The White House is cutting back on its typical holiday festivities as the United States braces for yet another winter battling COVID-19.

Instead of the traditional cocktail parties, the White House will host "Holiday Open Houses" for limited guests to view the Christmas decorations, first lady Jill Biden's press secretary Michael LaRosa told CNN.


White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the White House has strict COVID-19 protocols in place even as people seek to unwind and celebrate.

"It doesn’t look exactly like it has always looked here, but we are going to continue to celebrate, to embrace the holiday season, and look for ways we can do that," Psaki said in a briefing.

The Washington Examiner reached out to the White House for comment.

Guests invited to the open house events are required to be vaccinated or take a test and will have 30 minutes to complete a self-guided tour to view the decorations, a source told CNN. The invitations for the events said President Joe Biden and Jill Biden will not attend the tour.

In addition, the White House has not sent out invitations for the Congressional Ball, a black-tie event that presidents have held in years past for members of Congress, according to the Daily Mail.


This cautious approach to the pandemic stands in stark contrast to how former President Donald Trump handled the holiday season in 2020.

The Trump White House hosted nearly two dozen Christmas parties, including the Congressional Ball, according to the Guardian. The number of guests was reduced, and many guests wore masks, but Trump still faced criticism at the time for hosting the events amid the pandemic.