Christmas in the nation’s capital has evolved through the years.

President George Washington held a Christmas party for Congress, starting with an early morning fox hunt.

First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln raised money to provide Christmas dinners for wounded Civil War soldiers.

Benjamin Harrison set up the first Christmas tree in the White House in 1889.

Teddy Roosevelt played Santa Claus for schoolchildren.

Calvin “Silent Cal” Coolidge gave a Christmas speech on national radio. It was only 49 words long.

Franklin Roosevelt did not hesitate to praise Christ expressly by name in his Christmas speeches to the country.

Mamie Eisenhower personally wrapped gifts for each of over 500 White House staff.

Ronald Reagan brought back nativity scenes that Jimmy Carter had discontinued.

These accounts are condensed from David Barton’s WallBuilders article, “Christmas with the Presidents.”

The Heritage Foundation wishes you a very Merry Christmas.