An Impossible Dream Becomes a Reality
Updated: Oct 2, 2018
"Mary Seeley’s extensive research enables her to share the human side of Christmas at the White House.” - Rex Scouten, The White House Curator.
My husband Ron, was the one who knew I could write a book documenting a collection of official presidential Christmas cards from the White House. He already had me involved in this project when it seemed like an impossible dream to me. It didn’t take much persuasion, though, and with the White House curator's assistance and Ron’s enthusiasm, my quest began in earnest. Eventually I traveled to all the presidential libraries to do original research, interviewed social secretaries, calligraphers and curators who worked at the White House. When I began to write the book, I focused on one chapter at a time, even when I was staying with friends, who encouraged me, while on vacation in Colorado.
Of invaluable research help were the greeting card companies that originally produced the Presidents' cards and gift prints. They also provided generous assistance in reproducing the art for this book. Hallmark consultant, Jeanette Lee, granted me the rare privilege of using the Hallmark archives. Barbara Hatala at American Greetings arranged for an informative luncheon for me with five of their executives and their walking historian, Ed Pakish.
For the human interest stories behind the creative compositions, I interviewed the artists and photographers whose works have adorned Presidential Christmas cards and gift prints. For first hand historical information I went straight to the source, where possible. The generous offerings of personal anecdotes and memories from former First Ladies and other First Family members greatly enhanced this work.
Of "Season's Greetings from the White House", Donald J. Hall, Chairman of the Board for Hallmark Cards, Inc. said, "Mary Seeley's historical collection of holiday cards from the White House offers a fascinating glimpse of our nations's culture and its values through the years. With direct involvement from the Presidents and First Ladies, the designs and messages of these cards truly reflect the personalities of our leaders and their special relationship with the American people."
To learn more about the newest edition of the book, visit www.whitehouseholidays.com.