More Photos From the 2011 White House Christmas Party (Part II)

Here are some further captioned photographs to supplement the first photo-essay on 2011 White House Christmas Party hosted by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.

Martha Washington looks over the party in the East Room.

Carl Anthony in the ground floor Vermeil Room beside Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis White House portrait

Fellow writer and friend Tom Shephard in the White House Library on the ground floor.

The ground floor China Room, with White House portrait of Grace Coolidge and her dog Rob Roy, set for a holiday meal.

A corner of the ground floor Vermeil Room, White House portrait of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis at right.

The family's elevator to the private quarters.

Another view of the window looking out on the North Lawn.

Guests in the State Dining Room.

Close-up of the White House gingerbread house with a Bo the Dog figure.

The convivial Red Room, Angelica Van Buren over the mantle.

Carl Anthony in the Green Room.

The Grand Staircase lined with holly, White House portraits of Harry Truman and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

White House portrait of Nellie Taft on the first landing of the Grand Staircase to the family quarters.

A peek out on the White House South Portico from a Green Room window.

Close-up of the Christmas Cake.

Time to go, the staff closing up the State Dining Room.

Millard Fillmore in the corner, a forlorn poinsettia his sole company.

Even the great black iron gate and gatepost get some cheer.


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11 replies »

  1. Thanks for sharing your photos! I can honestly say that I am green with envy… Take the White House AND Christmas and put them together, you have my own personal idea of heaven.

    Those chairs in the Red Room… white with gilded accents… are those part of the original furnishings bought by Monroe? You also got to sit in one of my favorite chairs – the red chair in the Green Room… That happens to be my favorite room in the White House and I love the combination of colors.

    How many times have you visited the White House? Were you able to explore it very deeply when you were writing your book about family life there? When I was very young, I wanted desperately to be the President of the United States… As I’ve grown older, I’ve realized that what I really wanted was to be able to explore the White House with no restrictions and the hear “Hail to the Chief” every time I entered a room. Oh well, at least I have your books to compensate for the first wish.

    Thanks for your blog. I really love it and I know from experience how much time it takes to post. Sometime in the next week or so I am going to do a little write up about Christmas is the White House. Take a peek if you’d like.

    Take care and Merry Christmas,

    Jake

  2. Thank you so much for sharing. I’ve visited the White House a couple of times, but never at Christmas. It is beautiful.

    Ric Ashcraft
    Tarpon Springs, Florida

    • Thanks for taking the time to write Ric – and thanks for the remark about the pictures. I hope one day you do get to see it at Christmas; actually, it was Pat Nixon who first created what she called “candlelight tours” of the White House rooms for the public touring through in the twilight and evening hours so that not just party guests but all people could it with holiday trim and furnishings.

      • Yes,,,the photos are beautiful…BUT, unfortunately..when I look at the beautiful photos celebrating Christmas at the White House…I am reminded of the reported thousands of Black Libyans who will never celebrate anything again..because of Obama’s support of the invasion of Libya by NATO. Glen Ford of BlackAgendaReports wrote:

        Nearly eight months of incessant bombing by the air forces of nations that account for 70 percent of the world’s weapons spending, all culminating in the gang-bang slaughter of Moammar Gaddafi, his son Mutassim and his military chief of staff, outside Sirte. The NATO-armed bands then displayed the battered corpses for days in Misurata – the city that had earlier made good on its vow to “purge Black skin” through the massacre and dispersal of 30,000 darker residents of nearby Tawurgha – before disposing of the bodies in an unknown location.

        • Thank you for your important reply – and yes, the White House Xmas Party be it of any US President, or any large public state entertaining of any state leader of any nation’s country pales in an instant to the value of human life.

          I couldn’t agree more with you about the greater importance of people “who will never celebrate anything again,” and all the more so because they were slaughtered on the order to “purge Black skin.” You write of “reported thousands,” but even a half-dozen human lives taken this way is criminal.

          Knowing that people think this way is bad enough; we can’t control the thoughts of others, bigots or otherwise. Knowing that people are targeted for murder based on their skin color, however, is beyond any sensibility, beyond being a war crime.

