04 December 2009

Christmas at the White House

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No, this is NOT Houston, even though we did have a freak snowfall that lasted all day and turned the city into a magical place!  No, this is the White House during the holiday season, of course, taken from a new book:  “Christmas at the White House.”   If you are into both the White House and Christmas decorating, this book is definitely for you:  a chronicle of the past 50 years, it starts with the Kennedys and ends with the Bushes II.    Former First Lady Laura Bush wrote the forward, and amazingly all the living First Ladies wrote the introduction to their own chapter.  For the First Ladies who have passed away, their daughters wrote their own memories, while Social Secretary for Jacqueline Kennedy, Letitia Baldrige, added her recollections. 

                                                                                                                                                                                        

 

image Here comes da tree!

 

The book is large with over 400 pages and more than 500 glorious pictures, many of which have never been seen before.  It is filled with interesting stories about what goes on behind the scenes each year in order to pull the amazing event together.    The modern day Christmas at the White House tradition was started by Jacqueline Kennedy when she was the first to place the tree in the Blue Room and decorated the White House around the Nutcracker Suite theme.   Today, the season is a true extravaganza – with TV specials documenting the preparations behind the event.    “Christmas at the White House” is written by Dallasite Jennifer Pickens who says she was driven to write the book after a memorable visit to the White House during the  2004 holiday season.  When she was back home, hungry for more, she searched for a book on the subject, dismayed to find none.   Pickens spent four years writing this book, and her efforts show – not a single detail has been overlooked.  

 

 

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I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas in the White House!

 

If you are in Houston – Pickens will be here this Saturday, Dec. 5th, signing books.   Her first stop will be at Berings on Westheimer from 11:30 – 1:30 pm.  Next, she’ll head up to Neiman Marcus in the Galleria from 2:00 -4:00 pm.     If you can’t make it - you can always buy the book online HERE.  Free shipping is offered too.    The coffee table book, which was printed “green” will make wonderful Christmas gifts – I know my mother-in-law will love it!

 

 

image It takes a village to bring to the tree to the Blue Room.

 

 

image I love this picture – the Johnsons with their Beagle.

 

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Awww, Christmas with Barney and Mrs. Beasley!   I wonder if Bo is going to have a good Christmas too?

 

Information:   Pickens will be here this Saturday, Dec. 5th, signing books.  

Berings on Westheimer from 11:30 – 1:30 pm.

Neiman Marcus at the Galleria from 2:00 -4:00 pm. 

To purchase the book online, go HERE

47 comments:

  1. I always wished Johnson would have left his beagle's ears alone!

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  2. I love it! That photo of the wintery snowy sparkle trees is a dream come true! It goes to show how lights really make the tree- those things are on fire with lights- and it shows how spectacular they look when they are lit properly! Just gorgeous.
    That's definately a book I'll be asking santa for!

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  3. I love the image of the tree being brought in on a horse drawn carriage...sigh.

    I read earlier this week that Michelle Obama has pegged Simon Doonan, of Barneys window dressing fame...and also Jonathan Adler's partner, to do the holiday decor at the White House this season. Swoon!

    Best,
    Jaime

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  4. Oh, this brings back memories of my wonderful visit to the White House last year for the 2008 Christmas Party! It was an experience I will never, never forget.

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  5. A great opportunity to purchase a part of the history of our country and leaders celebrating a religious holiday. I wonder if other countries publish books like this?

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  6. Of course Bo is going to have a good Christmas. He's already dressed in his tux!

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  7. What a great post, Joni. What a fun way to study history, as well - but then isn't design the only way to study history!?? Hope you and yours are enjoying the season - how about that snow?!! xo Ann

    P.S. Are you going to buy the book for Mary?

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  8. What a beautiful way to immortalize the First Ladies, as I am sure they had a lot to do with the gorgeous decorating choices (and the dogs). Thanks,

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  9. I always love the Christmas special they show on tv every year.I love the behind the scenes work that goes on,quite an ordeal with such wonderful results. Thank you for sharing about this new book, I am going to check it out as a gift for a dear friend of mine. Kathysue

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  10. I hope Santa brings me this book! What a treasure!

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  11. I love this! I have always been fascinated by non-political inner workings of the White House, in this over-exposed age it still seems like a magical and mysterious place steeped in history. I will definitely be picking this up.

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  12. Just look at you! Doing a Christmas book review! What beautiful pictures, and what a wonderful non-political and what an amazing non-partisan blogger you are to post about it!! Thank you for sharing this. I cannot believe y'all had that snow! I bet it was a pretty sight. laurie

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  13. What a gorgeous book! It's definitely on my list.

    Thanks Joni!

