2015 Look Book

Holiday gifts inspired by the White House.

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2015 White House Christmas Ornament

2015 White House Christmas Ornament

This year’s official White House Christmas ornament is a depiction of the first National Christmas tree, crafted from shiny brass plated with nickel and 24k gold. Hung with ornaments representing the events of 30th President Calvin Coolidge’s unique life and presidency, the ornament is illuminated from within.
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2015 White House Christmas Ornament

This year’s official White House Christmas ornament is a depiction of the first National Christmas tree, crafted from shiny brass plated with nickel and 24k gold. Hung with ornaments representing the events of 30th President Calvin Coolidge’s unique life and presidency, the ornament is illuminated from within.
  • $18.95

An enduring element of the Christmas celebration in the nation’s capital originated with 30th U.S. President Calvin Coolidge. On December 24, 1923, Coolidge lit the first national Christmas tree. The 60-foot balsam fir hailed from Coolidge’s native Vermont and was replanted in the center of the Ellipse, the park area directly south of the White House. Amid a crowd of 6,000 who had gathered that evening to sing carols and witness the event, Coolidge made history with the touch of a button.

The following year, he issued the first ever presidential Christmas message to the nation, reminding citizens that “Christmas is not a time nor a season but a state of mind. To cherish peace and good will, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.”

Christmas is not a time nor a season but a state of mind
Video Credit: National Archives and Records Administration

Brilliance in the Blue Room

Photo Credit: Official White House Photo by Chick Kennedy
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Blue Room Snow Globe

Blue Room Snow Globe

First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy began the tradition of choosing an annual theme to decorate the official White House Christmas tree displayed in the Blue Room. The dazzling official tree is visible here through a curtained window.
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Blue Room Snow Globe

First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy began the tradition of choosing an annual theme to decorate the official White House Christmas tree displayed in the Blue Room. The dazzling official tree is visible here through a curtained window. Currently available on back order.
  • $49.95

The Blue Room Tree has traveled to the nation’s capital from as far as Washington State. It was during the Johnson administration that tree farmers across the nation began vying for the privilege of delivering a special evergreen to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The contest continues today, and the winner must demonstrate prowess in grooming, pruning, and presentation.

The White House chief usher then visits the victor’s farm to personally select the tree, which must reach a height of at least 18 feet six inches, to just graze the ceiling in the Blue Room. It needs to stand straight and show perfect symmetry as well as rich color. The tree’s arrival in Washington and its presentation to the first lady mark the official start of the White House holiday season.

Time-honored traditions blend with inspiration from the resident first lady.
2001, Clinton (William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum)

Grand and Gorgeous Gingerbread

Photo Credit: Maggie Knaus for the White House Historical Association
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The White House in Gingerbread: Memories & Recipes by Roland Mesnier with Mark Ramsdell

The White House in Gingerbread: Memories & Recipes by Roland Mesnier with Mark Ramsdell

This brand-new book shares memories, creations, and sweet recipes from former White House Executive Pastry Chef Roland Mesnier, who served at the White House from 1979 to 2004. The memoir also includes recipes for more than 30 White House holiday favorites, with step-by-step instructions and templates for constructing and decorating a White House gingerbread house.
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The White House in Gingerbread: Memories & Recipes by Roland Mesnier with Mark Ramsdell

This brand-new book shares memories, creations, and sweet recipes from former White House Executive Pastry Chef Roland Mesnier, who served at the White House from 1979 to 2004. The memoir also includes recipes for more than 30 White House holiday favorites, with step-by-step instructions and templates for constructing and decorating a gingerbread house.
  • $39.95

It’s a holiday tradition to tempt and tantalize any White House party-goer: the annual gingerbread house, meticulously constructed in the White House kitchen and set on dazzling display in the State Dining Room. Introduced in 1969 when German chef Hans Raffert joined the White House staff, the gingerbread house has since become a signature of White House holiday decor that has continued to grow in complexity, size, and detail. Executive Pastry Chef Roland Mesnier took the tradition to another level in 1992, constructing an entire gingerbread village. It featured five separate gingerbread houses, as well as miniature marzipan likenesses of the first family.

For each of the next 11 years, Chef Mesnier conjured completely edible structures that ranged from scale replicas of the White House to a castle that was so large it had to be displayed on the dining table rather than the usual console. Many of his creations weighed more than 300 pounds and took more than 200 hours to complete. Until his retirement, Chef Mesnier continued to build more and more ambitious houses, each year depicting a fresh take and featuring different views and details.

