2011 White House Christmas Ornament Delights Young and Old Alike
The 2011 White House Christmas ornament celebrates the life and presidency of Theodore Roosevelt, the twenty-sixth president of the United States (1901–1909), and his family and highlights the return of children to the White House after a long period of absence. With the arrival of the Roosevelt’s, six children would call the White House “home” and filled it with excitement and life as well as a rooster, a pony, parrots, snakes, dogs, cats and guinea pigs.
Sworn in at the age of 42, Theodore Roosevelt was the youngest president in the nation’s history. A civil servant, Spanish-American War hero, and politician, Roosevelt was serving as vice president when he was suddenly elevated to the presidency after the tragic assassination of William McKinley. A popular president, he brought vigor and power to the office as he led Congress and the American public toward progressive reforms and a place on the world stage.
Christmas at the Roosevelt White House was a family time for rest and leisure and the day usually included a ride on horseback or carriage drive through Rock Creek Park, a visit to the home of local relatives, and an intimate Christmas dinner in the State Dining Room. The 2011 ornament portrays the homelike atmosphere of the celebration featuring a cartoon that appeared in the December 1901 edition of Harper’s Weekly depicting Santa Claus in front of the White House with the phrase “I hear there are some kids in the White House this year.” The reverse side features a second colored image capturing the moment in 1903 when young Archie revealed to his family a Christmas tree he had hidden in the closet of a seamstress 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 president’s conservation ethic.
Of the previous White House ornaments, 23 honored presidents. The 1989 ornament paid tribute to the bicentennial of the American presidency, and 1992 honored the laying of the White House cornerstone in 1792. The bicentennial of the White House as home of the president was commemorated in 2000. In 2002, the ornament honored the centennial of the restoration of the White House and the building of the West Wing.
The cost of the ornament is $17.95, includes packing and standard shipping, and can be ordered from the White House Historical Association, P.O. Box 96586, Washington, D.C. 20090-6586, or you can call toll free 1-800-555-2451, or visit online. Each of the 30 ornaments (from 1981-2010) is also available, along with educational brochures.
The White House Historical Association was established in 1961 as a non-profit organization to enhance the understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of the White House. All proceeds from its trusts and sales of ornaments, publications and other association products are used to fund acquisitions of historic furnishings and art works for the permanent White House collection, assist in the preservation of the public rooms, and further its educational mission.