Press Release - First Lady Jill Biden Announces 2022 White House Holiday Theme: We the People
November, 28, 2022 — Today, First Lady Jill Biden is announcing the theme for the 2022 White House Holiday Season: We the People.
"As our country gathers for the holidays, traditions may vary, but our shared American values—a belief in possibility, optimism, and unity—endure season after season. For this year's holidays at the White House, we hope to capture the spirit embodied in the very idea of America: We the People. During your visit to the People's House, through rooms full of history and holiday décor, in the mirrored ornaments and reflective lights, our hope is that you feel at home and find yourself in the great story of America. May the promise of We the People light our path forward into the New Year and bring us together always," the President and First Lady wrote in a welcome letter at the beginning of the commemorative 2022 White House Holiday Guide.
During an event at the White House later today, the First Lady will officially unveil the holiday décor, offering a holiday message of unity and hope and will thank the volunteers from across the country who helped decorate the White House for the season. As part of her Joining Forces initiative to support military families, the First Lady will be joined by National Guard leadership from across the country, along with National Guard family members. As a fellow National Guard mother, Dr. Biden wanted to show appreciation for, and honor, the special role the National Guard plays in serving our country. The National Guard is a unique element of the U.S. military that serves both community and country, in domestic and foreign missions.
As is tradition, the White House holiday planning began during the spring months, with the First Lady choosing the theme and inspiration for the decorations by mid-year. The President and First Lady express their sincerest gratitude to the Executive Residence staff and the team of over 150 volunteers who dedicated their time, energy, and talents to transform the White House for the holiday season.
The White House expects to welcome approximately 50,000 visitors during the holiday season. Videos, photos, and information about the décor will be available on WhiteHouse.gov/Holidays. Additionally, over the course of holidays, a variety of interactive viewing experiences will launch on digital platforms, allowing individuals to engage with the White House during the holidays from home.
2022 White House Holidays by the numbers:
- There are 77 Christmas trees throughout the White House.
- The Gingerbread White House creation includes 20 sheets of sugar cookie dough, 30 sheets of gingerbread dough, 100 pounds of pastillage, 30 pounds of chocolate, and 40 pounds of royal icing.
- Over 83,615 holiday lights decorate the trees, garlands, wreaths, and displays in the White House.
- Twenty-five classic wreaths adorn the north and south facades of the White House.
- It takes over 150 dedicated volunteers from across the country working a full week to decorate the inside and outside of the White House.
We the People, 2022 Holidays Theme
We the People. These words are the foundation of our extraordinary country and the Soul of our Nation. At the holidays, Americans come together each year in fellowship and faith, reminding us that we are stronger in community than we are apart. Each room and design element throughout the White House holiday décor represents what brings us together during the holidays and throughout the year.
Included below is a description of each room's inspiration, expressing the First Lady's theme, We the People.
East Wing – Honor & Remembrance
The bells that adorn the East Entrance of the White House symbolize the unifying and healing power of music, welcoming guests with melody and song. Holiday greenery and red cardinals line the columns and beams of the East Wing Lobby. Many people believe that red cardinals signify the presence of lost loved ones. The idea of We the People recognizes the profound impact of those who came before us.
The first Christmas trees featured on the White House tour are adorned with mirrored Gold Star ornaments that are inscribed with the names of fallen service members. The Gold Star trees honor the heroic men and women of our Nation's military who have laid down their lives for our country, those who are Missing in Action, and the families who carry on their legacies.
Winter trees, handmade woodland animals, and glowing lanterns line the journey down the East Colonnade, evoking the feelings of peace and tranquility after the first snowfall.
Library – Words & Stories
The Library celebrates how the stories we share bring us closer to the people we love, the world around us, and our unfolding history. With décor inspired by literature, history, and education, the Library honors how lines on a page can ignite our imaginations, spur spirited dialogue, and remind us of the connections that transcend culture, distance, and even time.
On display in the Library is a copy of the Declaration of Independence, printed circa 1845. This engraving was donated to the White House in 1985.
Vermeil Room – Kindness & Gratitude
The décor of the Vermeil Room (French for gilded silver) represents the different ways we show appreciation for each other and give back to our communities. The smallest acts of kindness really matter.
The Vermeil Room is decked with presents wrapped in playful patterns of paper, spools of ribbon, and homemade gifts waiting to be discovered on a neighbor's porch. Illustrations of the Biden family's pets—Commander and Willow—make a surprise appearance in the Vermeil Room, reminding us of the gift of unconditional love. Boxes from Operation Gratitude, a non-profit organization that delivers care packages to deployed troops, first responders, and military families, are incorporated into the room's displays, signifying the joy and meaning that come from giving back to those who serve others.
