George and Barbara Bush
Storybook Christmas, 1989
Nutcracker Suite, 1990
and Mrs. Bush's first White House Christmas began with a press preview
on December 11 and did not stop until Christmas day. These events included
a congressional Christmas ball, a reception for the children of diplomats,
various staff parties, and a series of East Room Christmas receptions.
Thousands of guests attended these social gatherings over a period of
The theme for Christmas that
first year melded the wonder of the holiday with Mrs. Bush's concern about
our national literacy skills. So the White House presented a "Storybook
Christmas" in 1989. The White House staff created figures of famous
storybook characters such as Aladdin and Babar, and underneath the trees
were books tied up with red bows.
Mrs. Bush also expressed her
love for children in other ways. She took particular pleasure in hosting
a special party for homeless children from the Central Union Mission in
Washington, DC. She distributed special Christmas bags filled with gifts
and then read them Christmas stories. She sometimes would tell the stories
in her own words, giving it her own personal touch.
George and Barbara Bush invited their children and grandchildren to celebrate Christmas in the White House in 1990. The special theme for Christmas that year was the "Nutcracker Suite." There were nearly fifty trees in the White House, but the tree that featured the Nutcracker was special - it was decorated with 50 pairs of ballet slippers and 40 dancers along with assorted ornaments from the White House collection.