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White House Holiday Decoration Preview with the First Lady

First Lady Michelle Obama hosts military families to explore holiday decorations at the White House.

First Lady Michelle Obama welcomed military families to the White House today for the first peek at this year’s holiday decorations. After speaking to parents, spouses, and children of service members in the East Room, she invited kids down to the State Dining Room to decorate cookies and make Christmas tree ornaments.

Watch First Lady Michelle Obama's full remarks here.

The theme for this year’s holiday is “Shine, Share, Give,” celebrating the countless ways we can lift up those around us, spend time with friends and family, and celebrate the joy of giving to others and sharing our blessings with all.  The decorations in every room of the house, hung with care by volunteers from 37 states, reflect the theme using shiny stars, metallic garland, and twinkling lights, and invite visitors to give thanks to the military for their service.

Each room of the White House is uniquely decorated for the holidays. After arriving through the East Visitor Entrance, guests are invited to write thank you notes to service members and view the Gold Star Families Tree in the East Landing. The tree is decorated by families whose loved ones gave their lives in service to our nation.  In the Entrance Hall on the State Floor, crystal snowflakes hang from the ceiling above visitors as they walk toward the Blue Room, home to the official White House Christmas Tree, also decorated in honor of military families. The East Room has been transformed into a winter wonderland, complete with four trees and garland and tree branches in every window.  A 400-pound gingerbread, marzipan, and white chocolate White House—an exact replica, complete with tiny furniture, art, and chandeliers—sits in the State Dining Room.

And, a very special four-legged member of the Obama family is represented throughout the White House. Bo can be found in nearly every room, from small ornaments to life-size topiaries made from everyday materials like felt, buttons, candy and even trash bags!

Read more about the White House Holiday decorations and this year's theme