The Official 2017 White House Christmas ornament honors the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt, who served as the thirty-second president of the United States from 1933 to 1945 and his remarkable journey to restore the faith of the American people. The ornament is crafted from shiny brass plated with nickel and 24-karat gold. The ornament was designed using elements unique to the life and legacy of President Roosevelt. The eagle cartouche emblazoned on the speaker’s stand at President Roosevelt’s first inauguration is the inspiration for the main element of the 2017 ornament. The two flags below have forty-eight stars each, representing the number of states in the union during Roosevelt’s four terms. The shape of the ornament is reminiscent of the silhouette of a tabletop radio – similar to those many Americans had in their homes and used to listen to the president’s reassuring Fireside Chats. Roosevelt’s beloved Fala is pictured on the back of the ornament, sitting next to a festive Christmas tree and presents. A white leaf motif accenting the ornament edges is based on exterior stone molding that adorning the White House north entrance. Four stars toward the top of the ornament represent Roosevelt’s historic four terms as president and the chevron border recalls the design of a card case he carried while serving in office.

Recently featured on CBS Sunday Morning, National Geographic and Reader’s Digest, Beacon Designs by ChemArt (located in Lincoln, RI) has been making the Official White House Christmas Ornament for the White House Historical Association since 1981.

The holiday decorations have honored each president sequentially, with brief pauses to recognize significant occasions such as the White House bicentennial anniversary in 2000.

David Marquis, President of Beacon Designs, joined me to chat about the ornaments, how this came about for their Rhode Island company and much more. Though holiday-oriented, the White House Historical Association introduces its annual ornament every February and is available for sale year-round.


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