In keeping with this year’s White House holiday theme, “Gather Around: Stories of the Season,” the traditional gingerbread White House — a detailed, hand-crafted confectionary replica — pays tribute to stories of American and White House traditions.
Resting on a full-size reproduction fireplace covered with 1,200 cookies, the 300-pound culinary creation commemorates stories of American families gathering in their homes to listen to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s fireside chats.
Requiring two weeks to construct, the house features a working fountain with bubbling water (with a little blue food coloring), working electric lights, images of the first family, six Christmas trees, red carpeting, chocolate furniture and a chocolate presidential seal over a doorway. Prominently featured are oversized figures of Bo and Sunny, the first family’s dogs, made of dark chocolate.
The tradition of displaying a gingerbread house in the White House at Christmas began in 1972 when first lady Patricia Nixon included a 16-pound A-frame in her decorations. The first to replicate the White House appeared in 1979.