The White House decks the halls
November 30th, 2011
05:55 PM ET

The White House decks the halls

WHITE HOUSE (CNN) – First Lady Michelle Obama showed off the newly-decked halls of the White House on Wednesday to a select group of special guests.

Family members of military servicemen and women joined Mrs. Obama and her staff to preview this year’s holiday decorations at the White House.

“I want to thank all of the Gold Star families for your enduring strength and commitment to this country. And I want to thank all of the troops, all of our veterans, all of our military families, whose service and sacrifice inspires us all,” the first lady said. “I know for some of you, this holiday season will be tough. But hopefully, it's times like this that make you know that you live in a grateful nation, and that we are just so inspired by your sacrifice. And hopefully, this is a memory that will stay with you every holiday season.”

This year’s holiday theme is “Shine, Give, Share” and many aspects honor Gold Star and Blue Star families. There are 37 Christmas trees throughout the White House. The largest one, a 18-foot 6-inch balsam fir from Neshkoro, Wisconsin stands in the Blue Room. The tree is adorned with holiday cards made by military children, along with medals, badges, and patches representing all of the branches of the military.

Mrs. Obama spoke of one message on the tree which five children from Washington state wrote. “No matter how many Christmases our dad misses, he makes every Christmas special and we love him,” the card read.

After her remarks in the East Room, she invited all the children to the State Dining Room where the White House served cookies and the kids made holiday crafts. The White House chefs have made 20,000 cookies so far for this holiday season. The White House says approximately 85,000 visitors will pass through its halls this December.

soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. mat

    Maybe we will see Pol Pot on the christmas ornaments this year. Opps, holiday ornaments.

    November 30, 2011 at 8:07 pm |
    • 16halo

      "Shine, Give, Share" – a great theme for Christmas. Well done!

      November 30, 2011 at 9:12 pm |
    • 16halo

      I hope you find the Christmas spirit!

      November 30, 2011 at 9:13 pm |
    • jean2009

      @ mat read:
      "A Warhol Christmas at the White House" at the New York Times for December 24, 2009. The picture of Mao on both the White House and the tree at the National Museum were from Andy Warhol's painting.

      I also enjoyed the part about over 800 left-over ornaments from previous administration being sent to 60 different organization across the country who redecorated the ornaments with paintings of local landmarks and sent them back to be placed on the White House tree. That is frugal.

      Word to the wise about the Mao ornament: Only idiots make mountains out of mole hills.

      December 1, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
  2. PC0909

    The White House chefs have made 20,000 cookies so far for this holiday season. Just enough for michelle.

    November 30, 2011 at 9:16 pm |
    • Tina

      Why don't you grow up! At least this Pres and his wife care about us military families! I can't say the same for the last admin!

      December 1, 2011 at 12:00 am |
      • PC0909

        They only care because of the upcoming election.

        December 4, 2011 at 10:45 pm |
      • PC0909

        Hopefully this link will work.

        December 4, 2011 at 10:50 pm |
    • Mary

      What in Gods name do they need with that many cookies?

      December 1, 2011 at 6:53 am |
    • atroy

      They also made a few dog treats for Sarah Palin.

      December 1, 2011 at 8:01 am |
  3. Howard

    Verified by Snopes. . .

    Chilling Letter from Procter & Gamble to Obama.
    Who would have thought, and yet many are thinking it.

    By Lou Pritchett, Procter & Gamble


    Lou Pritchett is one of corporate America’s true living legends – an acclaimed author, dynamic teacher and one of the world's highest rated speakers. Successful corporate executives everywhere recognize him as the foremost leader in change management. Lou changed the way America does business by creating an audacious concept that came to be known as "partnering." Pritchett rose from soap salesman to Vice-President, Sales and Customer Development for Procter and Gamble and over the course of 36 years, made corporate history.


    You are the thirteenth President under whom I have lived and unlike any of the others, you truly scare me.

    You scare me because after months of exposure, I know nothing about you.

    You scare me because I do not know how you paid for your expensive Ivy League education and your upscale lifestyle and housing with no visible signs of support.

    You scare me because you did not spend the formative years of youth growing up in America and culturally you are not an American.

    You scare me because you have never run a company or met a payroll.

    You scare me because you have never had military experience, thus don’t understand it at its core.

    You scare me because you lack humility and 'class', always blaming others.

    You scare me because for over half your life you have aligned yourself with radical extremists who hate America and you refuse to publicly denounce these radicals who wish to see America fail.

    You scare me because you are a cheerleader for the 'blame America ’ crowd and deliver this message abroad.

    You scare me because you want to change America to a European style Country where the government sector dominates instead of the private sector.

    You scare me because you want to replace our health care system with a government controlled one.

