This photograph of the White House gingerbread house was taken by David Wiegold on November 29, 2021 during a press preview of the White House holiday decorations. Executive chef Hans Raffert created the first gingerbread house for First Lady Pat Nixon in 1969, setting the stage for a decades-long holiday tradition. The gingerbread house in 2021 featured eight community buildings in addition to the Executive Mansion. The buildings, including a hospital, schoolhouse, and post office, honored frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The gingerbread house was made of 55 sheets of baked gingerbread, 120 pounds of pastillage, 35 pounds of chocolate, and 25 pounds of royal icing.
For their first year in the White House, President Joseph R. Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden chose the theme, "Gifts from the Heart." The theme was meant to honor the things we cherish and bring us together despite the obstacles posed by a pandemic, time, and distance.