Practical-minded First Lady Michelle Obama has taken an understated and economical approach to this year's White House Christmas decorations.
There are just seven trees on the entire state floor this year. This is markedly less than in the days of the Bush and Clinton administrations where a dozen trees alone lined the mansion's foyer and hall.
And the biggest of the Christmas trees, standing at a whopping 18-and-a-half foot, has been jazzed up with recycled ornaments.
"We took about 800 ornaments left over from previous administrations, we sent them to 60 local community groups throughout the country, and asked them to decorate them to pay tribute to a favourite local landmark and then send them back to us for display here at the White House," said Mrs Obama.
On Tuesday night, the volunteers involved in bringing the tree to life were invited to attend a White House holiday party. It was the first of 17 which are due to take place.
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