West Wing Week 12/24/13 or, “The Holiday Card”

Welcome to the West
Wing Week, and happy holidays. This week we’ll be celebrating
the season by taking you behind the scenes as the White House
is transformed into a yuletide masterpiece, with the help of
volunteers from all the across the country. We will also stop into a news
conference the president held before he departed for the
Hawaiian Islands to have a Mele Kalikimaka with
friends and family. That’s December 20th
to Christmas Eve, or the Holiday Card edition. (♪♪ jazz music ♪♪) Each December the White House
undergoes a truly magical transformation. The weekend after Thanksgiving
tinsel and trees arrive. Garlands and wreathes are hung. And more than 80 volunteers
from across the country, including veterans and
members of military families, arrive to decorate
the White House. Some 70,000 visitors then pass
through the White House gates once it’s decorated to enjoy the
sights and sounds of the season at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Mrs. Obama:
Although people who
visit the White House will see dozens of trees and wreaths,
they’re going to see thousands of ornaments, and they’re going
to see a gingerbread house that weighs about 300 pounds, some of
the best sights they’ll see are kids enjoying all this
just wonderful glory. You know, some of the best times
in this White House is just watching the faces of kids as
they walk through this house and count the trees and
look at the ornaments. And none of this would be
possible without the 83 volunteers who came from all
the across the country to help us decorate. Have a happy holiday from my
family to all of yours. Enjoy this holiday season. Be safe, be happy, and gather
round together and remember what this is all about. You all take care. Love you much. (applause) Narrator:
It was the Friday
before Christmas and the rooms were all dressed when the
president stepped out to talk to the press. The President:
Good afternoon, everybody. I think 2014 needs to
be a year of action. We’ve got work to do to
create more good jobs, to help more Americans earn the
skills and education they need to do those jobs, and to make
sure that those jobs offer the wages and benefits that let
families build a little bit of financial security. We still have the task of
finishing the fix on our broken immigration system. We’ve got to build on the
progress we’ve painstakingly made over these last five years
with respect to our economy and offer the middle class and all
those who are looking to join the middle class a
better opportunity. And that’s going to be where I
focus all of my efforts in the year ahead. Narrator:
That evening, the
Obama family departed for Hawaii, where they will
spend the holidays together. Best wishes from all of us here
at West Wing Week this holiday season. And remember, for more
information on any of these topics or to see complete
videos of these events, go to whitehouse.gov or, in this
case, whitehouse.gov/holidays. And thanks again for checking
out your West Wing Week. Marianne Scobey:
This is a wonderful experience. I’m meeting great people. I’m having a wonderful time. I was a little worried, because
I’m older I wouldn’t have the endurance I needed. I went on a training program
and I did yoga, Qigong, walk two miles a day, and
I’m having a great time.

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