The George W. Bush Presidential Center and the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum today announced plans for the Bush Center’s inaugural holiday celebration.
Holidays at the Bush Center will welcome visitors with twinkling lights and trimmed trees, special seasonal menu items, limited-edition holiday merchandise and music by local choral groups. A special exhibit, the first in an annual series of holiday exhibits, will offer visitors a glimpse into the 2001 White House holiday celebration. Holidays at the Bush Center will be open to the public from November 25, 2013 – January 5, 2014.
The Special Exhibit
Archivists and curators at the Bush Presidential Library and Museum will recreate the 2001 White House holiday displays in a special exhibit, Home for the Holidays: Christmas at the White House 2001, incorporating original decorations, behind-the-scenes photos and videos, and other materials from the extensive holdings of the National Archives. As White House tours were suspended in 2001 due to heightened security after 9/11, this will be the first time the public will have the chance to directly experience these holiday decorations.
The Christmas theme Home for the Holidays was selected in spring 2001. Mrs. Bush later noted: “Because this year's holiday season follows a national tragedy, both home and family have special meaning to all Americans. Gatherings of loved ones - familiar faces in familiar places - can be a tremendous source of strength and reassurance during this season of remembrance and goodwill.”
A highlight of the exhibit will be 18 scale models of the family homes of American Presidents, including George Washington's Mount Vernon, Franklin D. Roosevelt's Hyde Park, Abraham Lincoln’s home in Springfield, Illinois and a replica of Lyndon Johnson's Texas ranch, which were all displayed in the White House.
Visitors will discover a photographic representation of the White House Blue Room, a centerpiece of White House holiday decorations. An 18-foot Christmas tree representing the original 2001 Blue Room tree, which was grown in the mountains of Central Pennsylvania, will be decorated with hundreds of original ornaments depicting historic homes and places of worship throughout the United States.
A number of programmatic activities and special events will be presented including scheduled readings for children, crafts, carolers, and seasonal menus at Café 43 and the Courtyard Café. The Bush Center’s architectural centerpiece, Freedom Hall, will feature a holiday video and the entire complex will be decorated with lights, wreaths and Christmas trees.
The Bush Center’s Merry and Bright Nights, December 18-19, will feature evening hours tours of the Home for the Holidays exhibit, caroling, a visit with Santa, and holiday treats. The Bush Center will stay open until 9 p.m. (last ticket sold at 8 p.m.) to allow families and friends to enjoy the limited special exhibit and special programming.
The Museum Store at the Bush Center will offer limited-edition holiday gifts, including the following items:
1. Commemorative DVD of the April 25th Dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Center Ceremony, including behind the scenes moments with current and former world leaders.
2. Limited-edition Dedication photo coffee table book with behind the scenes images of the events surrounding the Dedication, the work of the George W. Bush Institute and the design of the Bush Center building and the Native Texas Park.
3. Gold-plated, two-sided coin commemorating the opening of 13th Presidential Library with President Bush’s 43rd Presidential seal on the front and April 25, 2013 inscribed on the back.
4. Silver 8X10 frame featuring the current and former Presidents of the United States who attended the George W. Bush Presidential Center’s Dedication.
5. Beautiful silk scarf custom-designed by Carleton Varney for President and Mrs. George W. Bush during the Bush Administration featuring images from Texas and the White House. This was a limited-edition item given to guests of the Bushes when visiting the “Western” White House at their ranch in Crawford, Texas.
6. Artist’s rendering of the Texas Rose Garden inside a custom-designed paperweight with a copper backing, adapted from a gift given to celebrate the George W. Bush Presidential Center Dedication day.
7. White House Christmas reproduction cards from President Bush’s terms in office, matted to frame as two sets of four, 2001-2004 and 2005-2008.
8. Coffee mug with either President Bush’s imprinted signature on the 43rd Presidential seal or the George W. Bush Presidential Center mark.
9. Boxed set of Camp David Botanicals notecards, reproduced from Camp David Botanical prints also available in the Museum Store.
10. Exclusively designed 2013 commemorative Christmas ornaments, available as a three dimensional metal ornament reminiscent of the White House Historical Association ornaments and a hand-painted glass ball.
11. Inaugural edition of the Bush Center calendar featuring photographs from the Bush Administration, family and the work of the George W. Bush Institute.
12. A Presidential journal, custom made of brown leather with wrap tie, paired with Cross Townsend Fountain pen in quartz blue lacquer, featuring President Bush’s 43rd Presidential Seal.