The holiday season is a time of nonstop entertaining at the White House. There was always a series of large dinners for friends and family, and each meal was specially created for that evening, with unique flowers, table settings, and menu cards. Entertainment was provided by one of the excellent military musical groups who performed regularly at the White House.
I wanted to share some of the beautiful calligraphy work that was done for these holiday dinners. The little hand-colored drawings on each card often reflected the decorations that were being used at the White House for that holiday season. The menu cards also give a glimpse into the range and style of the White House chefs, as they pivot easily from one enormous meal to the next – and that doesn’t take into account the back-to-back receptions of 500-800 people they were cooking for in between the holiday dinners, the Hanukkah party, the Children’s Party, the Congressional Ball, and the Kennedy Center Honors Gala. It was such a busy time of year that a number of retired White House staff returned to work the holiday parties, and it was a pleasure to see their smiling faces over the punchbowl again.
If you’d like to bring the White House into your house this holiday season, I recommend you go to the White House Historical Association link and have a look at this year’s special Christmas ornament, as well as the many other books, gifts and children’s items available for sale. Proceeds from the sale of items from the WH Historical Association are used to maintain the official rooms and furnishings of the White House and acquire items of historic interest, as well as providing funds for educational purposes. http://shop.whitehousehistory.org
With thanks again to the White House Calligraphers and Chefs for their beautiful work…