WASHINGTON — With December approaching, the White House is greeting the holiday season by revisiting the past: celebrating a child’s sense of wonder and learning as the annual holiday theme. 

“There’s a lot of takeaways on how to bring out our inner child,” said Anita Yokota, an interior designer who was among hundreds of volunteer decorators at the White House. 

According to the Office of the First Lady, more than 350 candles, 33,000 ornaments and 22,100 bells were used to bring “magic, wonder and joy” to the White House. Vibrant candy canes, papier-mâché reindeer and children’s letters written to the president hung suspended from the ceilings. Visitors can even find a licorice replica of Commander, President Joe Biden’s dog.

Charlotte Smith, another volunteer and content creator with more than 140,000 Instagram followers, said bringing the decor to life was “magic” in itself. 

“It really is just a ‘pinch me’ moment,” she said. 

As part of the White House initiative Joining Forces, National Guard families will be among the first invited to see the display. Select tours will open to the public in December.

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