• Mary Evans Seeley

A Rare Interview with John Coolidge

Updated: Oct 2, 2018

The son of President Coolidge shared how his family celebrated Christmas and hosted the New Years Day Reception.

The subtitle of my book is, “The Stories of Presidential Christmas cards, messages and gifts: Calvin Coolidge to Donald J. Trump.”

Rightfully so, the book is filled with captivating stories you will enjoy reading. I was privileged to get a rare interview with President Coolidge's son, John, at the Coolidge Homestead in Plymouth Notch, Vermont.

John talked about how they celebrated Christmas and hosted the New Year’s Day Reception in the White House. His mother, Grace Coolidge, decorated the White House with holly and mistletoe and Norway spruce. Once, he and his brother Calvin Jr., arrived home from Mercersburg Academy, they enjoyed a real homey New England family Christmas. The president accompanied them on a window shopping excursion, while their mother made arrangements for a Christmas dance in their honor in the Blue Room.

Their first Christmas in the White House was a happy one, but the tragic death of 16-year-old Calvin, cast a shadow on the holiday the following years. The devastated president said in his autobiography, “When he went, the power and the glory of the Presidency went with him. The ways of Providence are often beyond our understanding. . . . I do not know why such a price was exacted for occupying the White House.”

You will have to go to the first chapter of my new book “The Coolidges: Beginning of a Tradition” to find out how Calvin Jr. died and which Christmas tradition the First Family began at the White House.

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