White House Welcomes Veterans For Holiday Decorations Unveiling

The White House is focusing on veterans in this year's holiday decorations.

ByALEXANDER MALLIN
December 2, 2015, 3:06 PM

— -- First Lady Michelle Obama hosted military families Wednesday for the first public preview of holiday decorations at the White House.

This year's holiday theme is "A Timeless Tradition," with Christmas displays around the White House celebrating "extraordinary moments that shaped the country during the past two centuries."

In a new addition, the White House has propped up an iPad station surrounding a tree in the East Wing for visitors to send digital messages to American soldiers stationed overseas.

The Blue Room also features a 18.5-foot-tall tree dedicated to servicemembers, and the White House said it will send a portion of a ribbon strewn around the tree to every military family at the end of the holiday season.

"Servicemembers and families represent the very best of us," First Lady Michelle Obama told an audience of military families at the White House Wednesday. "We want to make sure visitors here know about and honor your service."

After addressing military members and their families, the First Lady brought out the family dogs Sunny and Bo to play with around three dozen military children as they put arts and crafts together for the holidays.

PHOTO: First lady Michelle Obama with dogs Bo, left, and Sunny, behind at right, are surrounded by children in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Dec. 2, 2015.
First lady Michelle Obama with dogs Bo, left, and Sunny, behind at right, are surrounded by children in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Dec. 2, 2015, where they made holiday crafts and treats during a preview of the 2015 White House holiday decor.
Carolyn Kaster/AP Photo

According to the First Lady's office, more than 68,000 guests visit the White House during the holiday season.

While there are 62 trees and more than 70,000 ornaments around the White House, only 10 percent of the decorations are from new material.

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events