China Room – Food & Traditions
The design elements of the China Room are meant to remind us of family traditions passed down through generations, overflowing kitchens that smell like familiar recipes, and crowded dining room tables filled with laughter. Wrapping the branches of the room's Christmas trees and mantels are garlands of wooden spoons, measuring cups, rolling pins, and cookies that are reminiscent of baking treats in your grandma's kitchen. Throughout the room are well-worn recipe cards, contributed by the volunteers from across the country who helped decorate the White House for the holidays.
The China Room, which was formalized by First Lady Edith Wilson in 1917, houses tableware used by past presidential families. Each set reflects the presidents and first ladies who selected their designs and recalls the State Dinners and celebratory meals that have brought together world leaders and diplomats.
East Room – Nature & Recreation
From the Everglades to the Rocky Mountains, from the Painted Desert to the Great Lakes, our country is home to breathtaking natural wonders—and they belong to us all. The East Room décor reflects the communion we find in nature. Groupings of snowy trees fill the corners of the room, with children ready to play outside. As part of the fireplace mantel displays, visitors see four iconic National Parks from around our country represented: The Grand Canyon, Yellowstone National Park, the Great Smoky Mountains, and Shenandoah National Park.
As the largest room in the White House, the East Room has hosted public receptions, ceremonies, bill signings, and other memorable occasions. It also features a portrait of President Theodore Roosevelt, who helped establish 150 national forests, 51 federal bird reserves, four national game preserves, five national parks, and 18 national monuments on over 230 million acres of public lands.
The Neapolitan crèche, with over 40 figurines, most dating back to the eighteenth century, is displayed here as it has been during every holiday season since 1967.
Green Room – Sounds & Songs
Music is woven into the harmony and history of our country. The healing and unifying power of music brings us together in common movement and melody. Inspired by the choral masterpieces and familiar carols that have defined the holidays for generations, the décor features sleigh bells, hand bells, and jingle bells to signal the sounds and songs of the season.
Blue Room – Unity & Hope
In the Blue Room, handmade renderings of the official birds from all 57 states, territories, and the District of Columbia adorn the Official White House Christmas Tree, illustrating the beauty and strength that comes from unity. The individual tree trimmings shine on their own, but woven together, this unified collection transforms a humble fir into a stunning symbol of We the People.
The centerpiece of the holiday season, an 18½ foot Concolor Fir from Auburn, Pennsylvania, stands floor to ceiling and fills the oval room. Every year, the room's chandelier is removed to accommodate the Christmas tree's full height. This year's tree was presented by the Shealer Family of Evergreen Acres Christmas Tree Farm, the 2022 Grand Champion Grower in the National Christmas Tree Association's annual contest.
Red Room – Faith & Light
In times of both grief and joy, faith can light the way forward. In the Red Room, towers of candles and glowing stained glass windows reflect the comfort, peace, and strength we find in faith. It's often in quiet, candlelit rooms when we can see most clearly and feel most connected to ourselves and the world around us.
A Red Room tradition since 1975, fresh cranberries are part of the room's holiday display. Also featured this year are orchids, one of the First Lady's favorite flowers.
State Dining Room – We the Children
Embodied in the idea of We the People is the promise of the next generation. In the State Dining Room, the décor celebrates the childlike wonder that makes the holiday season a favorite time of year for so many. The ornaments on the Christmas trees were crafted as self-portraits by the students of the 2021 Teachers of the Year from across the country, ensuring that children see themselves in this year's holiday display.
Hanging from the fireplace mantel are the traditional Biden family stockings for Santa to fill on Christmas Eve, always with an orange in the toe (a tradition from the First Lady's grandmother).
2022 Gingerbread White House
A favorite of children of all ages is the official 2022 Gingerbread White House, placed in its honored position on the eagle pier table in the State Dining Room. Inspired by this year's theme of We the People, the display also includes a sugar cookie replica of Independence Hall in Philadelphia, the birthplace of the United States. Both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were signed at Independence Hall.
The White House Menorah
A new addition to the White House collection is a menorah created by the Executive Residence Carpentry Shop. The menorah was constructed using wood that was removed circa 1950 during a Truman-era renovation, and is located in the Cross Hall.
The Grand Foyer and Cross Hall – A Celebration of We the People
In the Grand Foyer and Cross Hall of the White House, metal ribbons are inscribed with the names of all the 57 states, territories, and the District of Columbia, and mark the year each entered the Union. Mirrored ornaments and reflective surfaces ensure that visitors can see themselves in the décor, noting that the strength of our country—the Soul of our Nation—comes from We the People.
2022 Holiday Guide Illustrator:
Elementary school teacher, children's book author and illustrator, Daria Peoples, from Las Vegas, Nevada, created the artwork for the 2022 White House Holiday Guide, bringing the First Lady's holiday theme to life on the page.
Jill Biden, Press Release - First Lady Jill Biden Announces 2022 White House Holiday Theme: We the People Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/358928