Gifts from the Heart.” Biden said she was inspired by the small acts of kindness that united the American people over the past year, and throughout the pandemic, with decorations meant to reflect the things that “tie together the heart strings of our lives,” such as faith and family, the arts and learning, and public service.

More than 100 volunteers spent a full week decorating the building this year. They went through approximately 6,000 feet of ribbon and used over 78,750 holiday lights.

The East Wing entrance is “wrapped” in a “Gifts from the Heart” bow and surrounded with decorative presents.
As one enters the East Wing, there’s a tribute to Americans’ “Gift of Service.”
The “Gold Star Tree” on the East Landing of the White House honors members of the US military and their families.
Twenty-five classic wreaths adorn the north and south facades of the White House this year.
Iridescent doves and shooting stars illuminate the East Colonnade; the White House says they represent peace and light provided by frontline workers and first responders during the pandemic.
The doves and stars seen along the windows to the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden.
Over 10,000 ornaments were used in this year’s decorations.
The entrance to the White House’s ground-floor corridor.
The White House Library salutes the “Gift of Learning” and hero educators.
Festive butterfly decor lines the library’s fireplace mantel.
Stacks of books as well as butterflies and birds made from recycled paper are intended to remind people that with the “Gift of Learning” they can “soar to places never imagined.”
The Vermeil Room pays tribute to the “Gift of the Visual Arts” with bright, bold, graphic art displays.
Paint brushes and swatches in the Vermeil Room are meant to suggest that the visual arts can inspire imagination.
A portrait of Lady Bird Johnson resides above the fireplace in the Vermeil Room.
A colorful light installation on the tree is meant to represent the diversity of American artists.
A table set for dinner inside the White House China Room evokes memories of loved ones and comforting meals, or the “Gift of Friendship and Sharing.”
The Obama administration’s tableware was used for the dinner service.
The Cross Hall to the White House, with its alcoves and tree displays depicting wintry scenes of American life, celebrates the “Gift of Faith and Community.”
The State Dining Room celebrates the “Gift of Family,” with the Biden family’s stockings hanging above the fireplace and below a portrait of Abraham Lincoln by George Peter Alexander Healy.
The Seal of the President of the United States towers above the entrance to the Blue Room, from the Grand Foyer of the White House.
Christmas trees in the State Dining Room glisten this year with ornaments featuring photographs of First Families, past and present.
The official 2021 Gingerbread White House sits atop the eagle pier table in the State Dining Room.
This year’s gingerbread display is inspired by America’s gratitude and admiration for its frontline workers.
To complete the finishing touches on the gingerbread house, the White House pastry team used 55 sheets of gingerbread, 120 pounds of pastillage, 35 pounds of chocolate, and 25 pounds of royal icing.
The East Room celebrates the “Gift of Gratitude,” symbolized by small acts of kindness and handwritten notes full of appreciation.
Purple trees accented with natural orchids line the windows to the Green Room, which honors the “Gift of Nature.”
More than 40 Christmas trees were scattered throughout the White House this year.
The Red Room depicts the joy and wonder of the holiday season by celebrating the “Gift of the Performing Arts.” Brass instruments hang from the fireplace mantel, and ballet slippers, tap shoes, and musical notes “dance” around the tree.
Portraits of President Jimmy Carter and President Lyndon Johnson flank the Grand Staircase of the White House.
Lush foliage and sprays of greenery are draped along the fireplace mantel of the Green Room, which once served as Thomas Jefferson’s dining room.
The official White House Christmas Tree sits at the center of the Blue Room and celebrates the “Gift of Peace and Unity.”
The East Room is the largest room in the White House and is used to host receptions, ceremonies, bill signings, and other memorable moments.
“The President’s Own” United States Marine Band performs in the Grand Foyer.
Gilbert Stuart’s portrait of George Washington is one of the White House’s most famous artifacts, which First Lady Dolley Madison helped save in 1814 just before the White House was about to be set ablaze during the War of 1812. It now resides in the East Room.
President Ronald Reagan’s portrait sits just outside the State Dining Room in the Cross Hall.
The District of Columbia’s ornament (a dove) on the White House Christmas Tree.
A harpist performs underneath a portrait of former First Lady Barbara Bush.