Friday, November 14, 2008

White House Memories

Here is Baby Sam's Christmas Ornament from the White House - this year it's a Christmas Tree and it says:

The 2008 White House Christmas ornament honoring the presidency of Benjamin Harrison (1889-1893), the twenty-third president of the United States, was inspired by the Harrison family’s Victorian Christmas tree, the first documented tree to decorate the President’s House. The ornament, presents the White House as a family home.

Christmas stands out in White House memory as a special time for the Harrisons. Accommodations were tight with six adults and three grandchildren sharing the second floor family quarters. The president doted on his grandchildren and went to great lengths to amuse them. He said, “We shall have an old-fashioned Christmas tree for the grandchildren upstairs, and I shall be their Santa Claus.” To the delight of the children, the tree was laden with decorations and innumerable toys and treats. Mrs. Harrison had made sure each member of her husband’s staff was remembered with a personal token and all of the domestic employees were called in to receive gifts from under the tree.

Ohhh, and I love the flags on the top! So cute. I have wanted my children to feel connected to their country; to feel a part of this wonderful nation and understand their part in it. So, as a tradition, I have done two things:

1. Official White House Greetings for each child's birth (Free) and
2. The White House Ornament from the year they were born. (NOT Free)
(They look small here, but they actually fill the palm of my hand...)

The White House has put out some truly FANTASTIC ornaments, and they are SO beautiful. I am envious of the Bush year's, in particular.

Since the program didn't start until 1981 (and man, those first couple are laaaaaame), I have missed out on my own White House ornament, but it has been a such a delight to get them for my children. On the right is Benjamin's 2004 ornament.

Here is Abigail's 2000 ornament (the middle spins). We got our first two at the Eisenhower Presidential museum, and it has been so fun to put them on the tree. This year, I just ordered online: I think I will save my pennies and get the 2005 commemorative one, but until then, I'll be waiting for Sam's lil' piece of history.


Nicole said...

I LOVE these too! Fortunately, since I've lived out here, my Aunt and Uncle get one for me every year for Christmas. I think they are BEAUTIFUL! And, I love your tradition of getting the official congratulations. Did you know he also does weddings, wedding anniversaries (after 50th) and birthdays (after 80)?

Meredith said...

Cool tradition! My kids get a new ornament every year - from whatever they are "in to" that year, like soccer or Belle or Star Wars. Miss ya!

Reggs said...

how cool is this?? okay, i will have to copy you and order my own. Of course, I was 2 years away from getting one the year i was born. DRAT!