Close this search box.

We Bet You Didn’t Know These 6 (Interesting) White House Christmas Tree Facts!

Let’s talk about the White House! 

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to celebrate Christmas at the White House? When the holiday season is just around the corner, the weather’s getting chillier and chillier, the air feels crisp and strong, and we’re only a few weeks away from Christmas. That’s the moment the holiday spirit kicks in!

Everyone’s looking for the perfect decorations to make their homes prettier and more welcoming; they prepare delicious hot chocolate to feel cozy, and they get their list ready for Santa.

But what are the politicians at the White House doing this Christmas season? How long does it take to decorate? Is there a special theme they have to follow? These are only some of the important questions we wanted to know the answers to.

We have all the juicy information you need! Stay with us until the end of this article, because we bet you didn’t know these 6 interesting facts about the White House Christmas tree!

White House Christmas
Photo by Robert Crow from

1. How did the Blue Room tradition start?

The Blue Room is one of the most important parts of the White House and is actually the residence of the head of state. Besides that, this special room is part of the 3 state living rooms on the 1st floor of the building and is very popular due to its elegant oval shape.

There are receptions, receiving lines, intimate dinners held here, and even wedding ceremonies if there’s any leader who wants to share his love once again. For instance, on June 2nd, 1886, President Grover Cleveland and Frances Folsom had their wedding at the White House in the Blue Room, and it was the only presidential wedding there.

The tradition with the beautiful shade of blue was introduced by Martin Van Buren in 1837 when he was the head of the United States of America. He felt like the room needed a makeover, so he redecorated it in some pretty shades of blue, and this is exactly how the transition to the Blue Room was made.

Speaking of that, when it comes to Christmas at the White House, First Lady Lou Henry Hoover was the one who decided the Christmas tree needed to stay in the Blue Room and allow everyone who comes to visit to see it. She began this tradition in 1929, and she decorated the tree with the most gorgeous lights she could find.

2. It’s First Lady’s duty to select the annual theme

The First Lady, starting with Jacqueline Kennedy in the year of 1961, has been responsible for choosing the Christmas decorations for the White House.

Jackie is known for being a classy and stylish woman, passionate about everything that’s beautiful and meaningful. When she was given the job to get the Christmas tree ready for the holidays, she thought of all the things she wanted and liked, and she went for a “Nutcracker Suite” aesthetic.

Mrs. Kennedy’s theme made a statement that was personal and important at the same time. It was both entirely expressive of her refined taste and conveyed a particularly American sense of style, as Laura Dowling put it in her book “A White House Christmas”.

Jackie Kennedy’s action allowed the following First Ladies to add their own unique creative touches to the traditional White House Christmas, and a new tradition was born.

…The “Nutcracker” theme seems so dreamy and elegant! It’s definitely a classic! 

3. It takes 365 days to plan and only 5 to bring the vision to life

Who would’ve thought that it takes a full year to plan what the holiday will look like at the White House? But that’s true. It really takes 365 days to get things right. When it comes to the official home of the head of state, everything needs to be perfect, right?

Creating a stunning look for the whole White House needs a lot of preparation, including the creation of floor plans, color palettes, design components, and themes for each room.

If you thought that it couldn’t be more than that, let us prove you wrong. The whole process can be broken down into 3 main parts: the idea (or “inception”), the development (or “production”), and the installation (or “completion”).

Only 5 days after Thanksgiving, the White House florist is expected to have the annual theme confirmed by the First Lady and implemented. In her book “A White House Christmas,” which she wrote when she worked as a florist at the White House, Laura Dowling says that the theme for Christmas should include ideas that capture the American spirit and connect with people all over the country.

She also said that the best themes are ones that fit the traditional architecture and furniture of the White House, honor the building’s history, and take into account the most important events in the political and cultural worlds right now.

Long story short, the First Lady needs to think of something special that looks breathtaking, but she also has to keep in mind what’s going on in the political world and how to make everything match with the interior design. It might seem fun at first, but it sure is a hard job!

White House Christmas
Photo by irinaneva from

4. They need volunteers

If you want to see how the White House looks and how every single detail is put together, then you can definitely do so, because they definitely need volunteers to help them bring their vision to reality!

Sources say that it takes more than 100 people to do volunteer work so that they can finish everything in time. There are plenty of decorations to be sorted, then set up and assembled to create the dreamy final look.

The officials accept volunteers from every part of the country, and people travel from all over the United States to participate, even if it means missing Thanksgiving with their families at home.

If you think of taking this opportunity, you should know that there is a rigorous selection process that requires candidates to write impassioned letters to the White House over and over again.

…So if you’re passionate about the political world and want to help decorate the impressive White House, that’s your chance!

5. The Christmas tree is chosen in October

The White House Florist and the American Christmas Tree Growers Association work together every single year to choose a tree that meets all of the White House’s requirements.

Even though some people might say that it’s only a tree and it’s not such a big deal, the officials say that choosing the perfect tree for the house is actually an annual ceremony that begins in early October.

Here’s how everything goes: every year, the Association of American Christmas Tree Farmers holds a contest in which plenty of individual growers compete for the incredible contract of providing the tree for the Blue Room.

The contest is not easy, and a group from the White House visits a farm to choose the Blue Room tree and the other 55+ Christmas trees that will perfectly decorate the White House grounds.

To make sure the tree was fresh and would stay strong and beautiful all through the Christmas season, they took into account its overall height (the Blue Room tree must be over 18 1/2 feet tall), shape, width (it must fit through the North Portico and Blue Room doors), smell, and branches.

…The tree-picking process is actually way harder than it seems! But the end result is magnificent, so it’s definitely worth it!

6. It takes 25 people to get the tree ready

The Christmas tree that will become the centerpiece of the Blue Room is massive and gorgeous, so it needs a lot of work to decorate it. Given the fact that each room in the White House has its own theme (such as “Winter Wonderland”, “America the Beautiful”, and “Joining Forces”), things can get complicated pretty quickly, which is exactly why the officials prefer to work with a theme to handle everything well.

Speaking of that, every single detail needs to be perfectly put together so that there’s nothing missing there. The staff came up with unique design schemes and project plans tailored to the Blue Room special tree, and they assigned a team of roughly 25 volunteers to decorate it.

Besides that, the staff is also required to handle interactive initiatives, such as soliciting greeting cards from kids or ornaments from artists throughout the nation.

But can you imagine how beautiful and magical everything looks in the end? We’ve never been to the White House, but we can tell for sure that the decor there is wonderful and dreamy!

…If you love America as much as we do and want to know your country better, we recommend you check out this article: American History Facts: 10 Important Things You’ve Never Learned in School!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts