The President Who Banned Christmas Trees in the White House
The White House is known for its grand holiday decorations, including a Christmas tree that is traditionally displayed in the Blue Room. But did you know that there was a time when a president banned Christmas trees in the White House? That president was Theodore Roosevelt.
Theodore Roosevelt and His Anti-Christmas Tree Stance
Theodore Roosevelt was the 26th president of the United States, serving from 1901 to 1909. He is known for his conservation efforts and his “speak softly and carry a big stick” approach to foreign policy. However, he is also remembered for his unpopular decision to ban Christmas trees from the White House.
Roosevelt’s decision to ban Christmas trees was not motivated by any animosity towards the holiday itself. Rather, he was motivated by a desire to set a good example for the country during a time of economic hardship. In 1901, the United States was in the midst of a recession, and Roosevelt believed that it was inappropriate for the White House to engage in lavish holiday celebrations while so many Americans were struggling financially.
As a result, Roosevelt decided to ban Christmas trees from the White House, and instead opted for more modest decorations. This decision was met with widespread criticism and outrage, as many Americans saw it as a sign of the president’s lack of holiday spirit.
The Ban on Christmas Trees in the White House Is Lifted
Despite the controversy surrounding his decision, Roosevelt stuck to his guns and did not allow Christmas trees in the White House during his presidency. However, after he left office in 1909, his successors reversed his decision and began bringing Christmas trees back to the White House.
The first president to do so was William Howard Taft, who reinstated the tradition of displaying a Christmas tree in the Blue Room in 1909. Since then, every president has followed suit, and the White House Christmas tree has become a beloved holiday tradition.
The White House Christmas Tree Today
Today, the White House Christmas tree is a much-anticipated holiday attraction. It is typically a large, beautifully decorated tree that is displayed in the Blue Room, and it is adorned with ornaments and lights. The tree is chosen from a selection of trees donated by various tree farms from around the country, and it is typically lit by the president and first lady in a ceremony that is open to the public.
In addition to the Christmas tree, the White House is also adorned with other holiday decorations, including wreaths, garlands, and other festive accents. These decorations are typically chosen by the first lady and her staff, and they often reflect the theme of the holiday season.
In conclusion, Theodore Roosevelt was the president who banned Christmas trees in the White House. His decision was motivated by a desire to set a good example for the country during a time of economic hardship, and it was met with widespread criticism and outrage. However, after Roosevelt left office, his successors reversed the ban and brought Christmas trees back to the White House, where they have remained a beloved holiday tradition ever since.