Winter In The White House 2021


Sarah Richart

Winter at the White House.

Sarah Richart, Reporter

As the winter season approaches, everyone hurries to decorate their Christmas trees, set up the menorah, or settle next to a fire on a cold night. This holiday season the White House decorated based on the theme: Gifts from the Heart. The theme aims to show the simple acts of kindness depicted through the hard times many went through during the pandemic. It is tradition for the First Lady of the United States to decorate the White House with festive holiday decorations with a core idea behind the rooms.

Jill Biden formally announced, “The things we hold sacred unite us and transcend distance, time, and even the constraints of a pandemic: faith, family, and friendship; a love of the arts, learning, and nature; gratitude, service, and community; unity and peace. These are the gifts that tie together the heart strings of our lives. These are the Gifts from the Heart.”

The East Wing has an array of doves and stars lighting up the hallway. Commonly doves are used to show peace and serenity, the calm breeze amidst the chaos. Some might wonder, why doves? Why choose to symbolize peace and security? This choice was specifically made in order to honor front line workers such as nurses, doctors, firefighters, etc. who worked tirelessly to help those in need.

A Gold Star Tree shows itself in the East Landing, to remember and honor those serving in the military.

In the White House library, something that holds books, a material and asset of education and growth, is decorated in order to resemble the gift of learning.  This can be interpreted in many ways, one could see it and think of the students who struggled throughout the pandemic or another point of as to resemble First Lady Jill Biden who continuously supports schools and has served in the education workforce for many years.

Art holds crucial in many values of life. It allows for creativity as well as unity. Making it the perfect inspiration for the Vermeil Room which was decorated based on the gift of visual arts. The talent many hold whether acknowledged in society or left unnoticed still deserves to be symbolically recognized.

Now on to the China Room, showing the gift of friendship and sharing. It is beautiful to see the positive elements of life depicted in such a staple building in the US. Each room holds a sense of light, purity, and joy which is crucial in the time of doubt and hardship.

Continuing, the East Room is integrated with handwritten notes and thank you cards to resemble the gift of gratitude. Something many acknowledge during the holiday season and should continue throughout the year.

Now the next room is truly a play on words. The Green Room, which was decorated to show the gift of nature, something commonly associated with the color green. Nature can be thought of as surreal and tranquil, a gentle river stream throughout a quite forest. The Blue Room holds a deep meaning while showing the gift of peace and unity, which many view as the core ideology of America.

Next, the Red Room, which is similar to the Vermeil Room, shows the gift of the performing arts. It’s truly mesmerizing to see all art forms shown in the White House. Silk wall coverings, ballet shoes, and musical notes are just a few things that resemble the beautiful serenity of art.

The Dinning Room holds a clear meaning of the gift of family. Many view a dinning room as communal and bringing people together, which is shown in this room.

Finally, the Grand Foyer shows the gift of faith and community. This is clear since it is the main welcome point in the building. Each room holds a meaning that resembles not only the holiday season but the community we wish to hold in America.