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  14. Hey are you a professional journalist? This article is very well written, as compared to most other blogs i saw today….
    anyhow thanks for the good read!

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  15. That was wonderful, I love the flocked trees. Thank you for the introduction to the book. Hugs, Cindy S.

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  16. Joni, Oh Mrs B! I used to have a pair of Scotties I loved dearly. Joey and Carole Ann!

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  17. Wow, what a fun book! This may be just the thing for my Mom this year.

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  18. This looks wonderful, Joni. Every year I look forward to seeing the White House tree. I think it's neat how the have different artists design ornaments for it. And I love the gingerbread house the chef makes. I bet this book is just faboulous.

    Many thank...

    Sheila :-)

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  19. Love it - and that house is right in my neighborhood!! Puttin it on my wish list! Thanks Joni!

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  21. that picture of the horses with the huge tree is just so beautiful...

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  22. Joni, thank you so much for posting such a generous write up about Jennifer Pickens' book. I'm so impressed with the research Jennifer has done and her ability to put together such a gorgeous book. Merry Christmas!

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  23. Joni:

    Wow I love this post... I like taking winter pictures in DC and plan to hike in tomorrow with my camera before the snow melts....Fay

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  24. Looks like a great book! Gorgeous images... thinking perhaps for my mother-in-law too!!??

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  25. I love that shot of the horses!! Hope you are well Joni, looking great xxo Ali

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  26. Sounds like a lovely book. Somehow I am not surprised that Jackie Kennedy started the Christmas decorating tradition. She was one classy lady. I have a cooking blog, but your's is my favorite design blog. Just wanted to stop in and let you know that you have given me hours of entertainment and inspiration.

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  27. I will put this book on my list and hope Santa brings it to me! --Delores

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  28. Amazing pictures Joni. I've missed you and reading your post. Sorry I've been m.i.a but I'm finally back.

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  29. I just keeping staring at the cover photo! What a photo! Of course, ever the "bookaholic", ordering it today. Thanks for letting us all know about this one.

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  30. I love to hear about Christmas at the White House & seeing those TV specials. Fun to see behind the scenes. I hope the current administration doesn't try to do away with this "religious" holiday and the trimmings. I get tired of the PC thing of Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas. I'm a Merry Christmas kind of girl! :)

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  31. I've read interviews by people for whom visits to the White House are "old hat," but they say there is nothing blasé about Our House at Christmas - that it is truly magical.
    Thanks for the heads-up on the new book!

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  32. P.S. - I got the impression that Caroline Kennedy chose not to participate, in that Mrs. Baldridge did the Kennedy intro instead. Wonder why?
    With the Kennedy admin. beginning such a wonderful tradition, can't imagine why Caroline would take a pass. Hmmm....

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  33. Looks like they brought the whole forest into the White House in the 3rd photo. Beautiful!

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  34. Aah, thank you thank you. Was looking for a gift for my impossible to buy for mother-in-law and I think this may just be it! I may have to get one for me too!

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  35. Joni...how does one send you an email? I can't seem to find your email address anywhere on your blog? (I might be blind!)

    Thanks!!!

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  36. Canadian Tree? (I heard a rumour that they're bought there)

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  37. Beautiful pictures, can't wait to purchase a copy.

    Barbara

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  38. Wow! I’ve never seen the white house full of Christmas trees. It’s gorgeous.

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  39. So this is how they decorate the white house. I’d love to see more… thanks.

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  40. Oh the perks of living in the White House. What a spectacular
    feast for the eyes. Thank you for sharing these images with me Joni.
    -Brenda-

    (For Liberty: Actually the the Trees are home-grown and all-American just like baseball and apple-pie. :) There is one however that is donated to Boston each year by the city of Halifax in Nova Scotia, Canada. It is called "The Thankful Tree". The tradition began in 1917 in appreciation for American assistance when a Munitions Ship exploded in the Halifax Harbour killing more than 1,600 people.)

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  41. Wondering if you can tell me. House #3, does that butcher block counter look like Maple to you, or maybe oak? I'm wanting maple but don't want it too yellow, which I sometimes see.

    Great blog and wonderful images and trips you share with us all!

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  42. Thanks for sharing the info on this book. I bet it is a fascinating read. Can't wait.
    marcie

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  43. My son is an architect in Houston and of course would take offense regarding your "ugly house" house comment regarding Houston. He sends me pictures with his finished projects involving the firm he works for locally, Dillon Kyle, and I can not imagine anyone referring to those projects as ugly...

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  44. Ok, how can I send you pictures of his great projects?

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  45. i meant houses that are sale, not all houses of course!! send me the pictures I would love to see them:

    mrballbox329@aol.com

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