George and Martha Washington had an adorable and, of course, patriotic White House tradition. Every year, they’d sit around on their uncomfortable furniture slowly dying of old-timey diseases and George would say,
“Have they built the White House yet?”
And Martha would say,
“God, I hate you.”
Then, she’d pry the wooden teeth out of his mouth and throw them across the room. Later on, they would fuck like wolverines. It was one of those kinda relationships.
John Adams was the first president to live in the White House; he and his wife Abigail celebrated the building’s inaugural Christmas in a most festive way, captured by a letter that attendee Secretary of the Navy Benjamin Stoddert wrote to his mistress Bulbina, an excerpt of which I reproduce here:
…17 missing, tho 4 bodies were later recovered (putting aside the fact that of the 4, 2 were “lost” on the way to the morgue, as the local ghouls are back at their devilish business) and 1 man did regain his health in part, but not his legs.
The Domicile of the Executive had been breached by the vox populi; the Doors of Democracy, having been opened, refused all entreaties towards closure. The hallways, so newly built, bulged and strained with men paradoxically insensate yet singing! The Sirens of corn liquor provided gratis and similarly priced beers of Gilgameshian strength yodeled with a throat more muscular than the Potomac had e’er heard. Stragglers and shysters and Senators and supplicants and simpletons. A rumor spread that a passel of Connecticut Sissy Boys were in the residence trying on the First Lady’s bustles. Prospero had conjured a tempest for our infant White House, and it appeared she may be dashed ‘pon the rocks.
Ah, look at the time. I must go be in charge of the navy. I’ll see you next Wednesday, so stop bathing on Saturday.
Here’s a little-known fact: Christmas trees were invented by Martin Van Buren. Not the species of tree. God invented those. I mean cutting it down and decorating it. You probably learned it was an old German custom, but you were lied to. They lied to you about 9/11, and they lied to you about Christmas trees. It was all Martin Van Buren. Woke up one morning and told the White House staff, “Bring a tree inside,” and when they asked why, he gave them the People’s Elbow. MVB got his tree.
“Decorate it,” he said, and now everyone was too afraid to question him and they got to work. When MVB saw what they had done, he asked, “What’s with the star?” The chief usher said, “It’s for Jesus.” And Martin Van Buren was like, “Fuck, yeah. Jesus. Love that guy.”
And that’s why we have Christmas trees.
During the Christmas season, Abraham Lincoln would sit at his desk by candelight writing letters to the families of dead soldiers. He would pause now and then to stare meaningfully or say something memorable. Then: back to the dead soldiers. Abe was kind of a drag.
To celebrate the Yule, Teddy Roosevelt launched a fifth column campaign in Colombia to “liberate” Panama from them, read two 700-page books, drafted 85 letters to various members of Congress and his administration, negotiated a settlement in a coal strike, killed two elephants and a cheetah, bailed his daughter Edith out of a Toronto jail, launched a dance craze, survived an assassination attempt, and gave a dozen speeches in a dozen towns. On December 2nd, though, he got to work.
TR’s cousin Franklin was the first to give the now-traditional Christmas Address; they’re mostly staid affairs, unremarkable, except for in 1972 when a drunken Richard Nixon found the radio equipment and managed to get it working before anyone could stop him.
Christmas. Christ, what does anyone know about Christmas? Not like Nixon knows. The Jews don’t know about it. They reject Christ, just like they rejected my dying brother. The Jew doctors killed him andhey get the hell off me I’m the president of the United–
Lyndon Johnson introduced a fun tradition: he would walk up to staffers and say, “Hey, wanna see a real Christmas tree?” and he’d have his dick out. For a few years, the concept lay fallow, but when Bill Clinton brought it back.