Biden’s Christmas decorations at the White House honor COVID-19 frontline workers – .

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Biden’s Christmas decorations at the White House honor COVID-19 frontline workers – .


Washington — The holiday decorations unveiled Monday for Joe and Jill Biden’s First White House Christmas honor frontline workers who have persevered during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nurses, doctors, teachers, grocery workers and more are recognized in this year’s gigantic Gingerbread White House, which has been transformed into a 350-pound gingerbread village with the addition of a school and police, fire and gas stations as well as a hospital, post office, grocery store and warehouse to honor workers who remained on the job.

Fewer people are likely to see the decorated mansion in person this year, with public tours still suspended due to the continuing threat of COVID-19. But videos, photos and other details of the decorations can be viewed at WhiteHouse.gov/Holidays.

“Gifts from the Heart” is the theme.

“The things we hold sacred unite us and transcend distance, time and even the constraints of a pandemic: faith, family and friendship; love of the arts, learning and nature; gratitude, service and community; unity and peace, ”say the Bidens in a commemorative guide to the White House vacation in 2021.“ These are the gifts that connect the sensitive cords of our lives. These are the gifts of the heart. “

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Christmas trees on November 29, 2021 in Washington, DC
ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty

The first lady, a longtime community college teacher, invited second-graders from Maryland to help her unveil decorations that match the theme Monday afternoon. The decorations were inspired by people the couple met on a trip across the country this year, according to the White House.

Frontline workers are also depicted in the iridescent doves and shooting stars that light up the east colonnade corridor, “representing the peace and light that all frontline workers and first responders bring to us during the pandemic,” indicates the guide.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the White House holiday season in other ways, although it is not clear how parties and receptions can be altered to compensate for it.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said parties will be held, but they will be “different” from previous years. An indication will come on Wednesday when President and First Lady and Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff light a menorah to celebrate Chanukah. Emhoff, who is Jewish, helped light the National Menorah on the Ellipse Sunday.

The volunteers who decorate the White House came only from the surrounding area, instead of all over the United States as in previous years, due to concerns over COVID-19.

The White House has also not been spared from the supply shortages that many Americans face. Some topiary trees took a bit longer to arrive, said social secretary Carlos Elizondo.

The other highlight of the White House vacation is the official Christmas tree, a 5.5-meter tall Fraser tree that commands the Blue Room and is trimmed with white doves and a ribbon with everyone’s names on it. US states and territories to celebrate peace and unity.

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White House pastry chef Susan Morrison looks near a Gingerbread White House in the State Dining Room during a press preview of the White House Holiday Decorations in Washington, DC, on November 29, 2021.
ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images

More than 100 volunteers decorated the White House, including the Oval Office, while the Bidens spent Thanksgiving week in Nantucket, Massachusetts. They pruned 41 Christmas trees and hung some 6,000 feet of ribbon and over 10,000 ornaments.

Twenty-five wreaths adorn the exterior of the White House and nearly 79,000 lights illuminate Christmas trees, garlands, wreaths and other holiday displays.

Christmas stockings for each of Biden’s grandchildren – Naomi, Finnegan, Maisy, Natalie, Hunter, and baby Beau – hang from the fireplace mantel in the State Dining Room, which celebrates the family, while two trees in this stately room are decorated with the Biden family framed photos and photos of other early families during the holiday season.

Most of the photos are the favorites of Jill Biden, who chose them from old family albums on her trips to Delaware, said Elizabeth Alexander, the first lady’s director of communications.

The decorations are the product of months of work by the first lady and her team in the east wing of the White House since June.

A sophomore class from Malcolm Elementary School in Waldorf, Maryland, was invited to the White House and joked with PBS KIDS characters Martin and Chris Kratt from “Wild Kratts” and costumed characters Ms. Elaina, Daniel Tiger , Molly of Denali, Arthur and Rosita of “Sesame Street”.

The first lady then read her children’s book, “Remember, God Bless Our Troops. “

“Let’s move on to happier things,” she said after stopping to ask the kids about their pets and a boy started talking about her dogs who had died.

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A young girl from Malcolm Elementary School in Waldorf, Maryland, at the White House in Washington, DC on November 29, 2021.
ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty

She invited a local National Guard family whose daughter was a second-grader to highlight the role the Guard played in the U.S. response to COVID-19, and military families spending the holidays away from loved ones .

“As we celebrate our first holiday season at the White House, we are inspired by Americans we have met across the country, reminding us time and time again that our differences are precious and our similarities endless,” the Bidens wrote. . “We wish you a happy holiday season. As we look forward to a new year full of possibilities, may the gifts of the heart light our way to the future. “

Various interactive viewing experiences are yet to come on Instagram, Google Maps, Street View, Snapchat and other platforms, the White House said.

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