The White House ornaments first began in 1981 when First Lady Nancy Reagan, in collaboration with White House Historical Association President Jim Billington, established a Christmas tree tradition in the White House.
This tradition included the creating and selling of collectible White House ornaments, with a portion of proceeds going to the White House Historical Association. Each ornament is based on an element of White House history, such as presidential pets, special White House festivities, first families, and momentous events that have occurred on the grounds.
Over the years, the tradition has become increasingly popular and in 2019 alone, the White House Historical Association raised more than $1. 5 million dollars through its sale of ornaments, with proceeds going towards the Association’s commitment to educating and preserving the history of the Executive Mansion.
Who started the White House Christmas ornament?
The White House Historical Association was founded in 1961 by First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy. Since the Association’s establishment more than 50 years ago, they have been celebrating the holidays by creating one-of-a-kind White House Christmas ornaments.
The ornaments, made of brass and celluloid, began with a series featuring Presidents Washington through Obama. The tradition of creating a special Christmas ornament each year commenced in 1981, under the stewardship of Nancy Reagan.
Each year, the ornaments feature a significant event or individual from the President’s term or a representation of the White House itself. The ornament is handcrafted by the White House Historical Association, historically in USA’s capital, Washington, DC.
Every ornament is packaged in an elegant box with a card detailing the topic of the ornament’s design.
As part of an effort to raise public awareness of the White House, the ornaments have been featured in museums, libraries, retail stores, and most recently, on the White House Historical Association’s own website.
They have been praised for their detail, design, and quality and have become sought-after keepsakes for collectors around the world.
How many White House ornaments are there?
The exact number of White House ornaments is not known, but since 1961 the White House Historical Association (WHHA) has created ornaments annually to commemorate different US presidents and first ladies.
Each ornament is a handmade work of art, depicting a significant moment from the president’s time in office, an element of the building itself, or a popular motif in White House history. According to the WHHA, there are more than 400 individual ornaments in the WHHA’s collection and archives, so it is likely that there are more in circulation than this.
Who was the first first lady to decorate the White House for Christmas?
The first first lady to decorate the White House for Christmas was First Lady Lucy Hayes. She was the wife of the 19th President of the United States, Rutherford B. Hayes. She decorated the White House for the first time in 1878.
According to historians, Lucy was very excited to make the White House merry that Christmas season and “lavished attention and personal taste to every detail of the holiday décor. She chose greens such as pine, holly and mistletoe, which were then draped around the mansion’s interior.
” Her decorations were considered tasteful and understated by her contemporaries and The Washington Post said she “gracefully embarked upon the plans for Christmas decorations. ” While she was beloved for her holiday decorations and described as “the most popular Christmas decorator until Eleanor Roosevelt,” she also focused on more serious causes during her time as First Lady, such as advocating for a national plan for education and championing the civil service reform movement.
What is oldest Hallmark ornament series?
The oldest Hallmark ornament series is the Keepsake Ornaments series, which was first introduced in 1973. This series featured 22 different tree ornaments that were released for the holidays. Over the years, the Keepsake Ornaments series has become an annual tradition that features ornaments from numerous collections and themes, such as Star Wars, Disney, sports, baby ornaments, and much more.
This popular series continues to release new ornaments each year, with more than 3,000 designs available, making it the oldest and most extensive ornament series from Hallmark.
How many chandeliers Does the White House have?
The White House is known for its impressive architecture and décor, which includes a variety of beautiful chandeliers. According to the White House Historical Association, the structure has a total of 132 permanent chandeliers.
These include the eight large and thirty-two small chandeliers in the State Dining Room, twenty-four in the Entrance Hall, and thirty-two in the Cross Hall. The Di Raphaely Screened Porch features a sixteen-arm French Empire chandelier, and the Library includes a five-arm English gilt chandelier.
A three-arm Worcester chandelier hangs from the ceiling in the East Room, and a six-arm chandelier is located in the Green Room. In the center of the large two-story State Entrance Hall is a twelve-arm gasolier chandelier that was once operated by a large foot pedal.
