The US First Lady Melania Trump has begun the First Family's first Christmas celebration in the White House with a nod to 2017 "Time-Honored Traditions" to pay respect to 200 years of festive holiday tradition.
In the East Wing of the White House, visitors are greeted with a tribute to US service members and their families featuring the Gold Star Family Tree decorated with gold stars and patriotic ribbon. Visitors can write messages to their loved ones who are on duty and special digital tablets are provided.
After passing through the East colonnade, visitors can enter the China Room that has been decorated for a family Christmas dinner, with the table displaying the china from President Ronald Reagan. Next to it is the Library, which features President Franklin D. Roosevelt's 1866 edition of "A Christmas Carol," as they recall the time-honored custom of reading Christmas stories to loved ones.
On the State Floor of the White House, the Grand Foyer and Cross Hall bring to life the first themed White House Christmas, which was the "Nutcracker Suite" in 1961. The Green Room reflects the festivities of crafts, paper, and classic design.
The Blue Room has the official White House Christmas tree, decorated with glass ornaments depicting the seal of each State and territory. Next to the list is the Red Room that hosts holiday treats, with peppermints, candy, and cookies. The State Dining Room has a traditional gingerbread house, depicting the South facade of the White House and features Mrs. Trump's signature Christmas wreaths.
"The President, Barron, and I are very excited for our first Christmas in the White House," said US First Lady Melania Trump. "As with many families across the country, holiday traditions are very important to us. I hope when visiting the People's House this year, visitors will get a sense of being home for the holidays. On behalf of my husband and Barron, I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and joyous holiday season."
Throughout the month of December, the White House is planning to host more than 100 open houses and receptions and about 25,000 visitors will be taking part in public tours, said a White House statement.