We are delighted to share the beauty and wonder of the White House at holiday time with you.
The theme of this year's display is based on that beloved poem, "'Twas the Night Before Christmas." All through this house, and throughout history, the holidays have been a time for joy and merriment. In 1805, Thomas Jefferson hosted a White House children's party, and was so moved by the festivities that he played his violin while his granchildren and their guests danced. In 1829, President Jackson, recently a widower and orphaned as a child himself, threw off his grief and gathered many of the city's orphans, his grandnieces and nephews, and staged a mock snowball fight in the East Room. And President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, playing all of the parts from Scrooge to Bob Cratchit, traditionally read Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" to his family and friends on Christmas Eve.
Beyond the festivities, the holidays bring continuity to our lives and an opportunity to give thanks for the blessings we share as families, as friends, and as a nation. It is, and always has been, a special time for our family, and particularly so as we carry on the traditions of this great house.
May you and yours have a loving and peaceful holiday and a happy and
healthy New Year.