White House Christmas Tour 2016 - Part II

The 2016 White House Christmas Tour continues as HGTV host Egypt Sherrod takes you the rest of the way on an extensive room-by-room tour of the White House at Christmas. Part II of the tour includes the Grand Foyer, State Dining Room, Green Room, Red Room, Blue Room, Palm Room, Diplomatic Reception Room, East Room, the Gingerbread White House and more. You can also read more about Christmas at the White House at our I-Heart-HGTV blog.

Welcome to White House Christmas 2016 (Part II)

Egypt Sherrod, host of HGTV's White House Christmas 2016, helps out with decorating, here arranging flowers that embellish a Christmas tree in the White House's Diplomatic Reception Room.

Grand Foyer and Cross Hall

The Grand Foyer is the main formal entry to the white house. The hall opens onto the Blue Room which, during the holidays, serves as home to the official White House Christmas Tree.

Grand Foyer and Cross Hall

The entrance to the Blue  Room is decorated this year with an impressive garland of evergreen adorned with mirrored and frosted silver ornaments.

Grand Foyer and Cross Hall

The Grand Foyer serves as the setting this year for a display bearing the theme "The Gift of Reflection." Shiny columns, stacked gifts in silver wrapping and the mirrored ornaments in the trees and garlands, are symbols reflections of hope and gratitude.

Grand Foyer and Cross Hall, Detail

The Holiday Volunteer overseeing the decorations in the Cross Hall for this year is Maurice Edwards of Hope Mills, NC.

Grand Foyer and Cross Hall

Portraits of recent presidents are hung in the Entrance and Cross Hall including the one seen here — Jimmy Carter, by artist Herbert E. Abrams, and Lyndon Johnson by Elizabeth Shoumatoff. The stair railing between the  portraits is draped in a garland with silver bells, ball ornaments and red ribbons.

Grand Foyer and Cross Hall, Detail

Grand Foyer and Cross Hall

This year’s White House holiday theme, “The Gift of the Holidays,” reflects on the joy of giving and receiving as well as the true gifts of life — service, friends and family, education and good health.

Grand Foyer and Cross Hall

The entry to the Grand Foyer, facing north, is lavishly decorated with two large trees decorated with silver ornaments, twin wreaths and a large garland draped over the doorway.

Grand Foyer and Cross Hall, Detail

Grand Foyer and Cross Hall

The Cross Hall stretches approximately 80 feet in length and opens at one end onto the East Room, as seen here.

The East Room

The East Room is the setting for traditional holiday décor including red, gold and green ornaments, swooping garland and several large trees. Here the East Room is set up for a press reception and presentation by First Lady Michelle Obama.

The East Room, White House Crèche

The centerpiece of the room is the White House Crèche. This display has been part of the decor in the East Room for the holidays for more than 45 years, spanning nine presidential administrations. 

The East Room, White House Crèche, Detail

The nativity scene, made of terra cotta and intricately carved wood, was fashioned in Naples, Italy in the eighteenth century and donated to the White House in the 1960s.

The East Room, White House Crèche, Detail

The East Room, White House Crèche, Detail

The East Room, White House Crèche, Detail

The East Room

White House staffers prepare the East Room for a holiday reception.

The East Room

A giant nutcraker soldier stands guard in the corner next to a painting of Theodore Roosevelt by artist John Singer Sargent. 

The East Room

HGTV host Egypt Sherrod provides scale to show just how tall the Nutcracker soldier stands.

The East Room, Detail

Golden Ferris wheels set atop the table and mantles are part of the decorations featured in the East Room.

The East Room, Detail

The Holiday Volunteer overseeing the decorations in the East Room for this year is Jacqueline James of Redlands, California.

The East Room, Detail

The Green Room

The three state parlors in the White House are the Blue Room, the Red Room and the Green Room, seen here. The Green Room features green silk-covered walls, but it was originally named the "Green Drawing Room" in reference to a green floor-covering installed there during the Thomas Jefferson administration. The green silk tapestry was installed in 1962 and was selected by First Lady Jacquelyn Kennedy.

