Christmas in the White House: Presidential Trees Throughout the Years
Beautifully decorated Christmas Trees are a longstanding tradition in the White House. The first known decorated, indoor Christmas Tree was displayed in the Yellow Oval Room during the Benjamin Harrison administration.
Jacqueline Kennedy launched the tradition of thematic Christmases in the White House in which the First Family chooses a motif in which to highlight. In 1961, First Lady Kennedy chose to decorate the White House Christmas Tree with a "Nutcracker" theme derived from the Tchaikovsky ballet. The tree was decorated with toys, birds and angels (see gallery).
Themes for White House Christmas Trees throughout the years have ranged from the Regan's theme of Mother Goose theme in 1986 to "Home for the Holidays", which was the Bush theme in 2001 (see above).
This year, the Obama's Official White House Christmas Tree is a beautiful Douglas Fir from Shepardston, West Virginia (see gallery). According to the National Christmas Tree Association, the Blue Room Christmas Tree was officially presented to First Lady Michelle Obama by Christmas Tree growers Eric and Gloria Sundback. The Sundbacks earned this honor by winning the National Christmas Tree Association's (NCTA) national Christmas Tree contest held in August 2009 in Chattanooga, Tenn., and becoming Grand Champions.
While there are typically several Christmas Trees on display throughout the White House during the holiday season, the one located in the Blue Room is traditionally the "official" tree. Members of the National Christmas Tree Association have presented the official White House Christmas Tree for display in the Blue Room since 1966. For decorating ideas, see "Tips for Decorating your Christmas Tree".