Holidays at The White House 2012
Thank you for visiting the White House. Our family is so
pleased you could join us as we take time to share in the many joys
of the holiday season. is year at the White House, we celebrate
the traditional holiday festivities that fll our hearts with warmth
Each year, the holidays remind us of the many blessings we
experience over the course of our lives, from the simple pleasures
of laughing and sharing our meals with friends and family to the
fulfllment that comes from giving back and serving others. May we
all carry forth the spirit of the season and take time to lift up others
in our homes and communitiesnot only during this special time,
but also throughout the year.
We hope the decorations and time-honored traditions you see in
the White House bring you the same joy they bring our family. We
send our warmest wishes to you and your loved ones for peace and
happiness in the New Year.
EAST VISITOR ENTRANCE AND LANDING
The White House, or as it is often known, the People’s
House, is a place where visitors from all across our
country and around the world can come together to
share in the storied history of the United States
The entrance to the East Wing of the White House
celebrates the joy of welcoming guests into the
home. Wreaths covered with festive snowfakes line
the walkway to the visitors entrance, while old-
fashioned lanterns and fickering candles light the
way to the threshold of the Residence.
The East Landing pays tribute to our Armed Forces
and their families. Wreaths crafted with red, white,
and blue yarn adorn the walls, and a Christmas tree
decorated with festive ornaments completes the space.
Every day, we are grateful for the courageous service of
our troops, veterans, and their families, and in the spirit
of the season, we take time to honor their countless
contributions to our Nation. Operation Honor Cards
are displayed, and we invite you to take the time to
fll out a card and pledge to serve your community in
honor of our military families, service members, and
veterans. You can also write a note of thanks to these
brave men and women, and we welcome you to send
the spirit and joy of the holidays to those who sacrifce
so much for our country.
EAST GARDEN ROOM
The East Garden Room is a children’s wonderland. The
room is flled with vibrant colors and wreaths made of gingerbread.
A life-size replica of Bo, the First Family’s Portuguese water dog, is the
centerpiece of the room, and handmade Bofakes hang from the trees.
The Library is decorated in classic
red and green tones. On display are
replicas of holiday cards and notes
from past Administrations. Sending
warm tidings in the form of holiday
cards is a long-standing American traditioni
one our past Presidents and First Families have
carried forward with their own distinct touches. Today,
the Library is home to 2,700 books, but prior to a
renovation in 1935, the room served as a laundry room
and a gentlemen’s waiting room.
In the China Room, the Truman China is set to illustrate the joy
of families sitting down to enjoy a holiday dinner. The set was
selected by First Lady Bess Truman in 1951 and is the frst state
china service to feature the Presidential Coat of Arms as redesigned
by President Harry Truman in 1945. Following the end of World War
II, President Truman issued an Executive Order to standardize the
Presidential Seal. The Coat of Arms was modifed so that the eagle faces
to its right, the direction of honor, and also toward the olive branch, a
symbol of peace, rather than toward the arrows which represent war.
The timeless elegance and grace of our Nation’s past First Ladies can be felt in
the Vermeil Room, where we pause to celebrate the joy of giving. Lovely presents
large and small, wrapped with care, remind us of the fulfllment we experience when
we give of ourselves to others around us. Given to the White House by philanthro-
pist Margaret ompson Biddle in 1958, the 1,575-piece vermeil silver collection
represents the spirit of generosity.
Decorations evoking our country’s proud
artistic heritage festoon the East Room, where
we take time to marvel at the joy of American
folk art. Over the course of our history, folk
artisans have delighted Americans young
and old with the scenes and stories depicted
in their work. is year, creative traditions
central to our cultural identity are represented
in every corner of this historic spaceifrom
the handcrafted wooden ornaments on
each of the trees to antique paintings and
needlework on display.
In the Green Room, wintertime’s serene
splendor surrounds us as we refect on the joy
of the winter garden. Miniature terrariums
dangle from the trees and remind us of the
beauty of the outdoors. President Theodore
Rooseveltone of our Nation’s most ardent
and efective conservationistswould not
allow trees to be cut down for use in the
White House during the holidays. Not to
be deterred, his vivacious children snuck a
small tree into the house, which they secretly
decorated with twinkling white lights with
the help of a staf electrician. Imagine
President Roosevelt’s surprise on Christmas
morning when the tree was fnally revealed.
