White House Christmas Tour 2019

In this year's edition of HGTV's annual 'White House Christmas' special, co-hosts Alison Victoria and Maureen McCormick provide an insider's tour of the decorations and holiday prep at America's first residence.

December 15, 2019

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

White House Christmas 2019

Maureen McCormick and Alison Victoria welcome you to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for a VIP tour showcasing the White House Christmas festivities and lavishly decorated rooms. Holiday preparations and decorating at the White House are, to a large extent, the work of more than 225 specially selected volunteers representing all 50 U.S. states and territories.

Your Hosts for the Holiday Tour

Alison Victoria is known to HGTV fans as host of several hit series including her most recent, Windy City Rehab. Maureen McCormick is known lovingly to most of the world as Marcia Brady from the classic TV series The Brady Bunch. She, and all her sibling co-stars from The Brady Bunch, are part of this year’s HGTV limited series A Very Brady Renovation. Alison and Maureen teamed up this year to host HGTV's annual White House Christmas special and pitch in on some of the decorating. Here the two of them collaborate on some of the decor in the Diplomatic Reception Room.

Holiday Prep at the White House

Maureen McCormick adds a patriotic star ornament to the Christmas tree in the White House’s stately East Room. This year the White House holiday décor includes 58 Christmas trees.

Holiday Prep at the White House

Alison places one of the heavy mirrored stars in the mantel décor in the East Room. 

Holiday Prep at the White House

Maureen adds some ornaments on one of the four Christmas trees located in the White House Library.

Ornamental Detail

The trees in the Library are decorated with historical ornaments used in past White House Christmases. These official White House ornaments are are maintained and loaned by the White House Historical Association.

The East Visitor's Entrance

Visitors to the White House pass through this entrance on the eastern wing that, this year, is framed in a massive garland of cranberries, accented by evergreens and more red berries in urns flanking the entrance.

The East Visitor's Entrance, Interior

The Visitor's Entrance leads to the East Landing which features one of the Gold Star trees. The theme for this year's Christmas at the White House is "The Spirit of America". From the White House overview, the theme is: "a tribute of traditions, customs and history that make our nation great. Since our founding, courageous individuals have shaped our country and kept the American spirit alive."

The Grand Foyer and Cross Hall

First lady Melania Trump oversaw the theme and selection of the White House decorations. One of its more spectacular displays is the Grand Foyer, decorated with thousands of shimmering white lights illuminating ornaments of silver and green. 

The Grand Foyer and Cross Hall

The Grand Foyer and Cross Hall are transformed for the holidays to depict a glistening winter forest. The space is filled with 22 snow-covered evergreens, 14 golden magnolia topiaries and 10 floral urns.

The Grand Foyer

The spacious hall features a variety of white flowers and snow-covered trees with golden ornaments, pine cones and paper leaves. The double doors of the Grand Foyer open onto the Blue Room.

The Blue Room

As part of a long-standing tradition, the official White House Christmas tree is located in the always-impressive Blue Room. The tree this year is a Douglas fir from Pitman, Pennsylvania and measures 18 feet in height.

The Blue Room, Detail

The Blue Room, Detail

The tree in the Blue Room is decorated with the floral emblem of every U.S. state and territory, highlighting the beauty and diversity of the nation.

The Blue Room, Detail

Co-host Alison Victoria, a proud Chicagoan, gleefully points out the floral decorations of her home state of Illinois.

The Blue Room, Detail

The decorations in the Blue Room, like this mantel garland, feature greens, gold and pearlescent white. 

The Blue Room, Detail

The Blue Room is one of three oval shaped rooms designed by White House architect James Hoban.

The Green Room

The Green Room, one of the three state parlors in the White House, features green silk-covered walls.

The Green Room

The Green Room was originally termed the "Green Drawing Room" when a green floor-covering was installed there during the Jefferson administration.

The Green Room, Detail

The decorative theme in the Green Room this year is a celebration of books and reading.

The Green Room, Detail

The celebration of the value and importance of reading is evident in a variety of book-themed ornaments that highlight the mantel as well as the Green Room's Christmas tree.

The Green Room, Detail

The Green Room, Detail

Tree ornaments in the Green Room include handmade miniatures of famous books and stories, like this one depicting Hans Christian Andersen's classic tale, "The Little Match Girl".

The Green Room, Detail

Visitors can count down the days of the holiday season with the White House Advent calendar hanging in the Green Room's windows. 

The Red Room

The Red Room is another of the trio of White House state parlors. This year it is highlighted by a central tree and decorated with a variety of ornate ribbons, bows and evergreen garland.

The Red Room

Under some presidencies the Red Room been used as a music room. In recent administrations it has been used to host small dinner parties. 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

The furniture in the Red Room 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, Detail

Where the Green Room was decorated this year with a theme celebrating books, the Red Room's decorations highlight a theme of games and celebrates the childlike spirit that embodies this time of year. This table centerpiece is created with vintage playing cards covering a trio of tree-shaped cones.

