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Last week, my family and I received one of our best ever Christmas presents - tickets to tour the White House in all of it's Holiday Splendor!

I thought you might like to share the tour with us. For you, the event will be a little less crowded. For anyone who likes to think that the White House isn't a popular place under the Obama Administration, they couldn't be further from the truth. We waited in line with about a hundred people and we were only the 5 pm tour. Although we knew we wouldn't see the Obamas, there was still a thrill to know that we were touring the home of so many Presidents; the history of the place literally hangs on it's walls. I was surprised to see so many portraits of Presidents and First Ladies. For some reason, I had imagined that the walls would be full of landscapes rather than people. Being there in person only made it easier to imagine running up and down the long hallways as a child or to to contemplate sitting in a quiet corner as an aide to the President, catching a moment's peace in a very hectic day. I can't imagine sitting in the State Dining room under Lincoln's portrait on a daily basis. His sheer presence, even in a painting, makes my mind ponder difficult questions, those that have no simple solutions if they have a solution at all. It makes me realize why so many First Ladies have added spaces to escape - sculpture gardens and music rooms are essential for even the minds of Presidents need time to rest and relax.

I hope you find some time to rest and relax today. I hope that you find rejuvenation in time spent contemplating peace on earth and good will towards men and women everywhere. Peace be with you today and forever more.

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First tree - all in red, white, and blue!
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My favorite tree of the entire night!
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I'd like to tell you that we had a private tour but...
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The Vermeil Room
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The Library
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The China Room
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upstairs to the main floor
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Entering the East Room
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The Green Room and Ben Franklin
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The Blue Room
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Detail of the Joining Forces Tree
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The Red Room
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The State Dining Room
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Do you see Bo?
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History around every corner
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Detail on the Former First Ladies Tree
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And a last goodbye from Bo!
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