Like tall ballerinas dancing pirouettes in sparkling floor length gowns trying to capture the most attention from an awestruck audience, real Christmas trees grace every room, standing shimmering in lights and decorations, ready to receive admiring glances.
Cross Hall at the main White House entrance/Patricia Leslie
Not far from Aaron Shikler's 1970 portrait of President John F. Kennedy, members of the Shenandoah Valley Children's Choir in Harrisonburg, Virgina sing Christmas hymns in the Entrance Hall/Patricia Leslie
Hushed crowds are captured by the moment and the reality they are but fleeting visitors in the president's home (the People's House) where the unmistakable fragrance of Fraser fir greets them at every entrance.
None of that fake stuff, if you please. This is real.
In the East Room/Patricia Leslie
The East Room/Patricia Leslie
Garlands, real garlands, flow from door, window, and mirror tops to floors. Necklaces of the season decorate mirrors.
Bulbs grow below a window in the East Room/Patricia Leslie
Tiny spotlights powered by smaller batteries, brighten the huge gingerbread White House in the State Dining Room/Patricia Leslie
In the Red Room with Henry Inman's 1842 portrait of Angelica Singleton Van Buren /Patricia Leslie
The biggest Christmas tree, the official White House tree, is found in the Blue Room, the focus of attention upon entering the main White House threshold. Stretching to the ceiling, it pays tribute to the troops whose children made the Christmas cards which hang with military medals from almost every branch of the special tree.
The official White House Christmas tree hung with military medals and Christmas cards made by children of servicemen and servicewomen/Patricia Leslie
At the East Visitor Entrance is a table laden with postcards for visitors to inscribe messages to the troops to thank them for their service, and a few steps away is a mailbox for the deposits of gratitude.
Overhead in the Green Room were two guards chatting. Said one, shaking his head: "The question of the day has got to be: 'Is this the real White House?'"
From the Green Room/Patricia Leslie
Parties, tours, and open houses galore. The people are grateful for the opportunities to visit our house, the president's house. What other nation permits it?