Theodore and Edith Roosevelt

Teddy Tree

Teddy Bear Tree

The Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt family Christmas traditions were quite simple. On Christmas Eve, they would pile into the family sleigh (later the motor car) and travel to Christ Church in Oyster Bay, New York. Following the pastor's sermon, TR would deliver one of his famous "sermonettes" on the meaning of the holiday. The service would close with one of his favorite hymns "Christmas By the Sea." On Christmas morning, gifts would be opened and then the family would spend the day hiking, playing games, and going for sleigh rides.

In 1902, a cartoon was drawn depicting Teddy Roosevelt refusing to shoot a captured bear that had been wounded. The cartoon was carried in newspapers throughout the country. A toy manufacturer saw the cartoon and created the first stuffed "teddy bears."

Another fact about "TR" that most people probably don't know is that for many years he played Santa Claus at a school in Oyster Bay, New York, listening to the children and then giving them Christmas presents that he had selected himself. Combining these two aspects of Teddy Roosevelt's personality, we decided to create a Teddy Bear tree for the enjoyment of our holiday visitors. We couldn't have done this without the help of many generous donors who brought us brand new bears for the tree. At the end of the exhibit, the bears were donated to organizations that used them to bring comfort to people in need.


T. Roosevelt

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