Vermont’s Calvin Coolidge was the first president to extend a White House Christmas celebration to the American people. During the Coolidge’s first Christmas in 1923, he began the tradition of the National Community Christmas Tree. And, of course, the first Christmas tree came from Vermont as a gift from Middlebury College—a 48-foot Balsam Fir from the heart of the Green Mountains.
At 5:05PM on Christmas Eve, President Coolidge illuminated 3,000 light bulbs on the first National Community Christmas Tree symbolizing the spirit of Christmas and that the celebration of Christmas had begun.
Today, the White House Sends More Than 1 Million Annual Holiday Cards. President Calvin Coolidge sent out the first official White House Christmas greeting to the nation in 1927, penning a card on White House stationary that was reproduced in newspapers around the country.
“Silent Cal” received his nickname from his stoic and serious demeanor. However, in 1926, after receiving so many heartfelt gifts and Christmas cards from the American people, President Coolidge was so emotionally affected that he gave a gift of a gold coin to all the White House officials and staff members.
The Calvin Coolidge Homestead is less than one hour from Pond Mountain Inn. One of the most scenic drives through the Green Mountains of Vermont that takes you through historic villages, mountains, valleys and along white-water rivers—you’ll pass by farms and meadowlands. Take a look at our Day Trip Itineraries to discover your next adventure!
The abbreviated content above was taken from Mary Evans Seeley’s book, “Season’s Greetings from the White House” (one of our most treasured books, and a Christmas gift from my sister) and the Calvin Coolidge Homestead website.