For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
December 3, 2007
President and Mrs. Bush Host Childrens Holiday Reception and Performance
Holidays at the White House 2007
10:30 A.M. EST
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all for coming. Welcome to the White House. I've got two jobs. One is to introduce you to my wife, Laura, and two is to tell you how much we admire your moms and dads; how much we appreciate their service to our country.
I know it's hard when you have a loved one, somebody you love a lot, not going to be around for the Christmas season. And one way we hope to help you through the moment is to invite you here to the White House for what's going to be a pretty special moment.
So I want to thank you. When you talk to your mom or dad or email your mom or dad, you make sure you tell them that President and Mrs. Bush are sure proud of their contributions to our country.
And so with that, I'm going to do my second job, which is to bring to the podium here my wife, First Lady Laura Bush. (Applause.)
MRS. BUSH: Thank you so much. This is a tall podium. Thank you very much. Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you for welcoming everyone. And I also want to welcome everyone that's here.
Every year at Christmastime, we invite children to the White House for one special program. And this year we're so happy that you're the ones who are with us today. We've got a special theme for this year's decorations. I don't know if you saw the decorations already earlier. But the theme is our national parks. And if you came in the east side, you saw a lighthouse. Did you see a lighthouse when you came in?
MRS. BUSH: That's Cape Hatteras National Park in North Carolina. And then you walked down the hall and you saw some trees with gold leaves. Did you see those?
MRS. BUSH: And those represent the Appalachian Trail, which is another one of our national parks that's here on the East Coast. And those aspens have those gold leaves in the Appalachian Trail in the fall.
If you looked at the big Christmas tree -- did you get to look at the big Christmas tree?
MRS. BUSH: The one in the Blue Room? All the big ornaments on those trees represent our national parks. And now I want to just ask you all a trick question: Have you ever been in a national park?
CHILDREN: No. (Laughter.)
MRS. BUSH: Guess what? You're in one right now. (Laughter.) The White House, all the President's Park, the grounds around the White House and Lafayette Square across the street are a national park. And the people who work on the grounds, in the Rose Garden and the First Ladies' Garden are national park employees.
So like many of our country's most important historical properties -- Independence Hall in Philadelphia, the Martin Luther King Center in Atlanta -- all of those are national parks, just like the White House is. There are 25 national parks in Washington, D.C. And another one of those national parks is Ford's Theater. Have any of you ever gotten to go to Ford's Theater?
MRS. BUSH: Well, it was President Lincoln's, one of his favorite theaters to go to. And guess what today? Today we're going to get to see the actors from Ford's Theater. They're going to do a special performance for us of "A Christmas Carol."
"A Christmas Carol" is a famous old story, and we're going to see the musical version of it. And I think we're going to learn a good lesson when we watch it about how to keep Christmas in our heart all year long.
So now I'd like to welcome the Ford's Theater Society and the cast of "A Christmas Carol." (Applause.)
END 10:34 A.M. EST