    You scare me because you prefer 'wind mills' to responsibly capitalizing on our own vast oil, coal and shale reserves.

    You scare me because you want to kill the American capitalist goose That lays the golden egg which provides the highest standard of living in the world.

    You scare me because you have begun to use 'extortion' tactics against certain banks and corporations.

    You scare me because your own political party shrinks from challenging you on your wild and irresponsible spending proposals.

    You scare me because you will not openly listen to or even consider opposing points of view from intelligent people.

    You scare me because you falsely believe that you are both omnipotent and omniscient.

    You scare me because the media gives you a free pass on everything you do.

    You scare me because you demonize and want to silence the Limbaugh’s, Hannitys, O'Reillys and Becks who offer opposing, Conservative points of view.

    You scare me because you prefer controlling over governing.

    Finally, you scare me because if you serve a second term I will Probably not feel safe in writing a similar letter in 8 years.

    Lou Pritchett
    This letter was sent to the NY Times but they never acknowledged it.
    Big surprise. Since it hit the Internet, however, it has had over 500,000 hits.

    November 30, 2011 at 9:19 pm |
    • mark in nyc

      blah blah blah..........

      November 30, 2011 at 9:33 pm |
    • Brett

      It scares me that a letter written from the Executive of Proctor & Gamble sounds like a poem written by a 1st Grader.

      December 1, 2011 at 4:09 am |
    • P

      So, if snopes really did confirm this is a true later, all it proves is that the person righting it is a knee-jerk right wing reactionary nut case.

      December 1, 2011 at 4:38 am |
    • wilson

      You are definitely an IDIOT!!!

      December 1, 2011 at 6:16 am |
    • Che

      The The Record: Lou Pritchett is The Son of SATAN Lucifer the Bible talks ab out in the scriptures.
      The blood of Satan runs through the whole family at birth. Lou Pritchett, Procter & Gamble is possessed by the Devil Lucifer as we all know it.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:29 am |
      • steveo

        I understand you don't like the guy but exactly where in the scriptures did you happen to read that he is the Son of Satan? I must have missed that!

        December 1, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
    • jnpa

      Obviously he is a republican, so what do you expect?

      December 1, 2011 at 7:05 am |
      • Teaneck

        How do you know he is a Republican. He could be a Libertarian or an Independent. If you can read minds, you should be on the stage.

        December 1, 2011 at 8:33 am |
    • atroy

      Well, I'm sure he's not the only "Robber Barron" who is scared.

      December 1, 2011 at 8:04 am |
    • Jill-IN

      CNN should block your posts – you keep posting this ridiculous crap – a mere cut and paste job by you – every day.

      December 1, 2011 at 9:06 am |
    • DrManic

      Why are conservatives always so scared?

      There is a direct relationship between being fearful and a lack of mental functions.

      Are conservatives just stupider than the rest of us?

      December 1, 2011 at 9:31 am |
    • jean2009

      @Howard...You post the same nonsense everyday thinking someone will buy into that right wing garbage sent by Lou Pritchett to the New York Times.

      May I suggest you go to PublishaLetter Blog @ and read Timothy Carroll's very well written rebuttal.

      Being from Ohio, I know that Mr. Pritchett is a very conservative idiot. Who would agree with anyone or anything that keeps workers at a minimum wage scale without benefits.

      December 1, 2011 at 11:37 am |
  4. Guest from the Midwest

    Lou Pritchett scares me even more. This letter could have been sent to Bush.

    November 30, 2011 at 10:00 pm |
  5. shorty

    I agree with LUE 100%. It will be too late to change before everyone tries to change it back this whole country is getting lazy and dumber.

    November 30, 2011 at 10:13 pm |
  6. m

    Bah, humbug.

    November 30, 2011 at 10:50 pm |
  7. katahdin

    Cue the crazy wingnuts claiming that the Obamas refuse to celebrate Christmas.

    November 30, 2011 at 11:06 pm |
  8. TJ

    Very sad comments-you show no respect for our servicemen and women–their families and their courage. Pathetic!
    Indicative of the sorry state of this Union. Shame on all of you.

    December 1, 2011 at 2:02 am |
  9. ngc1300

    "The thing about the internet is, you never know if what you are reading is true or not" - Abraham Lincoln

    December 1, 2011 at 5:47 am |
  10. Che

    Open letter To "The Son of SATAN Lucifer; Lou Pritchett", Procter & Gamble.