The Green Room

What is now the Green Room was originally intended by White House architect James Hoban as a "Common Dining Room." During early presidential administrations it served a number of purposes including first as a "lodging room". During the Jefferson administration it was used as a dining room and later, during the Monroe administration, as a card room. Today it is used for small receptions teas and for serving pre-dinner cocktails to White House guests. With its intimate size and classic, tasteful furnishings it is one of the home's more popular rooms.

The Green Room

This year the decor in the Green Room and Red Room are inspired by the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative designed to help raise a healthier generation of kids. The decor draws on the theme "The Gift of Good Health," and holiday decorations incorporate a variety of fruits as a nod to the benefits of healthy eating. 

The Green Room

In the Green Room, wreaths and garlands are made using fresh greenery accented with lemons, limes and pears.

The Green Room, Detail

The Green Room, Detail

The Green Room, Detail

The Red Room

The Red Room is another of the White House state parlors and, under some presidencies, has been used as a music room. In recent administrations it has been used to host small dinner parties. Its furniture is in 19th century Empire style, a theme dating to the Monroe presidency and retained when the room was redecorated during the Kennedy and Nixon administrations. The red twill-satin wall coverings were selected by First Lady Jacquelyn Kennedy in 1962 with a muted red tone replacing the "fire engine red" that had been used in the room's earlier incarnations.

The Red Room

As with the Green Room, the holiday decorations in the Red Room draw on First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative and pay homage to "The Gift of Good Health." Apples, oranges and pomegranates are used alongside evergreens as ornaments in the wreaths, garlands and Christmas trees.

The Red Room

First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt used the Red Room to host press conferences for women reporters who, at that time, were excluded from the President's press conferences. The portrait hanging above the mantel is of Angelica Singleton Van Buren, daughter-in-law of President Martin Van Buren, and was painted by Henry Inman. 

The Red Room, Detail

As seen on HGTV's White House Christmas 2016, the Red Room of the White House is where the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative inspires the design in the Green and Red Rooms, representing The Gift of Good Health. The rooms will feature fruits and pollinators, representing healthy eating. Wreaths made of lemons and garlands made of limes will line the walls of the Green Room. Oranges, apples, and pomegranates will mix with greens to create wreaths in the Red Room, along with gift boxes made out of cranberries. This year’s holiday theme, “The Gift of the Holidays,” reflects on not only the joy of giving and receiving, but also the true gifts of life, such as service, friends and family, education, and good health, as we celebrate the holiday season.

The Red Room, Detail

The Holiday Volunteer overseeing the decorations in the Red Room and Green Room for this year is Beverly Jensen of Seal Beach, California.

The Red Room, Detail

Replica gift boxes covered in cranberries are among this year's holiday decorations in the Red Room.

The Red Room, Detail

The Red Room, Detail

The Red Room

HGTV host Egypt Sherrod once again assists with the decorating and arranging, here placing a clove-spiced orange in the Red Room's mantel garland.

The Red Room, Detail

The Red Room, Detail

The Red Room, Detail

The Blue Room

The oval-shaped Blue Room is home to the official White House Christmas tree, 19-foot Douglas Fir, this year donated by a tree farm in Pennsylvania. Outside the holiday season, the Blue Room is typically used for receptions and receiving lines. It is one of three oval shaped rooms designed by White House architect James Hoban.

The Blue Room

The tree is wrapped with a long, white ribbon inscribed with the preamble to the U.S. Constitution. 

The Blue Room, Detail

Ornaments on the tree reflect our nation's unity and are inscribed with greetings to loved ones serving in the U.S. and overseas. The ornaments were donated by citizens across the country.

The Blue Room, Detail

The Blue Room, Detail

The Holiday Volunteer overseeing the decorations in the Blue Room for this year is Patricia Ochan of Arlington, Virginia.

The Blue Room

Windows in the Blue Room look out onto the White House South Lawn. This year the columns on the South Portico are wrapped in strands of white lights.

The Blue Room

A view of the Washington Monument as seen from one of the Blue Room windows

The State Dining Room

This year the White House State Dining Room celebrates "The Gift of Family and Friends". The room’s décor is intended to suggest the feeling of warmth at the holidays — spending time with family and friends and celebrating together at home.

