It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas – at least at the White House.
On Monday, Donald Trump and First Lady Melania were all smiles as they officially began their Christmas celebrations. The pair held hands and watched on in awe as a horse-drawn carriage delivered a giant Christmas tree to the White House.
The tree will be displayed in the Blue Room, while the rest of the iconic landmark will be decked out in Christmas decorations. According to a tweet by the White House, the tree serves as a centrepiece for Christmas decorations and must stand 18-19 feet tall. It reaches the ceiling of the Blue Room and a chandelier is even removed to make way for the tree.
The iconic festive carol ‘O Christmas Tree’ played as the tree arrived, with both Donald and Melania walking around the carriage to inspect the tree. The president gave a nod of approval, before giving one of the horses a pat. The tree was presented by Larry Smith, the winner of the National Christmas Tree Contest. It originated from Mountain Top Fraser Fir in Newland, North Carolina.
The White House Christmas tree selection is a competitive process overseen by the National Christmas Tree Association, which has provided the official tree to the White House since 1966.
Smith has been selling Christmas trees since 1980 and had competed in the National Christmas Tree Contest four times in the past. He provided a tree for the Vice President’s residence in 2001 and delivered a Christmas tree to the White House for the very first time on Monday.
“I feel as though I have finally won the Super Bowl,” Smith said. “It’s a great honour to represent the Christmas tree industry by providing the Official White House Christmas Tree in 2018.”
Both Donald and his wife were dressed festively for the event. While the president opted for a suit with a bright red tie, Melania proved she was as stylish as ever in a Michael Kors red plaid cape.
Complete with a smart pair of black pants, top and matching heels, the 48-year-old was in her element as she welcomed the holiday season.
If last year’s Christmas display is anything to go by, no expense will be spared for this year’s festivities. In 2017, the White House was transformed into a Winter Wonderland, with the halls of the Washington landmark dressed with lavish trees, decorations and fairy lights.
And while the tree has just arrived, Melania has been preparing for Christmas since July. In a tweet earlier this year, the mother-of-one explained that she was already getting ready for the Holidays.
“Planning is underway for this year’s Christmas at the White House,” she tweeted at the time. “There is still a lot of work to be done, but I hope everyone will enjoy our final holiday vision for the People’s House.”
More than 25,000 people were thought to have visited the White House during the Christmas season last year.