White House Celebrates ‘Simple Gifts’

First Lady Michelle Obama and White House Pastry Chef Bill Yosses laugh as a young visitor tastes her decorated cookie during a holiday craft demonstration with the children of military personnel in the State Dining Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)We listed the White House website in our recent story on BEST OF THE CHRISTMAS WEB. The White House staff continues to add to the holiday presentations, which earlier included Hanukkah and soon will include Kwanzaa.

One of the best holiday offerings from “our house” is a colorful Holiday White House Tour booklet you can download via this link and print out. The booklet includes several recipes, including one for gingerbread ornaments—perhaps too late for this year, but great to save.


The Obamas issued a holiday greeting on behalf of all Americans—as they do for all major religious holidays throughout the year. Today, Christmas Eve, they said in part:

MICHELLE OBAMA: This is the “People’s House.” So Barack and I try to open it to as many people as we can, especially during the holiday season. This month, more than 100,000 Americans have passed through these halls. And the idea behind this year’s theme, “Simple Gifts,” is that the greatest blessings of all are the ones that don’t cost a thing—the comfort of spending time with loved ones…the freedoms we enjoy as Americans… and the joy we feel upon giving something of ourselves. So in this time of family, friends, and good cheer; let’s also be sure to look out for those who are less fortunate, who’ve hit a run of bad luck, or who are hungry and alone this holiday season.

THE PRESIDENT: Because this is the season when we celebrate the simplest yet most profound gift of all: the birth of a child who devoted his life to a message of peace, love, and redemption. A message that says no matter who we are, we are called to love one another—we are our brother’s keeper, we are our sister’s keeper, our separate stories in this big and busy world are really one.

Care to read more? Check out our BEST OF THE CHRISTMAS WEB.


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