          And after the Armenian Genocide a century ago, and then the Holocaust of Jews and others a half century ago and then the crimes against humanity in Bosnia nearly a quarter of a century ago, against Kurds even more recently, it is a disgusting, hellish shock that humans still rationally justify wholesale murder of other human beings simply for living and breathing the way they were born – with skin that’s black, brown, white, red or yellow, as male or female or those nature gave attributes of both genders, or other physical or mental differences, or to parents of a certain socioeconomic class, or because of what faith they chose to believe as Jews, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus and Atheists. The 1994 Rwandan Genocide of 800,000 people in Rwanda was one in which not race, gender, faith or economics determined the killing but rather tribe.

          History is replete with examples of such barbarous murdering. These are only the recent ones which come to mind.

          History is also replete with men, and include this last century’s Saddam Hussein, Hitler, Ceausescu, Milosevic, Mladic(Bosnian Serb military leader who either directed genocides or encouraged it passively, or took harsh, cruel tactics including murder and torture to others within their regimes which led to the desire for retribution.

          And, unfortunately, Moammar Gaddafi, his son Mutassim and his military chief of staff did this in Libya. Their lives were no more intrinsically important than those thousands who were killed under their regime. Imagine, for a moment, however it may seem futile now, if Gaddafi had spent all those many years in power, instituting, encouraging, rewarding and leading Libya into a civil society. It seems less likely that those thousands would not have been killed because of their skin color.

          The Gaddafi regime overthrow and the later NATO support of it began from within the country, in reaction to years of his brutality. Gaddafi had no more moral right to murder his own people than do any non-Libyans or fellow-Libyans. Considering all this, support of President Obama and other world leaders for the NATO invasion may have unwittingly encouraged these racist killings of Libyans by Libyans, but they cannot be blamed. Neither, in the strictest sense, can the war criminal Gaddafi. The blame is ultimately with those Libyans who decided to pull the triggers of the arms they carried in their hands and kill fellow Libyans, not those “accomplices” who supplied the arms.

          Ignorant racism is no excuse for murder of any human being. Period. Dogs don’t kill one another based on breed and humans contend that dogs are more ignorant than themselves. And while alone, each one of us may be powerless to combat this, remaining aware of what affects humanity beyond the labels of our own nations or races or faiths speaks to the large union of living beings.

  3. Thank you very much….only I am afraid to say, I’m not sure who this is, since the comment posted as coming from “anonymous” without an email. You can contact me directly at http://www.carlanthonyonline@gmail.com if you wish – but I thank you as sincerely as if I knew you….cheers.

    • Carl,

      I was reviewing your White House pictures of the Christmas season at the White House. It is an honor to have the opportunity to be a guest at the President’s house. You have some great pictures! Since I was 12 years old, I have studied and researched facts about the White House and its residents. My interest was ignited by the 1976 bicentennial year of patriotic activities and the presidential election of that year. Unfortunately, I have not had a chance to tour the White House, and it appears that many more will not be able to tour the building. I have been told the White House has been closed to tourists because of financial reasons. This is so sad! The White House has always been open to the public with the exception of wartime. I hope the White House reconsiders the closing of the house to the public. As an elementary Principal, I would love to take a group of students to the White House and inspire another generation of Americans to love that old house on Pennsylvania Ave as I and many other Americans of my generation do.

      • From what I understand it is a temporary budget issue – at least I hope that is the case. The White House was also closed indefinitely after the 9-11 attacks but opened again, albeit to more limited numbers. It was pretty standard for a long time that one was able to obtain tickets to tour the house through one’s congressional rep. You might check there…and perhaps planning a good year ahead it’s not unlikely that you will get that dream of touring the White House. It is very much an honor, on any occasion in any capacity to go through there. Thanks for the nice remark about the pictures. It was an unusually beautiful setting and I remembered to bring a real camera, digital nonetheless, instead of relying on a phone camera. Thanks for writing – I appreciate it. And sorry for the delayed response.

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