Standing in front of a gold, white and silver glittering, ornamented tree, First Lady Michelle Obama addressed a room full of military families as she described how the White House had dressed itself up for the holidays.
“As we ring in another holiday season, we’re gonna make sure that the over 68,000 visitors who will pass through these rooms over the coming weeks know about and honor your service and sacrifice,” she said.
To that end, said the first lady, “the very first thing visitors will see in the east landing is a tree that pays tribute to our armed forces.” That tree will be accompanied by an iPad on which visitors can email or tweet season’s greetings to members of the military. In addition,the Blue Room holds an 18-foot tree that is “covered from trunk to tip with messages from military families to their service members stationed around the country and around the world.”
The official theme is “a timeless tradition,” and different rooms–taking on their share of the 62 trees and over 70,000 ornaments spread throughout–pay homage to holiday and cultural standbys like nutcrackers, snowmen (and women) and American authors and intellectuals.