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Holidays at the White House

Weekend Program

Morning Lecture/Seminar

Sunday, December 13, 2020 - 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. ET
Code: 1J0067
This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.
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The White House decorated for the holidays (White House)


  • This program is part of our Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.
  • Platform: Zoom
  • Online registration is required.
  • If you register multiple individuals, you will be asked to supply individual names and email addresses so they can receive a Zoom link email. Please note that if there is a change in program schedule or a cancellation, we will notify you via email, and it will be your responsibility to notify other registrants in your group.

Learn how first ladies from Jacqueline Kennedy to Melania Trump have left their mark on White House Christmas celebrations. Historian Coleen Christian Burke, author of Christmas with the First Ladies and 2014 White House holiday design partner, illuminates first ladies’ holiday themes, which while personal, have at times reflected events beyond 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Drawing on anecdotes and photos, Burke highlights Lady Bird Johnson’s home and family theme, resonating with the nation’s loss of President Kennedy; Nancy Reagan’s interest in restoring a childlike sense of holiday wonder; and Laura Bush’s “Red, White and Blue” Christmas, depicting a nation banding together. Burke also recalls the important role of first pets and offers views of the beautiful floral arrangements in the holiday White House through the years.

Patron Information

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