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White House Holiday: 20 or so Parties, 19 Trees, and a 'Simple Gifts' Theme

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The White House round of holiday parties kicks off this week. President Obama and First Lady Michelle hosted a Hanukkah party on Thursday night and the volunteers who helped decorate the White House for Christmas -- there are 19 trees -- were feted on Wednesday.
"And I have to say the house looks more beautiful than it did last year. It is really something special," Mrs. Obama said at a Wednesday morning preview where the main audience was the children of military families.
An estimated 100,000 folks are expected to tour the decorated rooms during the holiday season. Some 12,000 will actually be guests at the 20 or so holiday parties and receptions the White House will host in December. For some reason the White House would not release the specific number of holiday festivities. As for the much coveted photo with the Obamas: some parties will feature a chance for one, some won't.
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A White House Christmas

Planning for the 2010 White House Christmas started last Spring, with the theme this year, "Simple Gifts."
"In the end, that spirit of kindness and generosity is really what the holiday season is all about. And it was the idea behind this year's theme...because in the end, the greatest blessings of all are the ones that don't cost a thing -- the time that we spend with our loved ones, the freedoms we enjoy as Americans, and the joy we feel from reaching out to those in need," she said.
As for holiday decor, here's what's new at the White House:
-- In the aptly named Green Room, a tribute to the environment, with recycled magazines and newspapers turned into wreathes and trees. Notes the White House in a decoration guide: "This year to promote conservation, the majority of the holiday decorations that fill the White House were repurposed from past years."
-- In a corridor of the East Wing called Booksellers Row, greeting visitors is a double life size statue of Bo, the Obama family dog, made out of pipe cleaners by the White House flower shop.
-- There is a children's tree, with gingerbread ornaments made by military children, and what Mrs. Obama called "a very special Military Appreciation Tree in honor of our men and women in uniform who can't always spend the holiday season with the people they love the most."
The appreciation tree was created by Deborah Mullen, the wife of Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Old at the White House:
-- Following tradition, there is a gingerbread White House in the State Dining Room, this year weighing 350 pounds and taking more than four weeks to create. The Red Room is decorated with cranberries and scarlet magnolia wreathes.

-- The White House Hanukkah party on the second night of the holiday will feature entertainment by saxophonist Joshua Redman and, of course, a menorah lighting. The White House kitchen -- as is customary in events targeted to Jewish invitees -- will be koshered under the supervision of a rabbi.
-- There will be two parties for the press, one for members of Congress, another for White House staff and Secret Service personnel, and seven receptions for a category called "Americans from across the country." A party for close Obama friends and family is Dec. 11. I'm not sure if these are separate parties but the White House tells me the president and first lady "believe it's a priority to include others like: community based leaders from across the country; military families, wounded warriors and veterans communities; faith leaders, business and civic leaders and grassroots constituency leaders and members."

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16 Comments

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Jamie Warren

Well it that special! Keep on spending our money. MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

December 04 2010 at 2:11 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
miselaineyus

As Americans continue to lose jobs, Marie (Michelle) and Louis (Barack) party harty! What a disgrace-no work, all play in this Obama White House! Will they invite the unemployed for wine and cheese?

December 03 2010 at 2:24 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
betspotter

The theme should be, Commies gone wild. At least there are no condoms on the tree like the Clintons had. Decorations are beautiful, though. Merry Christmas! Hopefully, Santa will deliver a new president in 2012.

December 03 2010 at 1:57 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
jackieziol

Oh how wonderful!!! Looks like the White House could care less about the National Debt!!! Just keep spending up there folks, the AMERICAN TAX PAYERS love keeping you and yours in the style you have become accustomed to. Shouldn't the outrageous government spending start with the WHITE HOUSE FIRST????????????????

December 03 2010 at 11:59 AM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to jackieziol's comment
christierandall

I guess you did not read the article since it says they reused decorations...and started a christmas tree in one room decorated with recycables..typical republican...read first before you comment...

December 03 2010 at 12:14 PM Report abuse -7 rate up rate down Reply
miselaineyus

Lets sell it. Obama is never there, always on AF 1. He and family can move to Camp David. Perhaps he'd rename it Camp Socialista!

