November, 28, 2022 — Today, First Lady Jill Biden announced the theme for the 2022 White House Holiday Season: We the People.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! And you better believe the White House is the best place to be if you can get access to experience it. It was an honor for me, Adedayo –the CEO and founder of TANTV, and our COO, Abolaji, to experience the unveiling of the White House holiday season decorations alongside other mainstream media such as CBSNews, Washington Post, CNN, and more. For a media startup that is focused on the African diaspora and the Black multicultural diaspora in the U.S., it is not only important but inspiring that we get equal access to be present at high-profile events as a news outlet. Our representation in these spaces matters because we we bring to our audience another perspective and the opportunity to appreciate the American culture in a way that is seldomly showcased to us in the diaspora.
The White House is monumental and every holiday season something special happens there. As is tradition, the White House holiday planning began during the spring months, with the First Lady choosing the theme and inspiration for the decorations by mid-year. I spoke to Biden’s communications director, Elizabeth Alexander who explained the inspiration behind the First Lady’s ‘we the people’ decoration theme. She said:
“First Lady Jill Biden has been inspired by the people she has met in her travels of over 40 states and realizes that we are so much stronger when we come together. ‘We the people’, is the foundation of our country and she wanted unity and hope reflected in this year’s decorations.”
Over 150 volunteers dedicated their time, energy, and talents to transform the White House for the holiday season.The White House expects to welcome approximately 50,000 visitors during the holiday season. Additionally, over the course of holidays, a variety of interactive viewing experiences will launch on digital platforms, allowing individuals to engage with the White House during the holidays from home.
Each of the decorated rooms have its own theme. For instance the East room décor reflects the communion we find in nature. Groupings of snowy trees fill the corners of the room, with children ready to play outside. As the largest room in the White House, the East Room has hosted public receptions, ceremonies, bill signings, and other memorable occasions. It also features a portrait of President Theodore Roosevelt, who helped establish 150 national forests, 51 federal bird reserves, four national game preserves, five national parks, and 18 national monuments on over 230 million acres of public lands. In the Blue Room, there’s the Official White House Christmas Tree –the centerpiece of the holiday season, an 18½ foot Concolor Fir from Auburn, Pennsylvania. The tree is adorned with handmade renderings of the official birds from all 57 states, territories, and the District of Columbia; illustrating the beauty and strength that comes from unity. The individual tree trimmings shine on their own, but woven together, this unified collection transforms a humble fir into a stunning symbol of We the People. Every year, the room’s chandelier is removed to accommodate the Christmas tree’s full height. This year’s tree was presented by the Shealer Family of Evergreen Acres Christmas Tree Farm, the 2022 Grand Champion Grower in the National Christmas Tree Association’s annual contest.
During an event at the White House later today, the First Lady officially unveiled the holiday décor, offering a holiday message of unity and hope and thanked the volunteers from across the country who helped decorate the White House for the season. As part of her Joining Forces initiative to support military families, the First Lady was joined by National Guard leadership from across the country, along with National Guard family members. As a fellow National Guard mother, Dr. Biden wanted to show appreciation for, and honor, the special role the National Guard plays in serving our country. The National Guard is a unique element of the U.S. military that serves both community and country, in domestic and foreign missions.
2022 White House Holidays by the numbers:
- There are 77 Christmas trees throughout the White House.
- The Gingerbread White House creation includes 20 sheets of sugar cookie dough, 30 sheets of gingerbread dough, 100 pounds of pastillage, 30 pounds of chocolate, and 40 pounds of royal icing.
- Over 83,615 holiday lights decorate the trees, garlands, wreaths, and displays in the White House.
- Twenty-five classic wreaths adorn the north and south facades of the White House.
- It takes over 150 dedicated volunteers from across the country working a full week to decorate the inside and outside of the White House.
- We the People, 2022 Holidays Theme
Statement from the First Lady, Jill Biden
“As our country gathers for the holidays, traditions may vary, but our shared American values—a belief in possibility, optimism, and unity—endure season after season. For this year’s holidays at the White House, we hope to capture the spirit embodied in the very idea of America: We the People. During your visit to the People’s House, through rooms full of history and holiday décor, in the mirrored ornaments and reflective lights, our hope is that you feel at home and find yourself in the great story of America. May the promise of We the People light our path forward into the New Year and bring us together always.”
Interested in learning more, read this next article detailing the description of each decorated room of the White house, expressing the First Lady’s theme, We the People.