White House Decks The Halls In Military Brass

A group of more than 100 volunteers helped decorate the White House this year, covering the mansion in Christmas trees, cookie ornaments and several versions of the Obamas' dog, Bo. The real stars, however, were the military families who joined the celebration.

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    "Shine, Give, Share" is the theme for the Obama family's third Christmas in the White House. This year, a total of 37 Christmas trees and a 400-pound White House made of gingerbread, white chocolate and marzipan decorate the mansion.
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    First lady Michelle Obama welcomed military families to the first viewing of the 2011 decorations on Wednesday. White House chefs joined her to decorate cookies with the children.
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    Some of those cookies were turned into ornaments.
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    This year, the official tree is an 18 1/2-foot balsam fir in the Blue Room. Decorated with medals and cards made by military children, it honors Blue Star military families.
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    Several versions of the Obamas' Portuguese water dog, Bo, appear throughout this year's decorations, ranging from a miniature licorice and marshmallow version to a this 4½-foot-tall felt topiary.
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    Ornaments made to honor loved ones decorate the Gold Star Families Tree.
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    A "Bo" made from plastic garbage bags sits in front of the fireplace in the library. Mrs. Obama drew a laugh from the crowd when she said Bo, "the most famous member of the Obama family," has been a little confused walking around the house and seeing himself in "gigantic form."
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    The Red Room features fruit, foliage and flowers set in berry-covered vases.
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    Some of the handcrafted decorations are made of paper, felt and recycled cans, like these handcrafted tabletop trees in the Green Room.
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    More than 100 holiday volunteers assisted with the decorations, and officials say they're expecting about 85,000 visitors to tour the White House this holiday season.
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