Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas in Washington DC

Christmas here in the DC area has been so much fun! We have really tried to take advantage of everything there is to do here.

Today we went on a tour of the White House- which is incredibly beautiful on its own... but with all the Christmas decorations in place, it was magnificent. Ms. Obama's theme this for this year was "Simple Gifts" and everything was just lovely.
The two gold trees here (in the windows) are made from folded newspaper which has been painted and glittered. I read that they were patterned after some trees that were made in the 1940s, when they had very little resources (due to WWII) to decorate the White House. They were amazing. (I'm totally going to make one!) These potted trees were created with some birch branches, and were wrapped with crystal beaded garlands. The picture doesn't do them justice- they were really beautiful in person.
As you first enter the East Wing you see these large wreaths in the windows. They were made from small dried gourds, pomegranates, and artichokes.
This year's gingerbread house was not made of gingerbread... but white chocolate instead. Pretty impressive, eh?
Every room has a fireplace, and every mantel was covered in lovely garlands. This one, in the red room, was made of magnolia leaves and glittery red spheres. Again, the photos don't do it justice...There were many large garlands around mantels and doorways- and in each room they were made from different type of greenery. This room had a gold theme- the trees and garlands were stuffed with leaves and bulbs and ribbons in many shades of gold. It looked especially pretty against the gold features of the room- enormous chandeliers, large gilded mirrors, and golden wall sconces. Amazing. The East Room had a Peacock theme- and was done in deep shades of blue and purple and gold. It was so inspiring. It made me want to repaint my whole house in those lovely deep shades... Well, that was our tour. As we came out of the tour we headed to Starbucks for some hot chocolate... and it started snowing. (Our first snow!) There's nothing like snow to make things feel Christmasy.

If you're ever in Washington, I highly recommend going on the White House Tour. (Just email your Congressperson to request tickets, at least a few months in advance)
Last week we attended the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony with a couple of friends. We bundled Leo up as much as we could, then took the metro into the city. There were thousands of people there, and they had two large video screens set up so you could actually see what was going on center stage. The Obamas were there of course, and the performers were Ingrid Michaelson, BB King, and Maroon 5. We wanted to stay for the whole thing, but ended up leaving early because poor Leo was so cold. We headed to a nearby restaurant where we could warm up and have some soup for dinner.
It was a fun night. Despite the freezing temperatures, it was fun to be out there, celebrating the Christmas season in our Nation's capital. We feel so fortunate to live here.

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