We have been collecting White House Christmas ornaments for years. We purchased our first White House ornament in 2005 and have been collecting them ever since. White House ornaments come in a small, decorative box that has a velveteen covered insert inside where the ornament sits. They actually make the insert in the shape of the ornament and decorate the box based on what the ornament looks like that year.
Each ornament comes with a story booklet explaining how the ornament was made and why they chose that design for the year.
The sale of the White House ornaments is run by the White House Historical Association, a non-profit organization, and all proceeds from the sale of these White House ornaments are used to fund the acquisition of historical furnishings and artwork for the permanent White House collection, to assist in the preservation for the public rooms, and to further its educational mission.
The detail on White House is amazing. The ornament shown above is from the 2011 White House ornament collection. Santa Claus is bringing toys in his sack on one side and a family are gathered around a Christmas Tree on the other side. Maybe they used the Obama children living in the White House as the inspiration for the design but the ornament is actually based on the family of President Theodore Roosevelt (26th president).
The booklet reads: The 2011 ornament reflects the excitement that President Roosevelt, his wife Edith, and their lively young family brought to life at the White House. There had been no children living in the White House in the years since the departure of President Grover Cleveland and his family in March 1897. But with the arrival of the Roosevelts, six children would call White House “home”…Capturing the anticipation associated with the family’s first White House Christmas, a jolly Santa Claus crosses the snow covered North Lawn carrying large bag of toys over his shoulder and announces, “I hear there are some kids in the White House this year.”
The reverse side of the 2011 ornament features a second color image inspired by a period illustration. It captures the moment in 1903 when young Archie revels to his family a Christmas tree he had hidden in a seamstress’ closet in the White House. The tree defied the president’s ban, and its discovery became a popular Christmas story that ran in Ladies Home Journal underscoring the simplicity of the Roosevelt family’s Christmas decorations and the president’s conservation ethic.
Holly and candle motifs illustrating that article inspired the design of the 2011 ornament’s gold-plated brass frame.
The stories in the booklet go on for 4 more pages talking about the Roosevelt presidency, the life his family led in the White House and their traditions.
On the other side is a period drawing of a family that is supposed to represent Theodore Roosevelt and his family.
You can see how detailed the metal-work is with candle sticks on each side and ribbons of holly and berries woven in the pattern all around the ornament.
Here are some White House Ornaments in our collection.
Each box is designed to match the ornament inside. The picture above shows White House Ornament boxes from 2005 to 2010 in order from top left to bottom right.
2005 White House Christmas Ornament
2006 White House Christmas Ornament
2007 White House Christmas Ornament
2008 White House Christmas Ornament
2009 White House Christmas Ornament
2010 White House Christmas Ornament
2012 White House Christmas Ornament
2013 White House Christmas Ornament
If you like history then you will love the White House ornaments and might even want to start your own collection.
To purchase White House Christmas ornaments or to inquire about the availability of previous year’s ornaments, call 1-800-555-2451 or visit shop.whitehousehistory.org