These 132 chandeliers are just some of the many stunning pieces that adorn the White House’s iconic interiors.
What is the only item remaining from the original White House?
The only item remaining from the original White House is the mantle in the White House State Dining Room. It was returned to the President’s House in the late 1800s, although it is not known for certain which President’s administration it was returned during.
The mantle was crafted in London around 1795, making it the only original piece from President George Washington’s White House. It features a rustic carved design and an eagle with outstretched wings at the top.
It is symbolic of the strength and resilience of the nation and has witness many of the U. S’s most important historical events over the past two centuries.
What does the ornaments symbolize?
Ornaments are symbolic objects that are often used to decorate homes, Christmas trees, and other festive occasions. Different cultures and religions view ornaments as religious symbols, or as representations of something special.
For example, in Christianity ornaments may represent the faith’s core beliefs, such as the nativity or the life of Jesus, while in Hinduism the symbols are often interpreted as representing the gods or goddesses of that religion.
Ornaments are also used in different cultures and religions to signify important celebrations and festivals, such as Diwali, Hanukkah, and Christmas.
The use of ornaments to symbolize something special often involves the addition of symbols, images, and patterns that can have a range of personal meanings. For example, for some, the decoration of a tree might represent a connection to a place, a personal memory, or a family story.
In many cultures, ornaments are also used to remember loved ones and important moments in their lives.
Overall, ornaments often become symbolic keepsakes of important and special moments in a person’s life. They can remind us of our values, our pasts, or the important people in our lives. Ornaments have the power to represent something meaningful and are often kept for many generations, becoming powerful heirlooms with stories that convey a family’s traditions and cherished memories.
Why is it called an ornament?
An ornament is a small decorative object that is often hung on Christmas trees, doors, or windows. It is generally used to enhance visual appeal and add cheer and spirit to the home. The origin of the word ornament comes from the Latin word ornamentum, which means “equipment, furniture, or adornments.
” It was first used in English in the 14th century to refer specifically to an embellishment or decoration.
Ornaments have existed for centuries and in many different forms. Historically, these objects have been used to represent family heritage, culture, and values. Ornaments may also have a spiritual or religious connotation, as they have long held a place in religious ceremonies and rituals.
For example, the Christmas tree was traditionally decorated with apples, candles, and wafers, which were symbolic of the Garden of Eden and the birth of the Savior.
In short, the word “ornament” has been around for centuries and it is likely derived from the Latin word “ornamentum”. Historically, ornaments were used to represent family heritage, culture, and values, and they often held spiritual and religious significance.
Today, they are used more to enhance visual appeal, provide joy, and add classic holiday charm to the home.
Where did the tradition of ornaments come from?
The tradition of ornaments dates back thousands of years. In ancient times, ornaments were made from natural items, like shells, seeds, and berries. In later times, the materials tended to be more refined, and glass, ceramics, and metals were used.
In Ancient Egypt, ornaments were an important way of expressing wealth and power. Over time, ornaments became part of religious ceremonies, as well as a way of marking important occasions, like weddings and births.
Throughout Europe, ornaments have had a longstanding association with Christmas, with the Germans being credited with creating the first Christmas tree, and the exchanging of ornaments as gifts. Today, ornaments are still popular and are used to decorate all kinds of interiors and exteriors, from homes to office buildings.
They are also given to express goodwill and gratitude to family, friends, and neighbors.
Is the White House decorated for Christmas this year?
Yes, the White House is decorated for Christmas this year. Under the in-person guidance of First Lady Melania Trump and the White House Chief Usher, Timothy Harleth, and the talented civil servants of the White House Usher’s Office, the White House holiday decorations have been installed to reflect and honor the occasion.
The year’s theme, “America the Beautiful,” recognizes the majesty of our great Nation and pays homage to the glory of its natural beauty. Decorations include gold stars, twinkling lights, over 28,000 feet of light strings, more than 14,000 feet of lights, over 1,600 strands of cranberries, thousands of magnolia leaves, a sculptural holiday tree, and a Gold Star Family Tree—a memorial to fallen military members.
The decorations help to reinforce the importance of shared values of love, family, faith, and service.