Monday, November 17, 2008


I love seeing what the White House does every year for their Christmas tree. Each year it seems like it's prettier then the one before.

Jackie Kennedy was the one who first started the idea of having a theme to the Christmas decorating every year.

In 1961, Jackie Kennedy had the Christmas tree decorated in a theme from the ballet, The Nutcracker. The tree was adorned with small toys, candy canes, gingerbread cookies and small packages.

When President Johnson was in office the theme for that year was An American Past. The tree was full of nuts, popcorn, fruit, roses made from wood and gingerbread cookies.

In 1969 Mrs. Nixon had the White House tree decorated in beautiful velvet and satin balls that represented the 50 States. They were all made by disabled workers in FL. Each ornament was embossed with the flower from each State.

By 1974, President Ford was in the White House and it was decided that homemade items emphasising Thrifting and Recycling would be the theme of their decorating. The tree had patchwork and handmade ornaments. There were blue moire swags lined with patchwork encircling the tree.

Jimmy Carter was in office on Christmas 1977. The first family decided to have their tree decorations made by disabled men and women from the National Association of Retarded Citizens. Placed upon the tree were ornaments made from nut pods, egg shells, foil and painted milkweed pods.

Skip ahead to 1986 and we find Mr. and Mrs Regan in the White House. Nancy Regan wanted to remember the children of America that year and so she decided on a theme of Mother Goose Christmas. The tree was packed with ornaments that looked like gingerbread cookies, Christmas card ornaments, State Balls and little white geese. At the base of the tree there were 15 soft sculptured scenes from Mother Goose rhymes.

In 1991 we found the first President Bush in office. Mrs Bush choose a tree decorated with needlepoint ornaments, red glass balls, needlepoint figures in shapes from Noah's Ark and at the bottom of the tree was a needlepoint village.

The Clinton's brought us a Winter Wonderland 1998. The tree was adorned with snowmen, knitted mittens and hats and tons of hand painted ornaments.

In 2001 the 2nd President Bush was in the White House and Laura Bush asked artists from the 50 States and District of Columbia to design miniature replicas of the historic houses from their regions.

So here we are nearing Christmas 2008. President and Mrs. Bush are going to have their last Christmas in the White House and I, for one, will be waiting and watching to see what the theme of their Christmas tree will be.

So if you were in the White House, how would you decorate your tree?


Unknown said...

What a fun post, thanks for sharing! I guess I never really gave the Christmas Tree at the White House much thought!

Unknown said...

Hi Joanne,
This was a great picture tour of the White House Christmas trees!

I'm not sure how I would decorate it...probably something very patriotic!

Great post!

Edie Marie's Attic said...

HI Joanne!
I have always loved the White House Christmases also! I would love the see the one of 1961 with Jackie Kennedy again. I was a true fan of the Kennedys in the White House and what Jackie did to restore it. I know there was all kinds of termoil in their lives but it was so nice to think there was really a Camelot.
Hugs, sherry

Donna @ Party Wishes said...

My friend from Branson, MO was at the tree ceremony of the National Christmas tree being delivered to Washington this weekend. The Lennon sisters were there to sing and a brass band was playing. It was 38 degrees and it almost snowed. Hard to imagine when it is 90 degrees HERE!

Jean Tuthill said...

Hi Joanne, Thanks for sharing all the trees and the Presidents and First Ladies. It's so much fun to look back to see what they have done in the past. I try to catch the specials on HGTV every year when they show and tell all about the current years tree. It's very interesting to see how much work goes into it and how many people it takes to pull it off.


Hi Joanne:)
Love the snowman post and the Tea party post and Love the White House tree post. Thanks for all the fun and interesting post that you do. If the snow wouldn't melt, I'd send you a snowman this winter..or you can come here and make your own snowman.

sherry said...

I like President Bush/First Lady Laura Bush's tree the white and silver.

I'd do a shabby chic white tree.

President Elect Obama and his wife don't celebrate Christmas so hopefully they'll pass the Christmas Tree tradition to Mrs. Biden.

I found your blog by way of a bunny trail. Thank you for such a nice visit.

Cottage Rose said...

Hey Joanne; I love all the photos of the White House Christmas Trees. They were all so pretty. I look forward to seeing all the decorations in the White House, on HGTV they have a special in Dec. and take us inside to see how they get it all done and show it off. I can't wait to see this years.


Unknown said...

I love watching the HGTV special every year showing the decorating of the White House, but it wasn't on last year. :(
I like that the trees are always traditional within their themes.

Maryjane-The Beehive Cottage said...

Hello Joanne!

Thanks for the tour of the White House Christmas Trees! All beautiful! Lovely post!


Kathy said...

It is an event I try not to miss. I remember the huge Nutcrackers from two years ago. The Bushes have done a red christmas, and last year was a white one. In the Governor's mansion they had a paper christmas, decorated with all the handmade Mexican style decorations. I thought that was an interesting choice.

Personally I love a silver,white and pink Christmas.

Each year I love to see the states decorations, they are normally handmade and fantastic.

What an exciting tradition, I just look forward to it each year. What will the theme of the Ginger bread house look like? Laura did a book them one year I know.

Unknown said...

Hi Joanne, I have actually collected all of the White House ornaments. I have a Christmas Tree that is dedicated to it every year. I am going to do a post on it right after Thanksgiving. I love the White House Trees. It will be interesting to see what they do this year since it's the last one for the Bush's'.


Halloween Fanatic said...

This is one of my favorite things about the holidays, sitting down and watching the White House Christmas. I only hope this tradition continues under new administration. Love the blog! Robert

Debra Conway said...

President Obama and his family certainly do celebrate Christmas and do have a Christmas Tree in the White House.

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama pose for a formal portrait in front of the official White House Christmas Tree in the Blue Room of the White House, Dec. 6, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)