    How DARE you, The Son of SATAN Lucifer writes such a letter to the Pres. of USA? Like we as people have told you before, you're possessed by the Devil Lucifer ever since the blood of SATAN Lucifer's run through her evil veins to you in her womb. How DARE you evil soul. Your evil rants scare the HECK of every human being in the World. May you rot in hell when you finally meet your grandpa SATAN Lucifer.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:24 am |
  11. Mary

    WOW REALLY! I really do not care of the White House is decking the halls. How about all the other people who paid for decking the halls at the White house (tax payers) and they can't even buy Christmas for their kids, because they do not have a job or they are losing their homes. Oh wait because they have to buy food.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:49 am |
    • jean2009

      @ Mary and for the uninformed.

      The non-profit organization Friends of the White House which makes and sells the White House commemorative ornaments, funds through grants some of the cost of decorating the White House, as do many other non-profit groups. Many of the decorations are donated by many non-profit organizations; including many decorative artists groups. In 2009 and 2010, the Knitting Guild of America and the Society of Decorative Artists (both non-profit groups) provided ornaments for the tree in the Blue Room.

      The White House is operated through the National Parks Service, and its maintenance and upkeep is in their annual budget. Trees have been donated for many years by different groups....including the National Christmas Tree Growers Association, and has been since 1923. I'm sure since this year's tree honors Gold Star Mothers that non-profit organization probably put up some of the costs for decorating the official tree in the Blue Room.

      Oh wait there were no people without jobs when Ronald Reagan was in the White House, or when Herbert Hoover was in the White House, or when George W. Bush was in the White is only this year with this president that you want to whine?

      My suggestion is read up on the subject before posting... or move on and get a life.

      December 1, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
      • Mary

        Really jean2009 get a life or better yet why not donate some of your time to the homeless shelters and see first hand how these people live. Oh wait, I guess your to busy keeping up with the White house and how and where the get their decorations and as for the other comment you made "Mary you also forgot that for these people to be a tax payer they would have had to have an income..." How hurtful can you be? Merry Christmas jean2009.

        December 2, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
    • jean2009

      @ Mary you also forgot that for these people to be a tax payer they would have had to have an income...

      December 1, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
    • frontrunner64

      That building is the People's House, not any particular President's. The Obamas do not own so much as a candlestick in that museum outside of the private residence. If money is being spent to decorate if for the holidays, it is for all of us to enjoy and appreciate, so BACK OFF...

      December 1, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
      • Mary

        @frontrunner64 I am pretty sure their is some family that would like to enjoy that at their own homes, but hey look little kids we can't afford a Christmas tree and presents, but lets enjoy the White house decorations. PATHETIC. I suggest frontrunner64 you back off and you have a very Merry Christmas too.

        December 2, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
  12. Ulug Beg

    Perhaps the NY Times would have published the letter if it had been shorter (i.e., within their word limits), better written without misspellings, and, oh yes, conveyed sane points.

    December 1, 2011 at 8:24 am |
  13. ronniet

    Bunch of hypocrites....don't want GOD on our currency, in the schools, in the courts, (yet we bend over backwards to accomodate the Muslims???) how convenient to latch on to the season celebrating the birth of Christ. WHY do you think all of this happens in December – you must walk away thinking this woudl be a good time to decorate trees, homes and buy presents for no other good reason??

    C'mon, our country was founded on these Christian values...amazing how they pick and choose when to embrace.

    December 1, 2011 at 8:27 am |
  14. Jill-IN

    I hope one of the networks will cover a Christmas White House special this season. I'd like to see it with my kids.

    December 1, 2011 at 9:08 am |
    • Peg - Az

      Me too. It would be nice to see it and enjoy the holiday, instead of having to read all of the hateful gibberish being posted here. Some of the posters are perhaps just juvenile delinquents, i guess, but honestly, and sadly, these are probably actually posted by a bunch of mean-spirited immature grownups who still go around acting like 10 year old bullies on a playground. Trying to boosting their fragile egos, I guess, but it just makes them look ridiculous and it is really annoying.

      December 1, 2011 at 9:56 am |
  15. Norma

    Sir – while I was reading your letter to one of the best presidents we've ever had - I became scared of you – afraid of what your propaganda is putting into people's minds - scared that people like you actually believe all that you wrote down - scared of you – yes – I am scared of you.

    December 1, 2011 at 10:07 am |
  16. Joi Gibson

    Don't you just love the First Lady!! I love seeing the President and First Lady together. They are a fantastic representation of the USA!!!!

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012

    December 1, 2011 at 12:39 pm |
  17. Emperor Norton

    ronniet, you can say otherwise as often as you like, but our country was founded on secular principles by individuals who ranged from deists to Christians; claiming this is a "Christian nation" does not make it true. Please seek out and read the Treaty of Tripoli, which codifies our country's respect for people of all religions and creeds while providing historical evidence of the founders' intention to separate church and state.

    December 2, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
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