MOTHER EARTH NEWS Decorates Presidential Guest House for the Holidays

MOTHER EARTH NEWS was invited by the Department of State to spruce up historic rooms with eco-friendly décor for the holiday season.

| Dec. 11, 2009

This holiday season, MOTHER EARTH NEWS was honored to showcase messages of environmental stewardship through beautiful holiday decorations as one of six national magazines participating in the first-ever Magazine Holiday Design Showcase, a partnership between the Magazine Publishers of America and the U.S. Department of State.

View a slide show of our decorations.

We spruced up two rooms in the Blair House, the president’s official guest house, and one of the Diplomatic Reception Rooms in the State Department’s Harry S. Truman Building in Washington, D.C. These rooms have borne witness to some of the nation’s greatest diplomatic achievements and will be visited by hundreds of guests this December, including foreign leaders and dignitaries, diplomats, senators and congressmen. Our decorations seek to support President Obama, Secretary of State Clinton, Ambassador Marshall and their staffs in the vital role they play in welcoming visitors to the United States. “We’re grateful for the opportunity to highlight important environmental issues — the need to sustain biodiversity with heirloom food crops, reduce consumption and purchase sustainable goods — at such esteemed venues,” says Bryan Welch, publisher and editorial director.  

Blair House: Jackson Dining Room and Sitting Room

These rooms emphasized the beauty and elegance of environmentally friendly living, while calling for Peace on Earth. Live trees display handmade dove-shaped cookies carrying flags of nations from around the world, and gorgeous rare heirloom corns, wheat and rice tell a story about world hunger. The decorations in these rooms were energy-efficient, handmade, fairly traded, recycled and reusable.

An International Tree for Peace. Decorating winter holidays with evergreen boughs and trees is an ancient tradition now practiced in many countries. During the U.S. Civil War, the Christmas tree was widely treated as a symbol of hope for the reunification of the country. Christmas trees became symbols of patriotism, and were often decorated with flags, liberty bells and cookies. The trees displayed in the Jackson Sitting Room feature handmade peace dove cookies carrying flags of the nations of the world, as a holiday symbol of all nations’ desire for peace and harmony.

Let Us Be Mindful of Those Who Have Less. For thousands of years, people all around the world have gathered during winter to celebrate their religious holy days and/or the return of light and warmth following the Winter Solstice. Food is often at the center of such celebrations. The unique decorations in the Jackson Dining Room feature the “Big Three” crops that feed the modern world:

K Williams
12/18/2009 8:08:12 PM

Congratulations to the decorating team- It was great to see the apples and other homey touches in Blair House. (I could have managed without Hillary Clinton.)

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