It's not every day that children are invited to the White House to meet Michelle Obama and take in the lavish Christmas decorations. But on Wednesday the First Lady threw open the doors to her Washington home to invite military families for a first viewing.
Giant sized nutcrackers and teddy bears, 62 beautifully decorated trees, a chocolate gingerbread house modelled on the White House and some 70,000 ornaments to gawp at – these were all lost on the youngsters as soon as they spotted Bo.
The family pet, who the Obamas have had for a few years, was undoubtedly the main attraction. Led by First Lady Michelle, Bo bounced into the room, wagging his tail and jumping around on his front white paws.
"They're pretty nice. They're bigger than they look on TV," said Michelle Obama of her dogs Bo and Sunny
"So anybody who is afraid of dogs, you tell me, okay?" said Michelle. "But they're pretty nice. They're bigger than they look on TV."
The adorable Portuguese Water Dog was joined by his "little sister" Sunny, who the Obamas adopted as a second pet in 2013. It looked like none of the youngsters were scared of the animals as they rushed up to pet and play with them.
First Lady Michelle looked resplendent in a floral jacquard dress
Michelle, who looked resplendent in a floral jacquard Michael Kors dress and metallic gold heels, showed off her maternal side as she chatted to the children and introduced them to Bo and Sunny.
"[They are getting] a tree with doggy treats and tennis ball ornaments," Michelle revealed, explaining the dogs' excitable nature. "And I think I've heard Bo and Sunny are pretty excited about that one."
This year's theme was "A Timeless Tradition"
The First Lady, who has two teenage daughters Sasha and Malia with her husband President Barack Obama, gave a speech in the East Room. She welcomed the military families and explained that this year's theme was "A Timeless Tradition".
"Our decorations celebrate proud American traditions and our singular American spirit," said Michelle.
Some 62 trees and 70,000 ornaments filled the White House
The families were taken on a tour of the White House, visiting the Blue Room, the Red Room and the State Dining Room among others. One of the 62 Christmas trees on display featured iPads where families could send holiday messages to US troops overseas.
The First Lady welcomed the military families into the White House as part of the Joining Forces initiative – a nationwide campaign to support service members, veterans and their families in wellness, education and employment.