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Laura Bush and the Comforts of Home

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In 2001, First Lady Laura Bush chose "Home for the Holidays" as the White House Christmas tree theme. Artists from all 50 states and the District of Columbia designed model replicas of historic homes and houses of worship to hang as ornaments. In 2002, Mrs. Bush adopted the theme of "All Creatures Great and Small." Perched on the boughs of the official tree were finely crafted representatives of America's favorite birds.

In keeping with the 2003 theme, "A Season of Stories," Mrs. Bush took a page from the past and decorated with ornaments first used by First Lady Barbara Bush in 1989. Like many families, the First Family decorated their Christmas tree with ornaments passed down by their parents and grandparents. The ornaments were loaned to the White House from the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library at Texas A&M University.

In 2004, First Lady Bush selected the theme "A Season of Merriment and Melody." A symphony of musical instruments hand-painted by members of the Society of Decorative Painters adorned the official Christmas tree. The 2005 "All Things Bright and Beautiful" tree featured white lilies, crystal spheres, and light-catching garlands. In 2006, the Christmas tree sparkled with crystals and ornaments of iridescent glass to "Deck the Halls and Welcome All."

During the 2007 "Holiday in the National Parks," artists decorated 391 ornaments representing national parks, memorials, seashores, historic sites, and monuments across the country. Each ornament reflected the diversity of our national landscape. In 2008, Mrs. Bush chose the patriotic theme, "A Red, White, and Blue Christmas," and trimmed the official Christmas tree with ornaments designed by artists from around the country selected by members of Congress.

The Bushes' Christmas tree, 2001.

The Bushes, 2001.

The Bushes' Christmas card, 2001.

The Bushes' Christmas card, 2003.

The Bushes' Christmas card, 2004.