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This year's holiday theme combines the wonder of the season with the magic of those classic children’s stories that have captured our hearts and shaped American culture. Just like the holidays, great stories have a way of bringing families together.

On winter nights, children enjoy curling up with a loved one for cocoa and a story. And parents beam with excitement when their children unwrap a new book which just happens to be one of their childhood favorites.

Since stories bring us together, we’ve brought some favorite children’s storybook characters to the White House to celebrate the holidays. Our thanks to the Executive Residence staff members who recreated the characters. And special thanks to the authors and illustrators who have given us the stories we celebrate.

 President George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush arrive at the Pageant of Peace to light the National Christmas Tree at the Ellipse in Washington DC on Thursday December 4, 2003. White House photo by Paul Morse.

Happy Holidays and Happy Reading to All!


  • 2003 Holiday Book | [HTML] | [PDF]

  • First Lady Holiday Tour     

BarneyCam II
Barney & Spot's Winter Wonderland
Barbara Bush reads "Twas the Night Before Christmas" 1
Andrew Card reads "Little Lost Angel"
Secretary Ann Veneman reads "Auntie Claus" 2
Education Secretary Rod Paige Reads "The Grinch" (English)
SBA Administrator Hector Barreto Reads "The Grinch" (Español)
OMB Director Josh Bolten Reads "What is Hanukkah"
OMB Director Josh Bolten Reads "It's Hanukkah"
Treasury Secretary Snow Reads "Olive, the Other Reindeer" 3
Secretary Evans Reads "Cowboy Night Before Christmas" 4
Mrs. Bush Reads "Angelina's Christmas"

1From The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore, illustrated by Jean Hirashima, copyright © 1993 by Jean Hirashima, illustrations. Used by permission of Grosset & Dunlap, A Division of Penguin Young Readers Group, A Member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 345 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014. All rights reserved.

2Copyright © 1999 by Elisa Primavera. Reproduced by permission of the author and the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.

3From Olive, the Other Reindeer © 1997 by J. Otto Seibold and Vivian Walsh. Used with permission of Chronicle Books LLC, San Francisco.

4From Cowboy Night Before Christmas by James Rice © 1986 used by permission of the publisher, Pelican Publishing Company, Inc.

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