[SLIDESHOW] Holidays and History at the White House

Posted on: December 19th, 2012 by Sarah Heffern 1 Comment

Vermeil Room. Credit: Sarah M. Heffern

When I was a little kid, I remember my dad looking at the massive amount of Christmas decorations that came out of the attic every year and saying to my mom, "You decorate like you were raised in an orphanage!" We all took this to mean that he thought my mom perhaps over-did things a bit, and in a way, he was right: Mom did decorate every surface in our house.

But I, as a result, am wildly enthusiastic about Christmas decorations, so I jumped at the chance when a friend -- and National Park Service preservation colleague -- offered me one of her tickets to see the White House all tricked out for the holidays. (Fun fact: The White House is a National Park.)

The White House, I am happy to say, did not disappoint. While my mother was not in any way involved in the decorating process, her "decorate everything" ethic was clearly on display. From tabletops to mantles and from archways to the Presidential Seal, our president's home was festively -- and beautifully -- adorned.

Here are some of my favorite snapshots of my White House visit -- enjoy!

Descriptions of the decorative themes of the rooms are taken from the booklet "Joy to All: Holidays at the White House 2012," which is provided to all visitors.

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Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern is the social media strategist for the National Trust’s Public Affairs team. While she embraces all things online and pixel-centric, she’s also a hard-core building hugger, having fallen for preservation in a fifth grade “Built Environment” class. Follow her on Twitter at @smheffern.


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