First Lady Melania Trump unveiled this year's White House Christmas decorations just after Thanksgiving. We got a glimpse of the First Family's theme of "Time-Honored Traditions," which pays tribute to Christmas traditions from around America and customs from White House Christmases past. The photos shared then really highlighted the specific dramatic style the Trumps went for, but we've been eagerly waiting for HGTV's annual VIP White House Christmas tour, which offers a more in-depth look at how it all came together.
On Sunday night, host Alison Victoria provided the first behind-the-scenes look. According to the show, a staff of 150 "volunteer elves" followed careful instructions to bring the First Lady's vision to life, and sounds like Mrs. Trump had very specific instructions. Head designer revealed to the volunteers that no matter which room they were working on, they needed to keep three things in mind: Ensure that all garlands are long and touch the floor, only tie bows in a classic shoe string style, and keep ornaments snug inside the trees throughout the house — all 53 of them.
Here are some more little details we learned about:
The Green Room
The show began in the Green Room, where every decoration is made of paper, including the green and gold leaf mistletoes and gold pinecone ornaments. Green ribbon hangs on every branch of the Christmas tree, while gold silhouettes of past presidents adorn the mantel garland. One detail that really stands out are the handcrafted scenes hanging in the windows of John Adams hosting the first official White House Christmas and Thomas Jefferson entertaining his grandchildren in the Green Room.
The Red Room
Then it's on to the Red Room, which has a particularly sweet theme of Treats and Candies. Gingerbread houses, candy canes, and lollipops cover the space. And yes, those are real cookies on the tree. The First Family kept up the 42-year-old tradition of using cranberry topiaries in the room as well.
The East Landing
The East Landing is extremely special as it is home to the Gold Star Family Tree, which honors military families across the country. Each branch of the tree gets inspected before being adorned with patriotic ribbon and gold stars.
The East Garden Room
The East Garden Room honors the First Family, where the Official Ornament hangs on every branch of the room's tree. This year, the ornament is a gold-colored bauble featuring the Presidential Coat of Arms encircled by a wreath of holly.
Green books with gold titles create the perfect "book tree" as red satin ribbons acting as bookmarks give the structure a traditional style.
The Grand Foyer
The Grand Foyer features a classic nutcracker decor. The words "winter wonderland" came up more than once to describe the space. Nearly half of the White House's 50-plus Christmas trees reside here. Crystal accents and fake snow (which looks incredibly real thanks to some professional decorators) are on every tree. Lights projected on the ceiling add a theatrical touch.
The Blue Room
This is the room where the official White House Christmas tree stands. Coming in at nearly 20 feet high, the Balsam fir has been styled with blue and gold ribbons, bronze leaves, and hundreds of gold balls that represent every state and territory in the U.S.
All 73 windows of the White House sport a classic green wreath with a satin red ribbon, which was a Trump must and a White House first.