The history of our Nation has been shaped by the brave men
and women who have devoted themselves to protecting our
country. The troops, veterans, and military families who serve
our country with pride represent what is best about America, and
this holiday season, the Blue Room pays tribute to their
By contributing ornaments they decorated themselves, military
children living on U.S. Military Bases all over the world helped trim
the ofcial White House Christmas treeian enchanting 18-foot-6-
inch Fraser Fir from Jeferson, North Carolina. These one-of-a-kind
ornaments honor their parents commitment to service.
As a Nation, we must serve these brave members of our American
family, as well as they have served this country. To join in the
spirit of service and connect with members of our armed forces,
veterans, and their families in your community, please visit:
In the early 19th century, First Lady Dolley
Madison used this room to receive visitors during
her famous Wednesday-evening receptions. At that
time, the fabrics throughout the room were a bright
sunfower yellow; in fact, the famous red color
scheme was not adopted until 1845.
In honor of its current red hue, the room is
customarily decorated with cranberriesand
the tradition continues this year with a cranberry,
pepperberry, and billy ball fower-covered vase
holding a festive foral arrangement. As a tribute to
Mrs. Dolley Madison and its former golden shade,
lemon topiaries are on display to provide cheerful
pops of yellow throughout the room. Christmas
trees frame the space and a colorful garland of
crimson cranberries and sunny lemons adorns
STATE DINING ROOM
The State Dining Rooma site for ofcial dinners and diplomatic receptionsis
flled with vibrant holiday tones. The 300-pound gingerbread house on display is a
favorite for children and parents alike and has been a popular holiday ritual at the
White House since the 1960s. Brightly colored stained glass covers the bay windows,
and seasonal garland frames George P. A. Healy’s famous portrait of President
ENTRANCE HALL AND CROSS HALL
The North Entrance and Cross Hall create a warm atmosphere for White House
visitors. Garland cascades down the Grand Staircase, greenery wraps the columns,
and festive wreaths cover the windows overlooking Pennsylvania Avenue. Four trees
are decorated with a collection of iconic ornaments that best represent the holiday
legacies of former First Ladies.
is space is designed to celebrate and pay tribute to past White House holidays and
the rich heritage of celebrations, traditions, and styles that have evolved over the years.
The custom of selecting an ofcial holiday theme began in the 1960s, when First
Lady Jacqueline Kennedy created a Nutcracker-themed Christmas for her daughter,
Caroline. The tradition has been honored for over 50 years with such themes as Mrs.
Lady Bird Johnson’s Early Americana, Mrs. Patricia Nixon’s Season of Gold, Mrs.
Betty Ford’s Homespun Christmas, Mrs. Rosalynn Carter’s Classic American
Christmas, Mrs. Nancy Reagan’s Old Fashioned Christmas, Mrs. Barbara Bush’s
“Christmas in Storyland, Mrs. Hillary Clinton’s Winter Wonderland, and Mrs.
Laura Bush’s Red, White, and Blue Christmas.”
HOW TO MAKE A SNOW GLOBE
Jar with Screw-top LidOil-based Enamel Paint
Distilled WaterPaint Brush
GlycerinHoliday Figurines of your choice
1. Paint the lid a seasonal color.
2. Sand the inside of the lid until the surface is rough.
3. With Clear-drying Epoxy, glue the gurine(s) inside the lid
and let dry.
4. Fill the jar almost to the top with distilled
water, add a pinch of gliter and a dash of
glycerin to keep the gliter from falling
5. Screw on the lid tightly. Turn the jar
over and back again…….ENJOY!
The White House is grateful to the
Executive Residence staf, agency EA,
and the many volunteers from
across our country for preparing
and decorating the White House
this holiday season. We greatly
appreciate all of the hard work
of the students from the Duke
Ellington School for the Arts who
created the artwork for this holiday
booklet. The featured illustrations
were drawn by Diona Boler,
Rhythm Bowers, Evelyn Cahall,
Darius Moreno Dozier, Zoe Gatti,
Massiel Estefany Gonzalez, Adela
Guiterrez, Glenda Gutierrez, and
Holidays at The White House 2012
Via – Digital versions of the official White House tour booklet that visitors will receive and the Bo bookmark that children will receive can be found here: Official White House tour booklet & Bo bookmark.
2012 White House Christmas Ornament