By Brandi Fowler
Dec 01, 2017 @ 12:45 pm
Alex Wong/Getty Images

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the White House ... in an interesting way.

Ahead of the annual Christmas party for the press Friday, the White House previewed the festive decor on the grounds, which included a 19.5 foot balsam fir dressed in colorful ornaments and lights that served as the official White House Christmas tree.

The decorations were anything short of simplistic. With a theme dubbed “Time-Honored Traditions," which pays homage to 200 years of White House holiday customs, it included a spread of 53 Christmas trees, 71 Christmas wreaths, more than 12,000 ornaments and a 200-pound gingerbread reproduction of the White House, according to ABC News.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Inside of the Grand Foyer and Cross Hall, the decor was inspired by the “Nutcracker Suite” theme of the 1961 White House holiday decorations, with several Christmas trees coated with crystal ornaments and faux snow inside.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

On the East Wing, stark white branches lined the walkway. Although the rest of the decor looked like a winter wonderland, social media started buzzing when photos of Melania Trump walking the wing in a monochromatic white look surfaced, leading some to dub it “Melania’s Creepy Christmas” and compare it to Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas.

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Jokes—and holiday décor—aside, this year’s Christmas party will look a little different than it has in usual years. Given President Donald Trump’s relationship with the press, CNN has decided to boycott the event, saying in a statement to Politico, “CNN will not be attending this year’s White House Christmas party.”

“In light of the President’s continued attacks on freedom of the press and CNN, we do not feel it is appropriate to celebrate with him as his invited guests. We will send a White House reporting team to the event and report on it if news warrants.”

The White House Christmas Party kicks off at 2 p.m. Friday.

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