Although Washington, DC is experiencing one of the warmest Decembers in recent memory, there is one place that has snow. A profusion of "snow people" (representing all 56 U.S. states and territories) abound in Jackie Kennedy's garden at the White House. Hand cut paper snowflakes, made by local schoolkids hang from the ceiling in the East Colonnade. Some of the snowflakes contain hand-written aspirations of these students.
The more traditional White House decorations are still here. The gingerbread house is the focus in the State Dining Room but, this year, it is made not only of 250 pounds of gingerbread but is decorated with 150 pounds of dark chocolate and 25 pounds of icing. The White House Christmas tree in its traditional place in the Blue Room is an 18-foot Fraser fir. The theme in the White House Library is a holiday forest of novels and manuscripts, and the Nativity scene occupies its niche in the East Room, where it has been on display during the Christmas holidays through nine administrations.
First Lady Michelle Obama has established her own holiday traditions over the years, especially remembering those serving in the Armed Forces. This year visitors can write digital messages to service members using iPads. There is also a Christmas tree in the East Landing hung with gold stars by families of fallen heroes.