Look At The Astonishing White House Christmas Traditions Back Then And Now

By Missy Jackson | Monday Monday Staff -    2017-12-23

First Lady, Melania Trump, shines among the glistening trees in the White House. | Photo credit Saul Loeb/AFP?Getty Images

This year, First Lady Melania Trump chose “Time-Honored Traditions” as her White House Christmas theme. So, considering her choice, we wanted to share a few lesser known facts about past Christmas traditions in the People’s House.

The First White House Christmas Party

First Daughter Ivanka Trump poses with singer Joy Villa and the 2017 White House Christmas party. | Photo credit Twitter

If you recall, the Grinch known as CNN decided to skip the Christmas party this year in protest of President Trump. But, did you know that the first White House party was held in 1800 and there was no press?

President John Adams and First Lady Abigail, threw the party for their daughter Susanna. Only government officials and children attended the holiday soiree.

The First Christmas Tree

White House Christmas
President Grover Cleveland’s family tree, placed in the Second Floor Oval Room in 1894. | Photo credit White House Historical Society

Melania and Barron Trump officially received the White House Christmas tree the Monday after Thanksgiving. While the beautiful Balsam Fir is the first tree for the Trump family, it’s not the first White House Christmas tree.

In 1889, President Benjamin Harrison placed a Christmas tree in the second-floor Oval Room. The Harrison’s adorned the tree with candles, toys, and ornaments in hopes that would impress their grandchildren.

Interestingly, electricity was not installed in the White House until 1891.Three years later, President Grover Cleveland went with patriotic “red, white, and blue” lights for their tree in 1894.

National Tree Lighting Ceremony

Christmas White House
President Trump Revives the National Tree Lighting tradition’s religious spirit. | Photo credit WhiteHouse.gov

Mainstream media couldn’t wait to bash President Trump at this year’s National Tree Lighting ceremony. Nevertheless, the longstanding tradition dating back 75 years went-off without a hitch.

President Calvin Coolidge was the first Commander-in-Chief to light America’s national tree. In 1923 the president and first family held the ceremony during the Ellipse. The annual “Pageant of Peace,” complete with musical and dance performances didn’t begin until 1954.

White House Christmas Card

The Trump White House Christmas card. | Photo credit Unilad

Historians generally agree that President Herbert Hoover was the first to send out a White House Christmas card. In 1931, he and Mrs. Hoover reproduced their favorite family photos to send in a card to family, friends, and staff. The president wrote hand personalized messages in the margins of the photos.

After almost a decade of “Happy Holidays” cards from Barack Obama, President Trump returned to tradition. The Trump family card, featuring the signatures of the president, first lady, and Barron, reads “Merry Christmas.” Of course, it stirred quite the controversy among leftists.

The First White House Theme

Christmas White House
President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jackie in 1962. | Photo credit John F. Kennedy Presidential Library

In 1961, beloved First Lady Jackie Kennedy unveiled the first White House Christmas theme. Mrs. Kennedy decorated a tree in the Blue Room with ornamental toys, various species of birds, and angels in honor of the “Nutcracker Suite” ballet.

Melania Trump is often compared to Jackie for their similar tastes in fashion and penchant for elegance. Mrs. Trump appeared to channel Mrs. Kennedy on inauguration day, when she wore a simple yet sophisticated powder-blue dress.



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Missy Jackson

Missy Jackson is a staff writer for Monday Monday Network covering conservative politics and all things Trump. She earned an A.A.S. degree in Marketing from Kaplan University and a B.S. in Behavioral Science and Criminal Justice from Ashford University. When she isn't writing for MMN, Missy enjoys singing, playing classical piano, and traveling with her husband. They have six grown children, two grandsons, and three lovable fat cats.

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