Continuing a tradition that dates back to the first official White House Christmas card sent by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933, the White House recently released the official 2007 White House Christmas card.
It is a watercolor snow scene created by artist David Drummond with the statue “Gardner” by Sylvia Shaw Judson overlooking the pond in the Jackie Kennedy Garden near the East Wing colonnade. Inside is a religious quotation from Nehamiah 9:16 and the printed signatures of President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush.
There are traditionally two versions of the official White House Christmas card. The smaller of the two measures 5.25 x 7.5 inches and is sent to the general population outside the White House (2006 mailing was nearly 2 million pieces). A large version, called the gift print measures 12 x 16 inches and is presented to official staff, the diplomatic community, cabinet members and appointees.
What is not generally known is that the official White House Christmas card is not produced or mailed at taxpayer expense. The political party of the president has been responsible for the expense of the official card, in the case of the 2007 card, the Republican National Committee.
It has also been traditional for Hallmark to produce the White House Christmas card for Republican Administrations and American Greetings produces the cards for Democratic Administrations.
For a great history of the White House Christmas card tradition, find “Season’s Greetings From the White House”, by Mary Evans Seeley. It is a hard to find book, but visit http://www.whitehousechristmas.com to order it directly from the author and ask her to sign it for you, too.