In 2007 my Secret Sister from Maryland sent me my first White House ornament. Two years later I moved to the Washington DC area and my own ornament collecting began. Now it's become a fun tradition for my family as we ooh and ahh over the creativity of each new ornament each year. Each ornament represents a president. The design of the ornament reflects something(s) significant during his time in the White House. The designs are also double sided, sometimes with a different scene and other times with an extension of the other scene. A little booklet comes with each ornament that shares all the details! It's a fun way to learn more history!
2007-President Grover Cleveland (1885-1889, 1st term) This ornament represents the first presidential White House wedding. It is bordered by 3D orange blossoms and the groom's monogram. The reverse has the bride's monogram.
2008-President Benjamin Harrison (1889-1893) "We shall have an old-fashioned Christmas Tree for the grandchildren upstairs, and I shall be their Santa Claus myself." -President Benjamin Harrison (descendant of Benjamin Harrison V, signer of the Declaration of Independence, of Berkeley Plantation, near Williamsburg, Virginia)
2009-President Grover Cleveland (1893-1897, 2nd term) This ornament is actually double-sided with two different perspectives (from outside and from within) of the Christmas tree. You can see it in the second story window here. On the reverse you can see the family decorating it. One reporter called this Christmas of 1896 a "children's festival."
2010-President William McKinley (1897-1901) This ornament represents the Army Navy Reception of 1900. It commemorates the role of music at a time when America became an international power. The reverse side shows a private concert within the White House, a tradition that continues to the present time.
2011-President Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909) Part of the fun of collecting these ornaments is guessing what they will commemorate. I was guessing that this one would focus on the youthful zest for life for which Roosevelt was famed. I was right! Although it reflects the fun the entire family brought to the White House, the subtitle says, "None appeared more astonished than President Roosevelt." This side is actually from a political cartoon. The reverse depicts the surprise Christmas tree, a story that was later published in Ladies Home Journal.
2012-President William Howard Taft (1909-1913) This ornament represents the first president with an automobile.
2013-President Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921) This ornament depicts the elm tree that Wilson planted in front of the White House one wintry December day, to represent hope. On the reverse: "Peace must be planted upon the tested foundations of political liberty." -President Wilson, War Message to Congress, April 2, 1917)
2014-President Warren G. Harding (1921-1923) President Harding grew up with the dream to one day be a train engineer. One day, as president, that dream came true. That moment when he engineered an Alaskan train is now memorialized in this ornament. "This is the most delightful ride I have ever known in my life!"
2015-President Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929) The ornament consists of the National Christmas Tree, decorated with ornaments that commemorate Coolidge's life and presidency.
2016-President Herbert Hoover (1929-1933) This ornament represents one Christmas Eve when fire trucks arrived to put out a fire. The next year, the Hoovers gifted to children some toy fire trucks.
We would certainly love to collect the ornaments prior to 2007, but that would get quite pricey too quickly. It is certainly fun to collect them year by year now.