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Contact: Ahna Wilson, 717-338-4411Eisenhower National Historic Site and the Gettysburg Foundation invite you to celebrate this holiday season at the home and farm of Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower. The National Park Service decorates the Eisenhower home for Christmas, December 1 through 31, 2016. The celebration includes a holiday reception on Saturday, December 10, complete with cider and cookies courtesy of Gettysburg Tours, Inc.
Mamie Eisenhower loved to decorate their home for Christmas. Her hand is evident in the home’s recreated decorations, with mistletoe, wreaths, and poinsettias. A brightly lit, candy cane-covered Christmas tree surrounded by presents illuminates the living room. A life-sized Santa Claus enlivens the casual atmosphere of the Eisenhowers’ porch while, in the kitchen, gifts of sugar cookies and plum pudding await the arrival of the Eisenhower grandchildren. The dining room table is set for Christmas dinner and the Eisenhowers’ Christmas records playing in the background add to the holiday atmosphere.
The Eisenhowers’ specially designed White House Christmas cards are on exhibit, along with Christmas gift prints of the President’s paintings. One of the original decorations from the first family on display is a 1950s handmade Christmas shadow box. Park interpreters are on hand to share Eisenhower family recollections of Christmas in Gettysburg.
Throughout December, the Eisenhower nativity dioramas, exhibited in the East Room of the White House during his presidency, will be on display in the lobby of the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center, along with a setting of Mamie’s Christmas China.
The First Lady’s Christmas china had an image of a decorated Christmas tree with presents. The Eisenhowers’ three Nativity dioramas were handcrafted by artists Winfred S. Hyatt and Hanna Weil Fischer-Binder with additional work by Bryn Athyn Studios of Building & Architectural Arts. The first diorama depicts the manger. The others depict the shepherds and wise men. The dioramas remained on exhibit each year through 1960, the Eisenhowers’ last Christmas in the White House.
The Eisenhower National Historic Site is open daily with shuttle buses leaving the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Admission is $7.50 for adults and $5.00 for youth ages 6 -12; children age 5 and under are admitted free. Advance reservations are available and highly recommended for groups. Reservations can be made by calling 877-874-2478.
For the holiday reception on December 10, shuttle buses will depart from the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center on the hour between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Please note: the last bus departs the Museum and Visitor Center for the Eisenhower Site at 3:00 p.m. The Site is closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
For more information contact the Eisenhower National Historic Site at 717/ 338-9114 or visit the website at www.nps.gov/eise\