A Spectacular Christmas at the White House: The Preparations

Decorative "trees" made from seedpods, lots of festive Bo cookies — get a behind-the-scenes look at how the White House gets ready for Christmas 2010.

  • The official White House Christmas Tree arrives at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. — Image courtesy of Washington, D.C., photographer Marty Katz

  • Workers from the National Park Service set up the tree in the Blue Room. This year's official White House Christmas tree comes from the Crystal Spring Tree Farm in Lehighton, PA.

  • The official White House Christmas tree has to be 18 feet 6 inches tall to reach the ceiling of the Blue Room. The chandelier is removed to make room for the tree.

  • Several thousand cookies are being baked for the holiday season. Theme-specific designs include bees, leaves and — the First Family favorite — miniature Bo cookies.

  • Assistant pastry chef Susie Morrison, executive pastry chef Bill Yosses and master chocolatier Chris Phillips assemble the gingerbread White House. Image courtesy of Washington, D.C., photographer Marty Katz

  • Under construction: This year's miniature White House weighs some 350 pounds and is covered in white chocolate. Image courtesy of Washington, D.C., photographer Marty Katz

  • Small trees that will be placed around the gingerbread house were made from magnolia seedpods found on the White House grounds. They've been dipped in green icing and turned upside down to resemble trees.

  • Birch branches encrusted with floral ice are piled in the Cross Hall, while volunteers unload boxes full of ornaments that will be used in every room on the State Floor. Image courtesy of Washington, D.C., photographer Marty Katz

  • Volunteers work on magnolia garlands that will hang in the doorways of the East Visitors' Entrance.

  • Lots of ribbon and ornaments in monochromatic tones will make the Red Room even grander for the holidays. The wreaths hanging in the windows are reused from last year, when they were hung in the East Colonnade.

  • Ribbon and garland turn the light fixture in the North Portico into a festive scene. A real topiary at the bottom continues the theme.

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