December 03 2010 at 2:26 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
glendaaparis

Merry Christmas everyone. God bless you all.

December 03 2010 at 11:00 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
D.L. Friederichs

Freedom isn't free or simple for that matter, even if Mrs. Obama says so. My son and many others paid a price for our freedoms. He was shot down and injuried spending 15 months in battle, his wife divorced him and he has been fighting another battle for custody of his daughter since her birth. As a previouse person posted: Please do not belittle my Saviour's birth by calling it a Holiday party, it is CHRISTMAS! My freedoms are being challenged every day, and I choose to speak up while I still can!

December 03 2010 at 9:36 AM Report abuse +8 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to D.L. Friederichs's comment
christierandall

The Obama's have been big supporters of our military and their families. They have had luncheons several times for families of the military and see the part of the article below about the children...President Obama passed the largest budget for support of veterans...more than the past president. Yet you people still complain about him as if they don't care. He has done more for our troups than Bush/Cheney did. Your not blaming the Obama's for your sons divorce and his personal problems are you? Surely this is not their fault. Sorry to hear your son is going through this as divorce is horrible...especially for the children. " There is a children's tree, with gingerbread ornaments made by military children, and what Mrs. Obama called "a very special Military Appreciation Tree in honor of our men and women in uniform who can't always spend the holiday season with the people they love the most."

December 03 2010 at 2:23 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
D.L. Friederichs

D.L. Friederichs speaking again: You still are not hearing me christierandall---- when people say our democracy is free, give token parties to children, and call it a holiday while not acknowledging Christ's birth and His position as Saviour of the World, I have to speak up. No I do not blame the divorce on Obama, I blame the divorce on people who ignore morals, Christian values and disregard the Bible, I am not a Bible thumper, I am a person of faith tired of my beliefs (and those of the founding fathers) being displaced for "political correctness". I will speak while I am allowed.

December 03 2010 at 6:31 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
Fishgirl

Dennis Prager, a Jewish man said it best; to those against Christmas celebrations. I can only paraphrase - A little jewish girl said Daddy, why don't we have a Menorah in the Christmas village?" The father, instead of explaining to his child the real reason why - complained to city hall, to get Christmas removed. The father should have told the "narcissist" child - It NOT "your" party - but you may choose to join in the celebration. And then when you have YOUR party - Hannakah - you may invite others to join you. I could not have said it any better!! And MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!

December 03 2010 at 8:12 AM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply
gwkelley0420

It must be nice to show out at taxpayers expense 19 trees and parties from taxpayers expense we are so lucky to have this joke of a president to destroy our country!!His arrogance and destain for America is beyond belief!! I hope we can survive to see this regime fall!!

December 03 2010 at 6:23 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to gwkelley0420's comment
christierandall

I love our president and think he is trying his hardest to make things better...the obstruction is from the republican side who have decided to make it their sole agenda to make him fail instead of working for the american people to help improve our economy. Next election...I say vote the do nothing republicans right back out.

December 03 2010 at 2:17 PM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply
Jo-Ann

ah yes, lets get excited over the holidays at the white house, large, and greatly decorated trees, fancy place nicely furnished, important people, costly gifts. us, no work, no job, no tree, food from the pantry, no gifts, probably no heat,lights or running water. yep, i live in the USA and, life is good. Hey, have a MERRY CHRISTMAS

December 03 2010 at 4:28 AM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Jo-Ann's comment
christierandall

you have no job? the republicans voted against extending your unemployment benefits but yet they want tax breaks for the wealthy.

December 03 2010 at 2:15 PM Report abuse -5 rate up rate down Reply
momflame4

been there too Jo-Ann wirh 4 little ones..they are all grown and successful now,, .... have a merry Christmas dear one ..hope you will do better next year.... hang in there with strength from our lord and you will be okey.


my comment to chrisitierandall......no one is standing in the way of the president.. if you want to call him that.the poor thing doesn't have a clue how to run our country..i wonder how many hours he has logged on Air Force one..

December 20 2010 at 10:25 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Tracie

It's Christmas with a CAPITAL "C"!!!!! Why can't they call it what it is? MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

December 02 2010 at 4:58 PM Report abuse +21 rate up rate down Reply

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