A feast of blue and white ornaments adorns a Smithsonian holiday tree in the Castle building, surrounded at its base by blue flowering coleus. (Eric Long)
The National Museum of American History's tree, dressed in red and white ornaments and cranberry branches, pays homage to the Star Spangled Banner gallery. (Eric Long)
Pink and white poinsettias surround the Natural History Museum's tree trimmed in dried and artificial flowers, including amaryllis and hydrangeas. (Eric Long)
On the ground floor of the Natural History Museum, a large disk from the South Pacific island of Yap provides a frame for the museum's tree, festooned with starfish, fish, seaweed and other marine-themed ornaments. (Eric Long)
The tree at the National Museum of African Art is decked out in nuts, pine cones and palm fronds, and sparkles with orange and green lights. (Eric Long)
Just outside the Castle in the Kathrine Dulin Rose Garden, the tiers of a fountain are festooned with branches of cedar, balsam fir and boxwood, and are highlighted with dried roses and other flowers. (Eric Long)
Follow the garden path in the evening hours through the Mary Ripley Garden adjacent to the Hirshhorn to see the bare branches decorated in twinkling lights. (Eric Long)
In the Enid Haupt Garden next to the Castle, the lampposts are roped with a mix of Douglas fir and California incense cedar and topped with holly. (Eric Long)
Tumbled blue glass illuminated by LED lights evokes a crystalline pool in the Mary Ripley Garden's Victorian fountain. (Eric Long)

Happy Holidays! The Smithsonian is Closed on Christmas Day

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’ on the Mall


Decked out for the holidays, the Smithsonian grounds take on a festive air. Photograph by Eric Long

Twas the Night Before Christmas

and here on the Mall,

Not a creature is stirring in the museum's vast halls

Full of objects and trinkets selected with care

By curators hoping you'd all soon be there.

Alas and alack, one day of the year,

The Smithsonian closes. But don't shed a tear—

The day after Christmas the doors will swing wide

To let you all in. But until then, enjoy a few slides.

(Well really, they're photos–you know what we mean)

Of gardens and buildings that look really keen

They're all gussied up for the holiday season.

We're pretty darn sure you'll find them appeasing.

About Jesse Rhodes

Jesse Rhodes is an editorial assistant for Smithsonian magazine. Before he became an editorial assistant, Jesse worked at the Library of Congress Publishing Office, where he was a contributor to the Library of Congress World War II Companion.

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