Christmas At The White House: ‘Where’s Bo?’

Charles Dharapak / AP Photo

While the official theme of this year’s White House Christmas is “Shine, Give, Share,” the real star of the Obama’s third holiday season at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is First Dog Bo.

“It’s sort of a ‘where’s Bo?’” First Lady Michelle Obama explained at a White House holiday event with military families today. “You’ve got to find the Bo in every room, because he’s hidden everywhere.”

The famous Portuguese water dog is depicted in 1,911 pieces of licorice, in pom-poms and even in trash bags (6,850 feet worth, to be exact). There’s a four-and-a-half foot tall Bo made from felt. Another, just nine-and-a-half inches tall, is made of 318 buttons.

“Trust me, our dog has been a little confused walking around the house for the last couple of weeks, seeing himself in gigantic form,” the First Lady said.

Slideshow of White House Christmas Decorations.

Then there’s the real Bo, who meet with military kids at the White House today. The dog made a surprise appearance as the children were decorating ornaments and cookies in Bo’s likeness with the First Lady. Needless to say, he was a big hit. While Bo did try to sneak a cookie at one point, he generally behaved himself and let the children pet and adore him.

Created with the help of 136 volunteers, this year’s winter wonderland includes four hundred pounds of gingerbread, 37 trees and, of course, the five topiaries of Bo.

The official “Shine, Give, Share” theme is intended to highlight the nation’s troops and celebrate the “countless ways we can lift up those around us, put our best self forward in the spirit of the season… and share our blessings with all,” according to the White House.

Tributes to America’s service members can be found throughout the White House. There’s a special Christmas tree to honor the nation’s Gold Star families, decorated with the names of loved ones lost while serving. Another tree in the Blue Room has been decorated with letters from the country’s military children.

As the 85,000 visitors expected this holiday season enter the White House, they will also have the opportunity to send handwritten notes to troops stationed around the world.