The White House kicked off its 25 Christmas receptions 2 days ago, and Rich and I were invited to last night’s via the WH’s social policies director. Daena said they’re trying to invite as many people as possible to this year’s receptions since this is President Bush’s last. I will get to go again December 10 as Daena’s guest for her staff reception. These are so lovely. I wish all could attend.
lighting of tree.jpg(The photo at right, courtesy of the WH, is of the lighting of the WH Christmas tree, which immediately preceded our reception.)
Funny story about our photo with President and Mrs. Bush. We were announced as “Mr. and Mrs. Richard and Jill Stanek” as we approached them. The photo line-up was me, President Bush, Laura, and Rich….

President Bush put his arm around me and me him and as we smiled for the camera, I said, “Actually I’m Forest Gump. I get my photo taken with you a lot but you have no clue who I am.” (I thought later that could have been interpreted as a snobby comment, but that’s not how I meant it!) He said, still looking at the camera, “How do you know I don’t know who you are?” And then they snapped the photo and he looked at me and I said, “Well, do you?” And he stared at me for a sec and said, “No.” And we all laughed and we were moved along.
We had trouble getting the hang of taking photos with a different camera than we were used to, so most of them didn’t come out. I’ll post more next week when I go back with Daena. Here’s 1 that did, us in front of the WH Christmas tree in the Blue Room:
Rich and Jill WH Christmas Party i.jpg
And here’s this year’s White Chocolate House:
Rich and Jill WH Christmas Party ii.jpg
I just spotted a completely opposing view to another’s experience last night. I will say we did note there were a lot of Texans in the crowd. But I’ve always thought military personnel serving in the WH must be honored to be selected for that assignment, not demeaned.
Here is this year’s menu. The food was wonderful. Believe it or not, they serve mixed drinks, which for some reason surprised me the 1st time I learned this. The spiked eggnog is the best I’ve ever had.
WH Christmas Party menu slide 1.JPG
WH Christmas Party menu slide 2.JPG
Here’s a fact sheet on the WH Christmas decor this year. The theme is “Red, White, and Blue Christmas.”

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