Thursday, December 06, 2012

The Obamas' 2012 Holiday Cards Feature Gingerbread White House And First Dog Bo

Teenage artist and Iowa painter create holiday artwork for President and First Lady...
About 14,000 people will attend President and Mrs. Obama's holiday parties and receptions through mid-December, and the cream-colored White House invitations feature a drawing of a White House Gingerbread House created by artist Adela Gutierrez, age 17.  It's a much more traditional gingerbread structure than the spectacular 2012 Ginger Bread White House created by Executive Pastry Chef Bill Yosses.

Guests invited to the White House for the holiday parties are asked to respond to Social Secretary Jeremy Bernard via email.  This year's parties are for "volunteers, members of Congress, White House staff, Secret Service personnel, White House reporters and Americans from across the country," according to the East Wing.  The President hosted a holiday dinner for major fundraisers last Friday night; on Wednesday, print and radio journalists were feted during an evening reception, which followed an earlier reception for White House staff.  The White house was packed, and the President and Mrs. Obama received guests in a photo line in the Diplomatic Reception Room.

During the parties, the State dining Room and East Room feature lavish savory and sweet buffets that spotlight recipes by the White House chefs included in Mrs. Obama's book American Grown.  (Above: The inside of the invitation)

First Dog Bo is all over the 'Joy to All' holiday decor theme, featured in 40 "Boflake" ornaments scattered among the 54 Christmas trees around the mansion.  He also stars on the President and Mrs. Obama's Official White House Christmas card for 2012, which is a print of an oil painting created by artist Larassa Kabel of Des Moines, Iowa.  Thousands of the cards will be sent around the globe.

Kabel's work is "in several private and corporate collections including Aviva, Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, and the World Food Prize headquarters, the White House said. She was invited to submit a painting to the First Lady's office in September, reported the Des Moines Register, at the suggestion of Des Moines businesswoman Pamela Bass-Bookey, whose daughter Natalie is part of the East Wing team. The White House invited artists nationwide to submit artwork.

Kabel learned her painting had been selected just before her husband's band was chosen to open for Bruce Springsteen at President Obama's election-eve campaign rally in Des Moines.  The oil painting is currently on display at the White House, and Kabel and her husband, Chris Snethen, are invited to a holiday party at the White House on Dec. 18th, one of the last holiday events before the First Family heads to Hawaii for their annual Christmas vacation. 

Check the sidebar of the blog for recipes from American Grown and other White House recipes.  Click here for links to all posts about the 2012 holidays.

Download:  The Official White House Holiday Tour Booklet [PDF]

*Top two photos by Eddie Gehman Kohan/Obama Foodorama; Bo card from the White House