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For Immediate Release
Office of the First Lady
November 29, 2007

Interview of the First Lady by ABC's Good Morning America
State Floor

      Holidays at the White House 2007

8:42 A.M. EST

Q We always love peeking in the window looking through the keyhole at the White House at the Christmas decorations and how they have decked the halls this season. We want to go now to Claire Shipman, who is of course our national correspondent here. And she is there with the First Lady Laura Bush. And Claire, is this true, that this tree is so tall that they had to take the chandelier down out of the Blue Room?

Q Well, we are going to find out, Diane. We are so lucky to be here with Mrs. Bush because imagine, this is the woman, seven years in a row, who comes up with these creative themes every year for the holidays.

Let's get Diane's question answered first. Did you have to take the chandelier out?

MRS. BUSH: We did, of course. We remove the chandelier, the big chandelier in the Blue Room, every year because the tree is always this big. And then the tree is sort of secured at the top as well, where the chandelier would be hanging down, to make sure --

Q -- fall into --

MRS. BUSH: -- we don't want to --

Q Now what did you come up with this year?

MRS. BUSH: Well, this year our theme is "Holidays in the National Parks." And it's -- we sent out to each of the 391 national parks a big ball and asked them to decorate them, and they did. We got about 347 back, which I think is great.

Q So each of these was hand-painted or hand-decorated --

MRS. BUSH: Each one is decorated by an artist -- this is Fort McHenry Historic National Site, which of course was where Francis Scott Key saw the flag still waving the next morning after the battle, and wrote the National Anthem.

Q And this one we were talking about earlier. This looks like a painting.

MRS. BUSH: This is one of the most beautifully done of all the ones, and this is Crossroads National Battlefield so beautifully painted. A lot of the artists -- people may not know this, but a lot of the parks have a group of artists, not employed at the parks, but who spend their time representing those parks because some of them, as we all know, are the most major and magnificent landscapes in our whole country.

Q Each one like an ornament, really.

MRS. BUSH: Yosemite or the Grand Canyon or, you know, all of those. This is one of our newest national memorials. It's the Flight 93 National Memorial in Pennsylvania where Flight 93 crashed. This is a memorial that's still in the fundraising stage. They obviously get appropriations from Congress, but also they are raising money privately. So if people want to give at Christmas to a national memorial, this would be a really nice one to give to.

Q That's wonderful for everybody to think about. And I thought that there -- you have one decorated with the White House.

MRS. BUSH: That's right.

Q And I didn't realize the White House is a national park.

MRS. BUSH: The White House is a national park. And all of the White House employees, the gardeners, the ones who work outside, are national park employees. The whole facade of the White House and the lawn, the beautiful South Lawn and the North Lawn, and President's Park across the street, Lafayette Park, are all national parks.

Q Now speaking of White Houses, the ginger -- oh, uh-oh --

MRS. BUSH: Look who came in.

Q Speaking of little visitors, Miss Beazley and Barney --

MRS. BUSH: Barney and Miss Beazley, they love this season.

Q Thank you for coming this morning.

MRS. BUSH: They love to have this tree in the Blue Room.

Q Now I know they are featured in front of the magnificent gingerbread house this year --

MRS. BUSH: That's right.

Q -- which is covered in white chocolate.

MRS. BUSH: It's gingerbread inside that does the structure. And then the whole outside of it is white chocolate. And it looks so magnificent. It's done almost to scale. It really looks like the south entrance of the White House. And Barney and Miss Beazley are in Santa's sleigh on the roof.

Q I know, I saw them. That's so sweet. One question we have to ask. I know you told Charlie Gibson just before Thanksgiving that you were still debating whether there would be another big event here that you might be decorating for, a White House wedding. Any decisions over the holiday period?

MRS. BUSH: Not yet, but we will make them soon, I hope. Jenna is still on her book tour. She's not in town for a while. So when she finishes the book tour and comes home, we'll finally sit down and try to make some decisions on that wedding.

Q No pressure. We'll try not to badger you. (Laughter.)

MRS. BUSH: I know she wants to keep it private as long as possible.

Q I'm sure she does. Well, Mrs. Bush, thank you so much for sitting down with us this morning.

MRS. BUSH: Thank you so much.

Q There is no place like the White House for Christmas.

MRS. BUSH: Thank you very much. Happy Holidays.

END 8:46 A.M. EST

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