Watch: 'Holidays at the White House': Jill Biden unveils Christmas decorations
First lady Jill Biden has decorated for her first White House Christmas. She chose the theme 'gifts from the heart', and the decorations celebrate a traditional Christmas, with bushy green fir trees bedecked by lights and colourful baubles and words such as 'kindness' and 'hope' looped through on ribbons.
Every decorated room has a theme - the Library's is 'the gift of learning' and the Vermeil room celebrates the visual arts, with vibrant Pantone shades of baubles, flowers and ornaments, alongside wreaths made from paintbrushes.
The China room is set with a traditional table and a tree covered in jaunty red bows, and in keeping with the room's theme of 'caring and friendship', there are stars and paper circles made from joined hands.
The State Dining room hosts two huge trees decorated with photographs of past first families, and images from the Bidens' own archives. Hilariously, a very small picture of Donald and Melania Trump has been relegated to the very back of one of the trees.
Even the State room has a down-home touch, as the fireplace is decorated with six stockings for each of the Bidens' grandchildren, knitted by the same Delaware artisan as the real ones. There's also an iced gingerbread village on display, celebrating the workers of America during the pandemic.
"Nurses, doctors, teachers, grocery store workers and others are recognised...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 honour workers who stayed on the job," reports Time Magazine.
A statement from the East Wing explains that the first lady was "inspired by small acts of kindness and experiences that lifted our spirits this year and throughout the pandemic."
Altogether, there are 41 Christmas trees, 6,000 feet of ribbon, more than 300 candles, and over 10,000 ornaments, yet the overall impression is one of homely charm and welcome.
Dr Biden's decorations, which required 100 volunteers to hang, and were in the planning since early summer, are on view to visitors, and have so far garnered solid praise on social media.
One tweeter said, "Absolutely BEAUTIFUL, class has returned to the White House!!" while another agreed, Thank you for bringing light and joy back to the Whitehouse. The stark, dismal red trees are gone, yeah!"
Melania Trump's 'red trees' brought controversy to Christmas at the Presidential residence. Her choice of festive decor tended towards the chillier side of Narnia, and while some admired her icily chic style, others were less convinced.
It didn't help that in October 2020, the former first lady was secretly recorded in a conversation saying: "I'm working... my ass off at Christmas stuff...who gives a f*** about Christmas stuff and decoration, but I need to do it right?"
This may not have endeared her to the Christmas-loving population of America.
Melania's festive themes included "America the Beautiful" and "Spirit of America", which referred to faith and the country's military families.
In 2018, Melania's Christmas display included a stark hall of blood-red pointed trees, which was variously described as 'something out of The Shining' or 'The Handmaid's Tale' - one person tweeted, "and here we have the Red Hall, trees dipped in the blood of our enemies," while the previous year's lattice of white branches was called a “nuclear winter wonderland” and compared to “the upside-down” in Stranger Things.
One alarmed onlooker tweeted, "Are Christmas decorations supposed to give you creeping anxiety and a feeling of lingering dread?"
Former NBC executive Mike Sington, tweeted: “After four years, thanks to First Lady Jill Biden, a normal, happy Christmas returns to the White House. It’s the end of Melania Trump’s dark, dystopian Christmases."
Some might find the Biden festivities a touch too traditional - but for Melania fans, a long walk in the forbidden forest should bring back those happy memories.
Watch: Melania Trump shares White House holiday decorations