Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower

"First Lady Pink" Tree

Eisenhower Tree
click image for enlarged view

The cozy, traditional Christmases of the Eisenhowers were completely unpretentious, quiet, and typical. There was, of course, the routine of official entertaining. Visitors at Christmas included such celebrities as the Shah of Iran and his Queen and Madam Ghandhi.

Unlike other Presidents who distinguished political from household staff, the Eisenhowers brought both together, more than 500 in all, for a Christmas party each year. For the White House staff, Mamie purchased gifts in area department stores, personally wrapping each one to save money.

President Eisenhower took a personal interest in the gifts and cards that were sent from the White House. Ike was an artist in his own right and allowed six of his own paintings to be used as Christmas gifts and cards during his administration. In 1953, the Eisenhowers sought out Joyce C. Hall of Hallmark Cards to assist them in creating a presidential Christmas card, a replica of Ike's own painting of Abraham Lincoln. This was the beginning of the official White House Christmas card.

Christmas of 1958, Mamie pulled out all the stops in decorating the White House. She had 27 decorated trees, carols were piped into every room and greenery was wrapped around every column. Eisenhower Christmas trees in the White House were decorated with electric candle lights, glass balls and large amounts of tinsel. We have decorated our tree in pink because by 1955, "First Lady Pink" had become a bona fide color for hats, gloves, dresses, and nylon curtains as well as many other things.


F. Roosevelt

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