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Christmas with the Presidents: From Washington to Reagan

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Christmas with the Presidents: From Washington to Reagan

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This column first appeared in December 2016.

Christmas is a time of celebration and coming together, of letting go of old—and not so old—hurts and looking forward to a new day and a new year.

It is a time to remember the ancient proverb, “It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.” And this year, it is a prime opportunity to give thanks for a “tree of candles”—the White House Christmas tree—and what it has meant to Americans through the years.

George Washington, our first president set the standard in many things. But he was not also the first chief executive to observe Christmas in the White House.

Nevertheless, Washington and Washington enjoyed Christmastime with their families, friends, colleagues, and coworkers during the eight seasons of his presidency.

Washington’s most unusual Christmas came in December 1776, when he was the commander in chief of the Continental Army and not yet president.

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He crossed the snowy road in the dark of night with heavy snowfall.



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