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First Lady Nancy Reagan chose the themes for eight White House Christmases. Her official 1981 Blue Room tree was trimmed in ornaments lent by the Museum of American Folk Art. For all the following years, she arranged for the people of Second Genesis, a drug treatment program in D.C., Maryland and Virginia, to help decorate her trees. In 1982, they made foil paper cones and metallic snowflakes. These were reused in 1983 on a tree featuring old-fashioned toys lent by the Margaret Woodbury Strong Museum. In 1984, Second Genesis fashioned ornaments out of plant material to compliment natural pieces crafted by the Brandywine Museum in Pennsylvania.

For Christmas of 1985, the Reagan's Executive Residence staff and Second Genesis made 1,500 ornaments from holiday cards sent to President Reagan in 1984. The residence staff and Second Genesis worked together for the next three holiday seasons. In 1986, they made 15 soft-sculpture nursery rhyme scenes and 100 geese for a "Mother Goose" tree. For the 1987 "musical" tree, they decorated miniature instruments, notes and sheet music. White House carpenters made 300 wood candles for Mrs. Reagan's 1988 "old-fashioned" tree, which reused hand-blown glass ornaments from the Eisenhower Administration and the Nixon state flower balls from 1969.

The Reagans, 1981.

The Reagans' 1981 Christmas card.

The Reagans' 1983 Christmas tree.

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum/NARA

The Reagans' 1985 Christmas card.

The Reagans' 1986 Christmas card.

The Reagans' 1988 Christmas card.

The Reagans' 1988 Christmas tree.

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum/NARA

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