Sunday, December 25, 2011

White House Christmas Trivia

Over the last few weeks, author Coleen Christian Burke has been asking trivia questions about the White House Christmas traditions over on her Twitter account

Here are the questions and answers, most of which can be found inside her book, "Christmas with the First Ladies." If you're a history buff, this book will appeal to you, no matter what time of year it is.

Q: Which of the First Ladies liked to bring in Celebrity Santas for the White House Christmas celebration?
A: Nancy Reagan invited Willard Scott from the Today show, The A Team's Mr. T, and Larry Hagman of Dallas appeared as Santas during the time Mrs. Regan was a First Lady.

Q: Who bought President Nixon a Colt .45 for Christmas?
A: On December 20, Elvis came to the White House to bring President Nixon an early Christmas present!

Q: What was Mrs. Obama's favorite childhood Christmas gift?
A: Revealed to Oprah Winfrey in 2009, Mrs. Obama recalled the Easy Bake oven she adored, but her favorite Christmas present was a dollhouse.

Q: Which three First Ladies used "Nutcracker" as a theme for the holiday decor in the White House?
A: Jacqueline Kennedy (1961), Barbara Bush (1990), and Hillary Clinton (1996).

Q: What was the annual Johnson family holiday photo affectionately known as?
A: "The Annual Christmas Horror Show"

Q: What did Pat Nixon ask Santa to bring her for Christmas in 1969?
A:  As reported in the Washington Post, Pat Nixon asked Santa for a diamond necklace.

Q: Which First Daughter supposedly asked for a chain saw for Christmas?
A:  In 1977, a young friend of Amy Carter mistakenly told this to a reporter.

Q: Which First Lady brought her husband a puppy for Christmas?
A: Hillary bought President Clinton a puppy in 1997 after her 'empty nest' feelings after Chelsea left for college.

Q: How much did the gingerbread house weigh that was displayed in the State Dining Room?
A:  In 2010, the gingerbread house tipped the scales at four hundred pounds.

Q: Which First Lady chose "All Creatures Great and Small" as one of her holiday themes?
A: Laura Bush chose this theme in 2002.

Q: Which First Lady appeared on The Mary Tyler Moore show?
A:  Betty Ford appeared on the show after Christmas in late 1975.

Q: What was Nancy Reagan's annual holiday gift to the press?
A:  Monkey Bread (the recipe is included inside the book).

Q: Which President & First Lady sent out Christmas Party invitations in the shape of a Christmas tree?
A: President and Mrs. Carter in 1978.

Q: Which First Lady had handicap ramps installed at the White House to provide access to all?
A: Pat Nixon had the first ramps installed in 1971.

Q: What is this year's holiday theme at the White House?
A: Shine, Share Give.

Q: Which First Daughter celebrated a White House Wedding in December with 650 guests?
A: Lynda Bird Johnson married Major Charles Robb on December 9th, 1967.

Q: Which First Lady won a bake-off against Barbara Bush with her Chocolate Chip Cookies?
A:  Hillary Clinton won during the 1992 election.

Q: Which character from Sesame Street came to visit the White House in 1976?
A:  Big Bird made an appearance at the White House for the second time. His first appearance was during President Nixon's term.

Q: Which Presidents suffered through the holiday season - with the live trees & flowers - despite their allergies?
A: Both President Reagan and President Clinton had artificial decorations in their living quarters.

Q: Which First Lady was voted the Nation's Ideal Housewife?
A:  In 1957, when Pat Nixon was Second Lady, she was voted "the Nation's Ideal Housewife" in a Homemakers Forum contest, voted on by over a million people.

Q: Which First Lady teamed up with Hallmark to design her own Christmas cards?
A:  In 1963, Jacqueline Kennedy teamed up with Hallmark to design her own Christmas cards.

Featuring photographs from the Presidential Libraries, recipes for some of the First Ladies' favorite holiday treats and instructions to duplicate some of their decorating ideas, pick up a copy of Coleen Christian Burke's "Christmas with the First Ladies."


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