The Red Room, Detail

A tree ornament made from a deck of 'Crazy Eight' playing cards

The East Landing

The focal point in the East Landing is the Gold Star Tree honoring US military members and their families.

The East Landing, Detail

The East Landing's Gold Star Tree is adorned with stars and patriotic ribbons and is intended to serve as a reminder of the selflessness of the American heroes who defend our nation.

The East Landing

Past the Visitor's Entrance, he East Landing opens onto the East Colonnade.

The East Colonnade

The East Colonnade is one of the most well-known and iconic of the White House's holiday spaces. 

The East Colonnade

This year decor in the East Colonnade includes more than 60 installations representing a timeline of American design, innovation and architecture.

East Colonnade, Detail

hand-cut paper stars hang from the ceiling of the East Colonnade.

The East Room

The East Room is the largest room in the White House and. this year, features four grand trees decorated in ornaments of red, white and blue.

The East Room

The East Room decor draws inspiration from the American flag and includes gilded eagles as tree-toppers, star ornaments and red and blue ribbons — with red symbolizing bravery and valor, and blue symbolizing perseverance and justice. 

East Room, Detail

For the 52nd year, the White House creche is on display in the East Room. 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

East Room, Detail

East Room, Detail

The State Dining Room

The portrait of 16th president Abraham Lincoln showcased in the State Dining Room was painted in 1869 by George Peter Alexander Healy. During the holidays the State Dining Room frequently serves as a reception area for Christmas celebrations. The room's decorative theme this year is inspired by the phrase "America, the beautiful."

State Dining Room, Detail

The mantel is draped in a lush garland of beautiful red roses.

State Dining Room — The Gingerbread White House

In what has become a yearly tradition, the State Dining Room is home to the Gingerbread White House, meticulously fashioned under the direction of White House executive pastry chef Susan Morrison. The White House pastry team constructed this year's masterpiece out of 200 pound of gingerbread dough, 125 pounds of pastillage dough, 35 pounds of chocolate, and 25 pounds of royal icing.

State Dining Room — The Gingerbread White House

First Lady Melania Trump's signature addition to the White House Christmas decor is the large number of evergreen wreaths houng on exterior windows  — 106 in all this year. The Gingerbread White House follows suit with a tiny wreath adorning each miniature window.

State Dining Room — The Gingerbread White House

The Gingerbread House replicates not only the South Portico of the White House, but also U.S. landmarks from across the country, including the Alamo, the St. Louis Arch and the Statue of Liberty. 

State Dining Room — The Gingerbread White House

Other U.S. icons included in the gingerbread landscape are replicas of the Golden Gate Bridge, Mount Rushmore and the Seattle Space Needle.

The Making of a Gingerbread White House

Maureen McCormick and Alison Victoria look on as White House chef Victoria re-creates the railings of the White House Portico stairs using painted angel-hair and linguini pasta.

The Making of a Gingerbread White House

Maureen talks with White House executive pastry chef Susan Morrison about the elaborate process of creating the gingerbread replica.

The Lower Cross Hall

The Lower Cross Hall leads to a series of ground-level rooms including the Diplomatic Reception Room, the Library and China Room.

The China Room

The China Room is set with a holiday feast, illustrating the joys of family coming together at the holidays and sharing in the spirit of the season.

The China Room

The China Room, originally known as the 'Presidential Collection Room' was designated by the First Lady Mrs. Woodrow Wilson in 1917 to display the growing collection of White House china.  The collections of china, glass and silverware from past presidencies are arranged chronologically from left to right. 

The Library

The decorations in the White House Library celebrate the legacies of former Presidents using a collection of ornaments maintained by the White House Historical Association.

The Library

The Library, located on the ground floor of the White House, was originally a laundry room, then a waiting room and, finally, in the 1930s, designated as the library.

The Library

The White House Library holds more than 2700 volumes.

Library, Detail

Library, Detail

Framed gold paper silhouettes depicting early presidents celebrating Christmas hang in the Library's windows.

The Diplomatic Reception Room

The Diplomatic Reception Room serves as an entrance to the White House from South Grounds for the family and for ambassadors arriving to present their credentials to the President. 

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.

The Diplomatic Reception Room, Detail

The Vermeil Room

The Vermeil Room (pronounced vur-MAY) takes its name from the display of a collection of gilded silver – "vermeil" in French – that was bequeathed to the White House in 1956 by Mrs. Margaret Thompson Biddle. For formal occasions the room serves as a ladies' sitting room.

The Vermeil Room, Detail

The Vermeil Room features pastel yellow walls and, in addition to the silver collection from which it derives its name, houses the portraits of seven former First Ladies.

The Vermeil Room, Detail

The portrait of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was painted in 1970 by artist Aaron Shikler.

The Vermeil Room, Detail

The Vermeil Room, Detail

Happy Holidays from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

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