only on 5

One-on-One With First Lady Jill Biden on White House Holiday Inspiration

The first lady spoke to NBC 5 at the White House

NBCUniversal, Inc.

The president and first lady are preparing for their first Christmas in the White House. First lady Jill Biden talked with NBC 5’s Julie Fine about the special holiday displays and important themes.

The White House is decorated for the holidays, and the theme is gifts from the house.

First lady Jill Biden told NBC 5's Julie Fine that this year's decorations were inspired by what they saw from Americans this year. 

“Everyone reached out to someone else during this pandemic, and I know it’s been a really hard year for all Americans," she said. "I saw what Americans gave to one another and that inspired me to come out with gifts from the heart."

Different rooms represent the things the Bidens consider sacred, including faith, family, learning and service. There's also a tree for Gold Star families. The first lady has worked with military families for decades.

“We are always thinking about the resilience and their support for all of us to keep us safe, so I think it was really important that we honor them. I love that Gold Star tree,” Biden said.

Once again, the pandemic looms over the holiday season. We asked the first lady about concerns about COVID-19, the President’s approval ratings going down, and her message to Americans at this time of the year.

“My message is, things are going to get better," she said. "You know the President and I think about all Americans every day. We pray for them each night when we say grace when we have dinner, and I know it’s been really hard."

We spoke to the first lady in the state dining room, where there is a White House gingerbread display. There are also community buildings recognizing frontline workers. A school is one of them. Biden has continued to teach community college as first lady.

“I’ll be in the classroom tomorrow giving a final exam. And my students are wonderful, and they look at me as their English teacher. They really don’t care that I’m first lady, and that’s what I love, that they relate to me as their English teacher,” she said.

The first lady will continue traveling the country during the holiday season, encouraging Americans to get vaccinated.

“I just wish that all Americans would look at the science. See that it is safe, see that it is effective, and now it is available for everyone," she said. I wish all Americans would think, if they haven’t gotten vaccinated, I wish they rethink it once again."