The gingerbread house is one of the most popular White House customs of the season.
White House Cookie Cutter

White House Cookie Cutter

Add a festive element to your next cookie tray with this White House cookie cutter. The simple shape provides the perfect backdrop for decorating your own White House gingerbread cookie or other favorite cookie recipe. Pair this cookie cutter with Chef Mesnier’s book on White House Gingerbread for the perfect holiday gift.
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White House Cookie Cutter

Add a festive element to your next cookie tray with this White House cookie cutter. The simple shape provides the perfect backdrop for decorating your own White House gingerbread cookie or other favorite cookie recipe. Pair this cookie cutter with Chef Mesnier’s book on White House Gingerbread for the perfect holiday gift. Currently available on back order.
  • $2.99

Capturing a History of Hospitality

Photo Credit: White House Historical Association
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Three-Piece Baby Dish Set

Three-Piece Baby Dish Set

This classic porcelain set is inspired by two historical White House State china services. Silver stars reminiscent of the 1934 Franklin D. Roosevelt service rim each piece and a detailed image of the White House emulating the 2000 bicentennial service rests in the center. Includes gift box presentation.
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Three-Piece Baby Dish Set

This classic porcelain set is inspired by two historical White House State china services. Silver stars reminiscent of the 1934 Franklin D. Roosevelt service rim each piece and a detailed image of the White House emulating the 2000 bicentennial service rests in the center. Includes gift box presentation. Currently available on back order.
  • $59.95

From official state dinners to holiday and other social events, the White House hosts thousands of guests each year. Those fortunate enough to attend a sit-down meal may find themselves dining from plates used by past presidents and toasting with elegant mid-century glassware that reflects essential elements of White House social and political history. While George Washington’s dinnerware may not have differed greatly from that of his constituents, James Monroe in 1817 decided an official White House china service was in order.

The 30 place settings arrived from Paris, bearing at each plate’s center the image of an eagle with wings spread, representing the “arms of the United States.” It wasn’t until 100 years later that President Woodrow Wilson began the tradition of commissioning American-made china.

Historic pieces are regularly incorporated into larger State Dinners.

Near-constant use of the delicate tableware led to inevitable chipping and breakage. Fortunately, first ladies such as Caroline Harrison, Edith Roosevelt, and Edith Wilson helped collect, preserve, and display remnant pieces of historic china services. Many historic pieces are regularly used for small private dinners or incorporated into larger State Dinners.

Accompanying today’s often mixed and matched tableware is a glassware set from 1961. Thanks to Jacqueline Kennedy’s elegantly simple taste, this versatile set complements the White House’s diverse china patterns and works for both informal and formal settings.

Old Fashioned Glass Set

Old Fashioned Glass Set

Many presidents have enjoyed a favorite beverage in the White House. Inspired by this social tradition, this set of two old fashioned glass whiskey tumblers is etched with an image of the White House.
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Old Fashioned Glass Set

Many presidents have enjoyed a favorite beverage in the White House. Inspired by this social tradition, this set of two old fashioned glass whiskey tumblers is etched with an image of the White House.
  • $45.00
Photo Credit: Gerald R. Ford Library

White House Pets

Photo Credit: Official White House Photo by Pete Souza
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  • Bo

    Bo

    Bo the Portuguese Water Dog joined President Barack Obama and his family at the White House as First Dog in 2009. A few years later, his sister Sunny made her White House debut and they now romp the grounds together.
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    Bo

    Bo the Portuguese Water Dog joined President Barack Obama and his family at the White House as First Dog in 2009. A few years later, his sister Sunny made her White House debut and they now romp the grounds together.
    • $5.99
  • Macaroni

    Macaroni

    During President John F. Kennedy's administration, his daughter, Caroline, kept a pet pony named Macaroni at the White House. Macaroni was so loved by the public that he even received fan mail.
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    Macaroni

    During President John F. Kennedy's administration, his daughter, Caroline, kept a pet pony named Macaroni at the White House. Macaroni was so loved by the public that he even received fan mail.
    • $5.99
  • Rebecca

    Rebecca

    Originally sent from Mississippi to be part of the White House Thanksgiving meal in 1926, Rebecca the Raccoon became a beloved pet of President Calvin Coolidge and his wife, Grace, during their time in the White House.
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    Rebecca

