Michelle Obama Unveils 2013 White House Holiday Decor

Life & Love | Bené Viera | 12/06/2013 | 12:39 PM EST

Michelle Obama unveils the White House holiday decor.

First Lady Michelle Obama unveiled the White House’s 2013 Christmas decor to a crowd of military families. They were the first of the expected 70,000 visitors this holiday season.

Mrs. Obama chose the theme Gather Around: Stories of the Season, a celebration of stories and traditions that bring families together for the holidays.

“Our goal is for every room and every tree to tell a story about who we are and how we gather around one another to mark the holidays,” FLOTUS said.

The decor includes handmade volunteer crafts and recycled classic pieces. There are 24 Christmas trees throughout the residence, and they each tell a story. The themed decorations do as well.

This year two of the rooms honor military families, a tradition started by Mrs. Obama. The military children in attendance made fruit wreath and paper poinsettia crafts.

“When visitors arrive, the very first thing they’ll see is a tree decorated to pay tribute to our Armed Forces," she said. "This tree, graced with special Gold Star ornaments, tells the story of some of our greatest heroes: Those who gave their lives for our country. And any Gold Star family who visits the White House can create their own ornament to honor their loved one.”

Other traditions like presenting the White House in pastry form will continue this year. The White House gingerbread house sits on a gingerbread fireplace. And how many cookies did it take to make? 1,200 Springerle cookies and 300 pounds of dough were used. Sounds delicious.

Selecting a holiday theme began in the 1960s when First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy created a nutcracker themed Christmas for their daughter Caroline.

Christmas time with the Obamas in the White House sounds delightful.

(Photos: Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo)

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