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Nov 16, 2022 Washington, D.C. —
The White House Historical Association’s Official 2022 White House Christmas Ornament celebrates what has become a cherished and longstanding holiday tradition at the White House: displaying a gingerbread house each holiday in the State Dining Room.
Gingerbread was used for holiday decorations in the Executive Mansion, but it wasn’t until 1969 that First Lady Patricia Nixon started the tradition of an annual gingerbread on display at the White House. The first gingerbread, created by White House Assistant Chef Hans Raffert, was a traditional German A-frame style house standing two feet tall and weighing 40 pounds.
Years later, the White House gingerbread displays became larger and more elaborate, particularly under White House Executive Pastry Chef Roland Mesnier, who oversaw the creation of festive villages, childhood homes, castles, national monuments and historic sites, and marzipan sculptures of the first families and their pets. During the George W. Bush presidency, Chef Mesnier created a gingerbread replica of the White House – a concept that inspired the design of the Official 2022 White House Christmas Ornament.
“The Official White House Christmas Ornament is a tradition that exceeds the White House. Each year the ornament adorns millions of Christmas trees throughout the country. Collecting and gifting them has become a holiday tradition for many families,” said Stewart McLaurin, President of the White House Historical Association.
The Official 2022 White House Christmas Ornament design features the White House North and South Porticos, adorned with candy canes, mints, gumdrops and swirled accents. The Official White House Christmas Ornament is hand-crafted in the United States from solid brass, screen printed with enamel inks, and packaged in a collectible box with a scented card outlining Patricia Nixon’s gingerbread recipe.
The White House Historical Association has designed and manufactured the Official White House Christmas Ornament since 1981. Each year, the ornament commemorates a president’s time in the White House, in sequential order, or a significant White House anniversary.
The Official White House Christmas Ornament is available at shop.whitehousehistory.org.
About the White House Historical Association
First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy envisioned a restored White House that conveyed a sense of history through its decorative and fine arts. She sought to inspire Americans, especially children, to explore and engage with American history and its presidents. In 1961, the nonprofit, nonpartisan White House Historical Association was established to support her vision to preserve and share the Executive Mansion’s legacy for generations to come. Supported entirely by private resources, the Association’s mission is to assist in the preservation of the state and public rooms, fund acquisitions for the White House permanent collection, and educate the public on the history of the White House. Since its founding, the Association has given more than $100 million to the White House in fulfillment of its mission.
To learn more about the White House Historical Association, please visit WhiteHouseHistory.org.