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Image: Trump tours the holiday decorations with reporters at the White House in Washington

U.S. news

Ballerinas kick off Christmas at the White House

More than 150 volunteers from 29 states spent 1,600 hours over the holiday weekend decking the White House halls.

 / Updated 14 PHOTOS
Image: Ballet dancers perform as Trump tours holiday decorations at the White House in Washington

Ballet dancers perform as first lady Melania Trump begins a tour of the holiday decorations with reporters at the White House on Nov. 27.

Jonathan Ernst / Reuters
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The first lady's theme is "Time-Honored Traditions," a nod to 200 years of holiday celebrations at the executive mansion.

Above: The Cross Hall

Carolyn Kaster / AP
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Image: Christmas decor at the White House in Washington

The decor includes 71 wreaths, 53 Christmas trees, more than 18,000 lights, more than 12,000 ornaments, more than 3,100 yards of ribbon and more than 1,000 feet of garland, the White House said.

Above: The Red Room

Kevin Lamarque / Reuters
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Image: Melania Trump

More than 25,000 visitors are expected to tour the White House for the holidays.

Above: The Green Room

Carolyn Kaster / AP
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A cut-paper silhouette decorates a window in the Green Room.

Carolyn Kaster / AP
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Image: Trump tours the holiday decorations with reporters at the White House in Washington

Ballerinas perform before the tour begins.

Jonathan Ernst / Reuters
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The official White House Christmas tree stands in the Blue Room.

The 18-foot Balsam fir from Wisconsin is decorated with ornaments bearing the seals of every state and U.S. territory

Carolyn Kaster / AP
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Image: US-HOLIDAY-CHRISTMAS

Melania Trump walks through Christmas decorations in the East Wing.

Saul Loeb / AFP - Getty Images
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Image: Trump tours the holiday decorations with reporters at the White House in Washington

Melania Trump hugs visiting school children. 

Jonath Ernst / Reuters
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Image: Trump tours the holiday decorations with reporters at the White House in Washington

Mrs. Trump sits with school children making paper wreaths and other decorations.

Jonathan Ernst / Reuters
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Image: Christmas decor at the White House in Washington

The White House creche and other Christmas decor adorns the East Room.

Kevin Lamarque / Reuters
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Image: US-HOLIDAY-CHRISTMAS

A portrait of Abraham Lincoln hangs in the State Dining Room.

Saul Loeb / AFP - Getty Images
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Image: Christmas decor at the White House in Washington

A 350-pound gingerbread house is displayed in the State Dining Room. 

Kevin Lamarque / Reuters
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The Trump family Christmas card is framed and on display. 

The "Merry Christmas" salutation is a change from the Obama years, when the annual cards offered more generic sentiments of "Season's Greetings" or wishes for happy holidays. Trump has vowed to put "Christmas" back at the center of the holidays. During the presidential campaign, he complained that saying "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas" amounted to "chipping away at Christianity."

Carolyn Kaster / AP
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