An Old-Fashioned White House Christmas

“The Spirit of America” is the theme for this year’s White House decorations that sparkle with wit and charm.

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The First Family’s official Christmas ornament is seen decorating the tree in the Bookseller’s Room of the White House Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019. (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

“‘The Spirit of America’ is shining at the White House! I am delighted to share this beautiful exhibit of patriotism for all to see, and excited for everyone to experience the beauty of the Christmas season!” — First Lady Melania Trump

Sharply criticized in the past by a press corp eager to insult everything from her choice of baby name to her Christmas coat, First Lady Melania Trump has left her detractors little to criticize about this year’s White House Christmas decorations.

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The Gingerbread House is displayed in the State Dining Room of the White House for the Christmas season Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019. (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

After months of planning, the seasonal decorations are a treat for a nation reeling after a year of political turmoil and bitter partisan bickering.

With sparkle and the brilliance of a thousand points of light, this year’s lavish decorations reflect optimism and hope for the coming year.

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The East Wing Colonnade of the White House is seen decorated for the Christmas season Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019. (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

In previous years, the First Lady has been soundly lampooned on late night television and on the internet over the perceived starkness of some of her holiday decoration choices.

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The East Wing Colonnade of the White House is seen decorated for the Christmas season Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019. (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)
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The Grand Foyer of the White House is decorated for the Christmas season Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019. (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

This year is different.

With historical homages to former First Ladies, and thoughtful details in every nook and cranny, the charm of “The Spirit of America” shines through in every room.

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The Blue Room of the White House is decorated for the Christmas season Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019. (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)
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The Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House is decorated for the Christmas season Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019. (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)
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The Grand Foyer of the White House is decorated for the Christmas season Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019. (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)
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The Grand Foyer of the White House is decorated for the Christmas season Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019. (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)
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The State Dining Room of the White House is decorated for the Christmas season Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019. (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)
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The Nativity scene is displayed in the East Room of the White House for the Christmas season Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019. (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)
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The Green Room of the White House is decorated for the Christmas season Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019. (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)
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The Green Room of the White House is decorated for the Christmas season Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019. (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)
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The Green Room of the White House is decorated for the Christmas season Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019. (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)
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The Blue Room of the White House is decorated for the Christmas season Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019. (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)
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The Blue Room of the White House is decorated for the Christmas season Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019. (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)
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The State Dining Room of the White House is decorated for the Christmas season Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019. (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)
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The Red Room of the White House is decorated for the Christmas season Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019. (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)
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The Red Room of the White House is decorated for the Christmas season Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019. (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)
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A Menorah is lit Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019, during an afternoon Hanukkah Reception in the East Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian)

Though First Lady Melania Trump deserves much of the credit, she certainly couldn’t have done it all alone.

The unsung heroes of the Holiday season at the White House are, as ever, the corp of volunteers tasked with executing the First Lady’s vision for the Christmas and Hanukkah decorations.

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Volunteers decorating the White House for the Christmas season pose for a photo on the steps of the North Portico of the White House Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019. (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

To them and to First Lady Melania Trump, the nation owes a nod of gratitude. Making the Christmas season a little merrier and brighter is most welcome.

(contributing writer, Brooke Bell)

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