Holiday decorations unveiled Monday for Joe and Jill Biden’s first White House Christmas honor frontline workers who persevered during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nurses, doctors, teachers, grocery store workers and others are recognized in this year’s gigantic Gingerbread White House, which was made into a 350-pound (158.76 kilograms) gingerbread village with the addition of a school and police, fire and gas stations as well as a hospital, a post office, a grocery store and a warehouse to honor workers who stayed on the job.
Fewer people are likely to see the decked-out mansion in person this year, with public tours still suspended because of the continuing threat from COVID-19. But videos, photos and other details are available at WhiteHouse.gov/Holidays.
“Gifts from the Heart” is the theme.
In remarks thanking volunteers for decorating, the first lady explained the vision behind her theme, speaking of unity and her view that everyone comes together around faith, family and friendship, gratitude and service, and love for one’s community.
“For all of our differences, we are united by what really matters,” she said. “Like points on a star, we come together at the heart. That is what I wanted to reflect in our White House this year. In each room, we tell a story of gifts from the heart.”
The first lady, a longtime community college professor, invited Maryland second graders for Monday’s unveiling of the holiday decorations. They were inspired by people the president and first lady met while traveling around the country this year, according to the White House.
Frontline workers are also represented in the iridescent doves and shooting stars that illuminate the East Colonnade hallway, “representing the peace and light brought to us by all the front-line workers and first responders during the pandemic,” the guidebook says.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the White House holiday season in other ways, though it remained unclear how parties and receptions may be tweaked to compensate for it.