    Originally sent from Mississippi to be part of the White House Thanksgiving meal in 1926, Rebecca the Raccoon became a beloved pet of President Calvin Coolidge and his wife, Grace, during their time in the White House.
    • $5.99
  • Socks

    Socks

    Socks, a stray cat, was adopted by President Bill Clinton’s daughter Chelsea.
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    Socks

    Socks, a stray cat, was adopted by President Bill Clinton’s daughter Chelsea.
    • $5.99
  • Millie

    Millie

    Millie, the English Springer Spaniel, lived in the White House with Barbara and George H. W. Bush during Bush’s administration.
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    Millie

    Millie, the English Springer Spaniel, lived in the White House with Barbara and George H. W. Bush during Bush’s administration.
    • $5.99
  • Fala

    Fala

    Fala, the Scottish Terrier, was a nationally adored resident of the White House during President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration.
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    Fala

    Fala, the Scottish Terrier, was a nationally adored resident of the White House during President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration.
    • $5.99

Additional Styles

  • Bo
  • Macaroni
  • Rebecca
  • Socks
  • Millie
  • Fala

Animal companions of the first family have often enjoyed the spotlight — including Caroline Kennedy’s beloved pony, Macaroni. Throughout history, the White House has been home to a remarkably diverse variety of species. Among the more unusual pets was a mockingbird named Dick that often sat on Thomas Jefferson’s shoulder while the president was at work. Goats were also common in the late 1800s, including Benjamin Harrison’s famously photographed goat, His Whiskers.

Another non-traditional first pet was the Mississippi-born raccoon gifted to the Coolidge family in 1926. The raccoon was meant to be cooked for the family’s Thanksgiving dinner; instead, the Coolidges adopted her, named her Rebecca, and were known to walk her around the White House grounds on a leash.

The White House has been home to a remarkably diverse variety of species.

A number of first families kept bona fide menageries while in the White House. The 15 pets of Lucy Hayes were collectively dubbed “Lucy’s Ark.” The Theodore Roosevelt family pets included a badger, a macaw, Guinea pigs, a hyena, and a lizard. Along with Macaroni, the Kennedys kept a canary, a kitten, hamsters, a salamander, and a kennel of different dog breeds.

Strong public interest in presidential pets has, at times, led to their personification: First pets have led public relations and philanthropic campaigns, written books, and granted press interviews. Current first pets Bo and Sunny, both Portuguese Water Dogs, are featured from time to time on White House social media, which has no doubt helped endear them to the American public.

  • Rebecca Lunch Bag

    Rebecca Lunch Bag

    Originally sent from Mississippi to be part of the White House Thanksgiving meal in 1926, Rebecca the Raccoon became a beloved pet of President Calvin Coolidge and his wife, Grace, during their time in the White House.
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    Rebecca Lunch Bag

    Originally sent from Mississippi to be part of the White House Thanksgiving meal in 1926, Rebecca the Raccoon became a beloved pet of President Calvin Coolidge and his wife, Grace, during their time in the White House. Currently available on back order.
    • $7.99
  • Bo Lunch Bag

    Bo Lunch Bag

    Bo the Portuguese Water Dog joined President Barack Obama and his family at the White House as First Dog in 2009. A few years later, his sister Sunny made her White House debut and they now romp the grounds together.
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    Bo Lunch Bag

    Bo the Portuguese Water Dog joined President Barack Obama and his family at the White House as First Dog in 2009. A few years later, his sister Sunny made her White House debut and they now romp the grounds together. Currently available on back order.
    • $7.99
  • Macaroni Lunch Bag

    Macaroni Lunch Bag

    During President John F. Kennedy's administration, his daughter, Caroline, kept a pet pony named Macaroni at the White House. Macaroni was so loved by the public that he even received fan mail.
    Close

    Macaroni Lunch Bag

    During President John F. Kennedy's administration, his daughter, Caroline, kept a pet pony named Macaroni at the White House. Macaroni was so loved by the public that he even received fan mail. Currently available on back order.
    • $7.99

Additional Styles

  • Rebecca Lunch Bag
  • Bo Lunch Bag
  • Macaroni Lunch Bag
Photo Credit: John F. Kennedy Library

Distinctive Details

Photo Credit: White House Historical Association (White House Collection)
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White House North Portico Music Box

White House North Portico Music Box

Handcrafted of natural maple, this lacquered box features the painting "North View of the White House" by Carlton Fletcher commissioned by the White House Historical Association and plays "America the Beautiful."
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White House North Portico Music Box

Handcrafted of natural maple, this lacquered box features the painting "North View of the White House" by Carlton Fletcher commissioned by the White House Historical Association and plays "America the Beautiful." Currently available on back order.
  • $99.99

Over the past two centuries, Americans have maintained a fascination with the White House that transcends the political. Evolving along with the country, the White House has simultaneously sustained distinctive architectural and decorative elements that reflect the story of its evolution. Many of these design details embody the country’s economic, social, and cultural history, while others offer a window into the experience of day-to-day White House life—past and present— that continues to intrigue the American public.