State Dining Room, Detail

Fifty-six LEGO gingerbread houses — one for each state and territory — are suspended within the branches of the Christmas trees in this room. Each of the LEGO gingerbread houses are a one-of-a-kind creation and feature colors, architecture styles and whimsical details that pay tribute to each state or territory. 

State Dining Room, Detail

More than 200,000 individual LEGO bricks were used to create the 56 miniature houses in the display.

State Dining Room, Detail

A team of seven LEGO Master Builders in the Enfield, Conn. offices of LEGO Systems spent a total of 500 hours designing and building the custom LEGO gingerbread decorations for the State Dining Room.

State Dining Room, Detail

On the mantel, an 18-foot LEGO paper-chain hangs alongside LEGO "gingerfriends", made using 4,900 LEGO bricks.

State Dining Room, Detail

State Dining Room, Detail

State Dining Room

The State Dining Room gets tables set to serve as a reception area for the Christmas celebrations. 

State Dining Room, Detail

State Dining Room, Detail

The Holiday Volunteer overseeing the decorations in the State Dining Room this year is Diane Wright of Watertown, Connecticut.

State Dining Room & Gingerbread Whitehouse

The famed Gingerbread White House House is an annual tradition in the State Dining Room.

State Dining Room & Gingerbread Whitehouse

This year’s gingerbread house features 150 pounds of gingerbread on the inside, 100 pounds of bread dough on the outside frame, 20 pounds of gum paste, 20 pounds of icing and 20 pounds of sculpted sugar pieces. For the second year, the massive confectionery sculpture includes both the East and West Wings.

State Dining Room & Gingerbread Whitehouse

Continuing a tradition that has spanned two presidential terms, First Dogs Sunny and Bo make a prominent appearance at the Gingerbread White House.

The Diplomatic Reception Room

The Diplomatic Reception Room is used to receive ambassadors arriving to present their credentials to the President. It also serves as the primary entrance to the White House for the First Family.

The Diplomatic Reception Room, Detail

Decorations in this room include two Christmas trees flanking the fireplace and a portrait of first U.S. president George Washington as well as green and red garlands and floral arrangements.

The Diplomatic Reception Room, Detail

The Diplomatic Reception Room, Detail

The Diplomatic Reception Room

Once a furnace room, this space was turned into a sitting room during a 1902 renovation. It was from this room that President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered his Fireside Chat radio broadcasts, and President Obama has used it for some of his weekly radio addresses.

The Palm Room

The Palm Room is located between the White House ground floor and the West Wing and serves as a staging area for visitors on the West Wing side. 

The Palm Room

The Palm Room, sometimes referred to as the West Garden Room, provides access to the White House Rose Garden. 

The Palm Room

This space is decorated for the holidays this year with green and gold with nutcracker soldiers, gold eagle figurines and large evergreen wreaths.

The Palm Room, Detail

The Palm Room, Detail

The Palm Room, Detail

The Palm Room, Detail

The White House Kitchen Garden

The Kitchen Garden on the White House South Lawn was envisioned in 2009 by First Lady Michelle Obama and planted with help from local elementary school kids. 

The Kitchen Garden

The garden is decorated this year with oversized ball ornaments. Also on display is a unique Christmas "tree" made entirely from garden hoses.

The Kitchen Garden

White House chefs use produce from the garden for preparing meals for the First Family, as well as for official functions like state dinners. This is the first kitchen garden on White House grounds since First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt's Victory Garden during World War II. 

The Kitchen Garden, Detail

Kitchen Garden

HGTV host Egypt Sherrod gets a close look at the garden-hose Christmas tree and decorations in the Kitchen Garden.

Visions of Sugar Plums

In a staging area set up in the China Room, Egypt Sherrod, with the help of White House's executive pastry chef Susan Morrison, applies one of the leaves to a candied Christmas tree that will be part of the Gingerbread Whitehouse.

Happy Holidays!

And if you haven't already, be sure to get the rest of this year's White House Christmas tour. The complete photo tour starts here: White House Christmas Tour 2016 - Part I