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White House Holiday Décor Through the Years

Did you know there's always a theme with the White House holiday decorations? Here are some of our favorites through the years

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National Archives and Records Administration

American Flower Tree

Pat Nixon and daughter, Julie, standing in front of the White House Christmas Tree in 1971. The 1971 tree used ornaments from the 1969 tree, which included ornaments made by disabled workers from Florida. The velvet and satin balls featured each state’s state flower. In 1971, Monroe fans and gold foil angels were added.

You might know the state flower of your state but you might not know the incredible history behind your state flag.

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National Archives and Records Administration

Tinsel and Candles

Franklin D. Roosevelt and family sit in the East Room of the White House in 1941. According to a former maitre d’ and butler, the Roosevelts had their Christmas tree lighted with candles and FDR read A Christmas Carol.

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White House decorations 2001RON SACHS/Shutterstock

The Decorations the Public Didn’t Get to See

The public wasn’t allowed to view these decorations that look at the White House entrance in 2001 because at the time because tours of the White House were suspended following the Sept. 11 attacks. Later, the George W. Bush Presidential Center opened the decorations up to the public in 2013. The “Home for the Holidays” exhibit featured 18 scale models of the family homes of American presidents. It’d be interesting to know if the exhibit featured one of the incredibly bland presidential homes.

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White House Christmas decorations 2004Ron Sachs/Shutterstock

White Christmas

Take a look at these Christmas decorations from 2004, seen down a long view of the Cross Hall looking from the State Dining Room across to the East Room. In 2004 First Lady Laura Bush chose the theme “A Season of Merriment and Melody” which included classic Christmas music like “Jingle Bells” and “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas.”

Deck the halls of every room in your home with these incredible ideas.

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White House Christmas tree shine give shareCharles Dharapak/AP/Shutterstock

Shine, Give, Share

Shine, Give, Share was the theme of 2011 for the White House Christmas Tree to honor military families. The decorations were framed military medals and handmade cards from children living on military bases across the globe.

Get decorating around the home with these tremendous tutorials and decorating ideas.

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2010 White House Christmas decorationsPablo Martinez Monsivais/AP/Shutterstock

Simple Gifts

White House Christmas Tree ornaments from 2010 when the theme was “Simple Gifts” in the East Room. The theme was designed to celebrate the simple things that bring joy at Christmas.

Try celebrating simple things by putting together an alternative Christmas tree with these items.

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1994 White House Christmas treeWilfredo Lee/AP/Shutterstock

Homemade Ornaments

In 1994, the Clintons had an 18 1/2-foot Colorado blue spruce tree that was grown in Clinton County, Maryland. It had more than 5,000 lights and 2,000 homemade ornaments. The handmade ornaments came from American artists and school kids. Check out these super easy Christmas ornaments you can make.

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1978 Carter Christmas treeBARRY THUMMA/AP/Shutterstock

Antique Accents

Rosalynn Carter stands next to the White House Christmas tree in 1978. The tree featured antique toys, dolls and miniature furniture from the Margaret Woodbury Strong Museum in Rochester, New York. If you’re sitting on these antiques, your Christmas could be awesome this year.

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2017 White House Christmas decorationsShutterstock

Time-Honored Traditions

The 2017 White House Christmas decorating theme was “Time-Honored Traditions” which included decorations personally picked by First Lady Melania Trump. These are tree in the Grand Foyer that visitors see as they enter the North Portico and look toward the Blue Room.

Have you ever heard about the decorating ideas Jackie Kennedy brought to the White House?

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Ford White House Christmas DecorationNational Archives and Records Administration

Gerald Ford White House Christmas Decorations 1974

In 1974, Betty Ford chose a theme of handmade crafts, thrift and recycling, using ornaments made by Appalachian women and senior citizen groups. The Fords chose a Concolor fir from Michigan, their home state as the Christmas tree.

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Ford White House Christmas decorationsCourtesy Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library

Ford White House Christmas Tree 1975

Chain figures, gingerbread men, popcorn strings and other timeless ornaments found their place on the 1975 Christmas tree. The theme that year was an old-fashioned children’s Christmas.

Keep your gifts hidden until Christmas day with these 15 top-notching gift-hiding spots.

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1985 Reagan Christmas treeNational Archives and Records Administration

1985 Reagan Christmas Tree

This was the year Nancy chose an “old-fashioned, turn-of-the-century Christmas” theme. Later on Larry Hagman from the TV show Dallas showed up dressed as Santa Claus. This was also the year patients from Second Genesis, a drug-treatment program, created 1,500 ornaments and the Reagans also used Christmas cards sent to them from the year before.

Check out these easy ways to save money during the holidays.

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1987 White House Christmas decorations

1987 Reagan White House Christmas Decorations

Poinsettias, garland and wreaths adorned one of the hallways in the White House back in 1987. The Christmas tree that year used a musical theme and had miniature instruments, notes and sheet music made by Second Genesis patients.

Find out why a poinsettia can pose a danger to your pet.

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1961 JFK Christmas Tree

Jackie started the tradition of using themes for White House Christmas decorations. Her first choice was “Nutcracker Suite” using characters from the ballet. There were toys, birds and angels populating the balsam fir.

If you can’t find a nutcracker, grab a power tool.

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JFK 1962 Christmas tree Robert Knudsen in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston

1962 JFK Christmas Tree

The next year, the Kennedy tree used the same ornaments from the previous year but added additional ornaments made by disabled and senior citizens. The tree moved from the Blue Room to the North Entrance. Jackie picked childhood as the theme.

This incredible hack will keep your ornaments safe for a long time.

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George H.W. Bush White House Christmas treeGeorge Bush Presidential Library

1990 George H.W. Bush White House Christmas Tree

Nutcracker Suite was revisited in 1990 and the tree featured miniature porcelain dancers. This one tip will make storing your Christmas ornaments so much easier.

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