George Washington’s dignified taste, as well as his idea that a president’s residence should look more like a house than a public building, is reflected in the White House design, although Washington himself never actually lived there. He selected the house’s site and approved the neoclassical design submitted by Irish-born architect James Hoban in a competition. The exterior sandstone detailing—quarried down the Potomac River in Aquia, Virginia—is the work of Scottish stonemasons recruited specifically to work on the mansion.

A president’s residence should look more like a house than a public building.

Upon the completion of the walls in 1798, the masons originally coated the White House’s exterior with a lime-based whitewash to prevent moisture damage during icy winter freezes, and the mansion became commonly known as the “White House.” White oil paint was later used to cover the building’s scarred walls after invading British troops burned its interior to ash in 1814.

Some scorched exterior sections remain purposefully unpainted and visible today. The proprietary paint formula mixed to achieve the signature white color — actually a slightly creamy hue, warmer than the original whitewash — is known only to White House painters.

  • Windows of The White House Mirrors - Triangular Pediment

    Windows of The White House Mirrors - Triangular Pediment

    Inspired by the architecture and decorative details of White House exterior windows, each mirror is handcrafted in the United States and painted "White House" white. Limited edition. Only 50 of each pediment style, arched or triangular, are available for purchase.
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    Windows of The White House Mirrors - Triangular Pediment

    Inspired by the architecture and decorative details of White House exterior windows, each mirror is handcrafted in the United States and painted "White House" white. Limited edition. Only 50 of each pediment style, arched or triangular, are available for purchase. For domestic shipping to US/CAN a shipping charge of $250 per mirror will apply. For international shipping a charge of $275 per mirror plus any additional shipping costs depending on shipping destination will apply. Please call 1-800-555-2451 for more detailed international shipping costs.
    • $2,000.00
  • Windows of The White House Mirrors - Arched Pediment

    Windows of The White House Mirrors - Arched Pediment

    Inspired by the architecture and decorative details of White House exterior windows, each mirror is handcrafted in the United States and painted "White House" white. Limited edition. Only 50 of each pediment style, arched or triangular, are available for purchase.
    Close

    Windows of The White House Mirrors - Arched Pediment

    Inspired by the architecture and decorative details of White House exterior windows, each mirror is handcrafted in the United States and painted "White House" white. Limited edition. Only 50 of each pediment style, arched or triangular, are available for purchase. For domestic shipping to US/CAN a shipping charge of $250 per mirror will apply. For international shipping a charge of $275 per mirror plus any additional shipping costs depending on shipping destination will apply. Please call 1-800-555-2451 for more detailed international shipping costs.
    • $2,000.00

Additional Styles

  • Windows of The White House Mirrors - Triangular Pediment
  • Windows of The White House Mirrors - Arched Pediment

Each room of the White House boasts a distinctive character and purpose, evident in its design and furnishings. Though the house still follows a usage pattern established during a 1902 restoration and modernization that doubled the square footage of the family living quarters, produced the first West Wing office, and designated a new area at the east end for receiving guests, many rooms enjoy colorful histories of varied uses.

The Green Room, for example, was a guest bedchamber, dining room, card room, and drawing room before settling into its current function as a tea and reception parlor. More consistent has been the green motif of its textiles, dominated by silk wall fabric updated most recently in 2007.

