A Spectacular White House Christmas

Themed trees, glittering branches, festive garlands — see what it's like to be inside the White House during the holidays.

At the start of each White House holiday event, the reception line starts here. The 18-1/2-foot tree in the Blue Room is tall enough to reach the ceiling but narrow enough to allow room for the guests. — Image courtesy of Washington, D.C., photographer Marty Katz

Oversized urns with crystal-lit branches decorate the Cross Hall. — Image courtesy of Washington, D.C., photographer Marty Katz

The crystal branches also flank the entrance to the Blue Room. — Image courtesy of Washington, D.C., photographer Marty Katz

Festive garlands decorate the entrance to the East Room. The stairway leads to the private residence. — Image courtesy of Washington, D.C., photographer Marty Katz

The First Lady's Military Appreciation Tree stands in the East Entrance Landing. The ornaments and ribbon commemorate each military branch, and a dove carrying an olive branch tops the tree. As a way to show appreciation to the men and women who serve the country, White House visitors are given the opportunity to send troops a personal holiday message, and the President will pay the postage.

In the Diplomatic Reception Room, garlands and trees decorated with dried fruit, pomegranates and brightly wrapped presents flank the fireplace. — Image courtesy of Washington, D.C., photographer Marty Katz

In the Green Room, mini Christmas trees rest on a side table; the tree in the background is supposed to represent a beehive, in honor of the two hives on the South Lawn. — Image courtesy of Washington, D.C., photographer Marty Katz

Every year the Red Room has a table cranberry topiary, and this year's version has a sphere of branches and cranberries. In keeping with the First Family's commitment to stay eco-friendly, last year's red-lacquered magnolia wreaths from the East Colonnade dress up the windows. — Image courtesy of Washington, D.C., photographer Marty Katz

A bird adorns the ornaments on the East Room Christmas tree. — Image courtesy of Washington, D.C., photographer Marty Katz

The tree in the Library pays tribute to the \"gift of stories.\" The room was converted into the library in 1935 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. — Image courtesy of Washington, D.C., photographer Marty Katz

The gingerbread house, weighing in at 450 lbs. (100 lbs. heavier than last year), reveals miniature versions of the State Dining Room and East Room; the green trees were made from magnolia seed pods dipped in icing. Also featured are the kitchen garden, a beehive and Bo. — Image courtesy of Washington, D.C., photographer Marty Katz

Here, a close-up of the gingerbread \"State Dining Room.\"

Along the East Colonnade, gourds and artichokes underline arrangements of crystal branches. — Image courtesy of Washington, D.C., photographer Marty Katz

The East Room is the largest room in the White House and where most of this year's holiday parties will be held. Here, it's set up for the first reception of the season. The room has four large Christmas trees with bird and floral decorations. Atop each tree is a peacock, custom-designed by James Lutke. — Image courtesy of Washington, D.C., photographer Marty Katz

Rolling up pieces of newspaper and spraying them with gold and glitter results in . . .

. . . this beautiful tree in the Green Room. In keeping with the theme of \"green living and creativity,\" some 75 pounds of recycled magazines and newspapers went into the creation of the trees and wreaths in this room.

The East Colonnade is bursting with natural color: the eight windows display huge wreaths of dried flowers, artichokes and gourds.

In the East Colonnade at evening, the wreaths of gourds and artichokes reflect the light.

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