Look Back at the Most Incredible White House’s Christmas Decorations – It all started in December 1800, when President John Adams decided to throw a Christmas party for his 4-year-old granddaughter. In 1834 Andrew Jackson’s holiday event included an indoor “snowball” fight with large cotton balls.
Much later, the soirees and games evolved into embellishing the various rooms of the White House with festive flora: The first Christmas tree was set up in the Yellow Oval Room during the Benjamin Harrison administration, and the first electric lights were placed on the presidential tree in 1894 while Grover Cleveland was in office. Teddy Roosevelt, however, being the staunch conservationist that he was, never allowed a tree while he was in charge. The idea of celebrating the holidays within the walls of the White House goes back a long time, but it wasn’t until Jackie Kennedy that the tradition of choosing a theme for the official tree in the Blue Room began.
Her theme was the Nutcracker, and since that December in 1961, all first ladies, whether Pat Nixon or Hillary Clinton, have chosen their own signature themes. This year, Melania Trump has chosen the theme Time-Honored Traditions, paying homage to the presidents and First Ladies that came before her. In that vein, here’s a look back at presidential holiday cheer throughout history, from the Kennedys, to the Clintons, to the Obamas, to yes, the Trumps.
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