Jackie Kennedy Celebrated the White House Christmas Tree
The first White House Christmas in 1961 started out pretty well, as 32-year-old Jackie Kennedy had hit her stride as First Lady. She introduced the tradition of Christmas Tree themes, replacing the tinsel and white lights of the Eisenhowers’ Silver Tree.
Instead, she decorated the White House tree with ornaments from the Tchaikovsky ballet, The Nutcracker, including gingerbread cookies, tiny toys, sugarplum fairies and candy canes.
Mrs. Kennedy reused these ornaments in 1962 for her children's theme tree. Set up in the North Entrance, this festive tree also featured brightly wrapped packages, candy canes, gingerbread cookies and straw ornaments made by disabled or senior citizen craftspeople throughout the United States.
The Kennedy Center celebrates The Nutcracker each year and the Kennedy Center gift shop and new online store have a wide selection of holiday ornaments, sugar plum fairies, stockings, winter and party apparel, and gifts perfect for holiday giving.