Photo Credit: White House Historical Association
  • Jelly Belly Gift Box with North Portico Cover

    Jelly Belly Gift Box with North Portico Cover

    Our unique box of Jelly Belly candies includes 20 flavors inspired by the colorful décor and beautiful landscape of the White House, from the Oval Office to the Family Dining Room.
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    Jelly Belly Gift Box with North Portico Cover

    Our unique box of Jelly Belly candies includes 20 flavors inspired by the colorful décor and beautiful landscape of the White House, from the Oval Office to the Family Dining Room.
    • $12.95
  • Set of Four Jelly Belly Gift Boxes

    Set of Four Jelly Belly Gift Boxes

    Each box contains 20 unique Jelly Belly® jelly bean flavors, inspired by the rooms and grounds of the White House, and includes a descriptive informational booklet featuring beautiful photography.
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    Set of Four Jelly Belly Gift Boxes

    Each box contains 20 unique Jelly Belly® jelly bean flavors, inspired by the rooms and grounds of the White House, and includes a descriptive informational booklet featuring beautiful photography.
    • $50.00
  • Jelly Belly Gift Box with Blue Room Cover

    Jelly Belly Gift Box with Blue Room Cover

    Our unique box of Jelly Belly candies includes 20 flavors inspired by the colorful décor and beautiful landscape of the White House, from the Oval Office to the Family Dining Room.
    Close

    Jelly Belly Gift Box with Blue Room Cover

    Our unique box of Jelly Belly candies includes 20 flavors inspired by the colorful décor and beautiful landscape of the White House, from the Oval Office to the Family Dining Room.
    • $12.95
  • Jelly Belly Gift Box with Green Room Cover

    Jelly Belly Gift Box with Green Room Cover

    Our unique box of Jelly Belly candies includes 20 flavors inspired by the colorful décor and beautiful landscape of the White House, from the Oval Office to the Family Dining Room.
    Close

    Jelly Belly Gift Box with Green Room Cover

    Our unique box of Jelly Belly candies includes 20 flavors inspired by the colorful décor and beautiful landscape of the White House, from the Oval Office to the Family Dining Room.
    • $12.95
  • Jelly Belly Gift Box with Red Room Cover

    Jelly Belly Gift Box with Red Room Cover

    Our unique box of Jelly Belly candies includes 20 flavors inspired by the colorful décor and beautiful landscape of the White House, from the Oval Office to the Family Dining Room.
    Close

    Jelly Belly Gift Box with Red Room Cover

    Our unique box of Jelly Belly candies includes 20 flavors inspired by the colorful décor and beautiful landscape of the White House, from the Oval Office to the Family Dining Room.
    • $12.95

Additional Styles

  • Jelly Belly Gift Box with North Portico Cover
  • Set of Four Jelly Belly Gift Boxes
  • Jelly Belly Gift Box with Blue Room Cover
  • Jelly Belly Gift Box with Green Room Cover
  • Jelly Belly Gift Box with Red Room Cover

Reimagining the Rose Garden

Photo Credit: George W. Bush Presidential Library
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Longaberger Market Basket

Longaberger Market Basket

Exclusive to the White House Historical Association, this handcrafted basket is inspired by the garden baskets of first ladies across the decades, used for flowers as well as fruits and vegetables.
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Longaberger Market Basket

Exclusive to the White House Historical Association, this handcrafted basket is inspired by the garden baskets of first ladies across the decades, used for flowers as well as fruits and vegetables.
  • $59.99

The White House Rose Garden provides an ideal setting for outdoor presidential events, including official ceremonies, bill signings, press conferences, and elegant dinners. First Lady Edith Roosevelt created a “colonial garden" in 1902 in this space that had been part of a greenhouse complex; it was redesigned by George Burnap as a rose garden in 1913 for First Lady Ellen Wilson.

During a 1961 state visit to France that included stops in England and Austria, President John F. Kennedy admired the beautiful landscapes surrounding official European residences. His appreciation of the European gardens, as well as the gift of Jefferson’s Notes on Gardening from family friend Rachel Lambert Mellon, inspired the president to improve the White House gardens.

The Rose Garden offers a serene view from the Oval Office.
Rose Scented Candle

Rose Scented Candle

Inspired by the White House Rose Garden, this rose scented candle is presented in white glass bearing an image of the White House.
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Rose Scented Candle

Inspired by the White House Rose Garden, this rose scented candle is presented in white glass bearing an image of the White House.
  • $24.99
Image courtesy of Oak Spring Garden Library
President Kennedy's Rose Garden (# 38)

President Kennedy's Rose Garden (# 38)

This issue of the White House History Journal follows the evolution of the White House gardens from George Washington’s 1792 plan for the “President’s Square” to John F. Kennedy’s renovation of the space outside the Oval Office into a “traditionally American” Rose Garden.
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President Kennedy's Rose Garden (# 38)

This issue of the White House History Journal follows the evolution of the White House gardens from George Washington’s 1792 plan for the “President’s Square” to John F. Kennedy’s renovation of the space outside the Oval Office into a “traditionally American” Rose Garden.
  • $9.95
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