WASHINGTON (AP) - Melania Trump is celebrating American patriotism at the White House this Christmas, incorporating red and blue into the traditional holiday green, adding a timeline of American design, innovation and architecture and studding a Christmas tree with her family's annual ornament, the American flag.
The traditional gingerbread White House shares its stage with American landmarks including the Statue of Liberty and the Golden Gate Bridge.
"It is with great joy that our family welcomes you to the White House this holiday season as we celebrate the Spirit of America," President Donald Trump, the first lady and their son, Barron, say in the signed introduction to a souvenir book that visitors will receive as a holiday keepsake. "We hope you enjoy our tribute to the traditions, customs and history that make our nation great."
The White House previewed the decorations for journalists on Monday before Trump and the first lady were to depart for London.
The East Colonnade of the White House is lined with double rows of see-through panels etched with more than 60 examples of American design, innovation and architecture, ranging from the Woolworth Building in New York City to the Space Needle in Seattle.
A tree dedicated to Gold Star families that lost an immediate relative during military service stands at the beginning of the hallway while a tree decorated with the Trump family ornament - an American flag this year - glistens at the end of the colonnade.
East Room decorations are inspired by the U.S. flag and feature gilded eagle Christmas tree toppers, mirrored stars and red and blue ribbons. In the State Dining Room, at the opposite end of the hallway, the decor continues to showcase American design.
The gingerbread White House, built from 200 pounds (90 kilograms) of gingerbread and slathered in 25 pounds (11 kilograms) of royal icing and 35 pounds (16 kilograms) of chocolate, showcases the South Portico, including a staircase made using angel hair, fettucine and spaghetti.
The popular display also features models of landmarks from across the country, including Mount Rushmore, St. Louis' Gateway Arch, the Alamo, the Liberty Bell and the Statue of Liberty, besides the Golden Gate Bridge and the Space Needle.
The Blue Room is again commanded by a towering tree, a Douglas fir from a Pennsylvania farm, decorated with flowers representing every state and territory.
Mrs. Trump continued her tradition of hanging wreaths on the mansion's exterior windows, 106 in all.
Late Sunday, she teased her Twitter followers with a minute-long video sneak peek of some of the decorations and of herself walking through the State Floor of the White House and sprinkling fake snow one of many Christmas trees decked out with white lights.
“The Spirit of America” is shining in the @WhiteHouse! 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! pic.twitter.com/qGxxl9qBrd— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) December 2, 2019
More than 225 volunteers flew in from around the country to help decorate the White House during Thanksgiving weekend.
Decorations in the public areas of the White House include 58 Christmas trees, more than 2,500 strands of light, more than 800 feet (244 meters) of garland and more than 15,000 bows.