How Tall Is the 2018 White House Christmas Tree?
First Lady Melania Trump unveiled the White House Christmas decorations on Monday, including this year’s show-stopping tree. From the rules about how tall the tree must be to how it’s selected, here are some fun facts about the White House Christmas tree and other holiday decorations at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
The Christmas tree must be at least 18 feet tall
Choosing the perfect Christmas tree is hard no matter where you live, but when your home is the White House, there are some specific rules you need to follow. The White House Christmas tree must be between 18 and 19 feet tall. That’s because the tree needs to reach the ceiling of the Blue Room. The room’s chandelier is removed every year to make room for the tree. This year’s tree is 18 feet tall.
Where does the tree come from?
The 2018 White House Christmas tree is a Fraser fir from North Carolina. It was presented by Larry Smith of Mountain Top Fraser Fir. Smith won the honor of presenting this year’s tree after being named Grand Champion in the National Christmas Tree Association’s Christmas tree contest. Members of the association have presented trees for the White House holiday celebrations since 1966.
Back in September, representatives from the White House headed to North Carolina to scout the perfect tree from Smith’s farm.
“I feel as though I have finally won the Super Bowl, It’s a great honor to represent the Christmas tree industry by providing the Official White House Christmas Tree in 2018,” Smith said in a statement.
There is more than one White House Christmas tree
The Blue Room tree – which is decorated this year with blue velvet ribbon embroidered in gold with the name of each U.S. state and territory — is the centerpiece of the White House’s holiday decorations, but it’s hardly the only tree in the presidential residence. There are more than 75 different trees on display at the White House this year.
The Gold Star tree is on display in the East Wing. This tree honors veterans and the military and was decorated by Gold Star families – relatives of those who have lost a loved one while they were serving in the military. It’s adorned with gold stars and patriotic ribbons. Visitors are encouraged to use digital tablets to write messages to those who are currently serving.
In the White House’s East Colonnade are 40 topiary trees made from red berries. Another four trees are in the White House library.
Two blue and gold trees are on display in the Vermeil Room. In the East Room are four 14-foot trees displaying 72 handmade paper ornaments representing the six different regions of America.
In the Grand Foyer and Cross Hall stand 29 more trees. They are decorated with 14,000 red ornaments that are meant to symbolize valor and bravery.
The other White House Christmas decorations
In addition to dozens of trees, several other special items are on display at the White House during the holiday season. These include a massive gingerbread replica of the National Mall on display in the State Dining Room. It’s constructed out of 25 pounds of dough, 25 pounds of chocolate, and 20 pounds of icing.
Four custom mantlepieces in the East Room show the skylines of New York City, San Francisco, St. Louis, and Chicago and are meant to highlight “diversity and ingenuity of American architecture and design.” The White House crèche is also in the East Room.
The Trump family Christmas card and ornament are in the East Garden Room, while the White House Historical Association’s 2018 ornament honoring President Truman is in the library. Replica tables of state dinners from the Theodore Roosevelt, Kennedy, and Trump administration have been set in the China Room.
All this year’s decorations fit with the theme “America’s Treasures” and are meant to honor “the unique heritage of America,” according to a White House statement.
Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!