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Boxwood wreaths entwined with lime and gold ribbons create a holiday mood to welcome you, and a lighted bay topiary tree brightens the top of the stairs. This festive tree is the first of many topiaries displayed throughout the White House, but only two have pears and a partridge!

OrnamentThe East Colonnade windows are made merry with more beribboned wreaths, and myrtle topiary trees in the Colonnade are planted at the base with fragrant paperwhite narcissus.

Official Christmas cards from the permanent White House collection—including the first, sent by President and Mrs. Dwight Eisenhower in 1953, and continuing through the 2005 card, sent by President and Mrs. George W. Bush—are displayed in the East Foyer, along with the original oil painting used for the 2005 card. The painting, by third-generation American artist James Browning Wyeth, depicts the South Portico of the White House and the Andrew Jackson magnolia.

Jamie Wyeth is the son of Andrew Wyeth, among the country’s most popular painters, and the grandson of Newell Convers Wyeth, famous for his distinctive illustrations for classic novels by Stevenson, Cooper, and Scott. "Everybody in my family paints—excluding possibly the dogs," says Jamie Wyeth. And non-human subjects are a common theme. Long a sensitive observer of his rural surroundings, he paints livestock and other animals with the same care and intensity he devotes to portraits of people. The technical facility Wyeth showed even in his early work helps explain why he had his first one-man show in New York when he was 20 and a retrospective before he was 30. He was born near Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, where he grew up and still lives part of each year.