The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
Office of the First Lady
December 4, 2003

White House 2003 Holiday Theme Is "A Season of Stories"

Washington, DC -- For this year's White House holiday theme, First Lady Laura Bush selected "A Season of Stories" combining the wonder of the season with the magic of classic children's stories that have shaped American culture. As part of the theme, replicas of literary figures will be on display throughout the White House. They were designed, crafted and decorated by White House Residence staff members.

"Just like the holidays, great stories have a way of bringing families together," said Mrs. Bush. "This season I have brought some favorite children's storybook characters to the White House to celebrate the holidays."

Characters on display will range from Clifford the Big Red Dog and the Cat in the Hat to Harry Potter and characters from "Little Women."

Since July, the Executive Residence staff has worked on creating these characters. The figures will be on display on mantels and pier tables throughout the White House and the White House Visitor Center on 15th and E Streets.

In keeping with tradition, the official White House Christmas tree adorns the Blue Room. This year's tree is an 18 foot Fraser fir from Wisconsin. The tree's foliage consists of dark green needles with a silvery underside and was grown by Jim and Diane Chapman of Endeavor, Wisconsin.

The ornaments decorating the official Christmas tree are also literary figures, first used by Barbara Bush in 1989 and are on loan from the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library at Texas A&M University.

This year's official Christmas card was designed by artist Barbara Prey of Oyster Bay, New York, and depicts the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House. The original watercolor painting will be on display in the Booksellers area during the holiday season.


WHITE HOUSE Holiday 2003 Statistics

Volunteers 45

Garland 660 feet

Christmas Trees 19 trees

Poinsettia Trees 5 trees

Wreaths 245

Bows 251

Lights 70,000 total throughout complex

Blue Room Tree

Lights 13,500

Balls 675

Literary ornaments 80

Letters 62

Books under tree 350

Nutcrackers 4 (12' tall)

Antique Sleighs 2

Mache Storybook Figures 43 (see below for placement detail)

GROUND FLOOR Lower Cross Hall (under Mrs. Barbara Bush's portrait) Curious George and the Man in the Yellow Suit

Lower Cross Hall (under Mrs. Carter's portrait) Clifford The Big Red Dog

Lower Cross Hall (under Mrs. Ford's portrait) Tikki Tikki Tembo

Lower Cross Hall (under Mrs. Wilson's portrait) Make Way for Ducklings

Lower Cross Hall (under Mrs. Eisenhower's portrait) Little House in the Big Woods

EAST ROOM Northwest Mantel Little Women

Northeast Mantel Frog & Toad

Southeast Mantel Harry Potter

Southwest Mantel Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew

Buffet Table Centerpiece Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (80 pounds of chocolate)

CROSS HALLS Pier Table outside of Usher's Office (under the portrait of FDR) The Three Billy Goats Gruff

Pier Table outside of East Room (under President Ford's portrait) The Cat in the Hat

FOYER Pier table beneath mirror The Polar Express

STATE DINING ROOM Buffet Table Alice in Wonderland

Eagle Table Gingerbread White House (80 pounds of gingerbread, 45 pounds of chocolate, 30 pounds of marzipan)

VISITOR CENTER Stuart Little Goodnight Moon Bunny

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