The 2012 White House Christmas Ornament which honors President William Howard Taft, our 27th president. Taft introduced the automobile to White House transportation in 1909, breaking a long presidential tradition of reliance on horse-drawn vehicles.

The 2012 White House Christmas Ornament which honors President William Howard Taft, our 27th president. Taft introduced the automobile to White House transportation in 1909, breaking a long presidential tradition of reliance on horse-drawn vehicles.

This week’s column focuses on Christmas traditions and New Year’s resolutions.

2015 White House Christmas Ornament honors 30th US President, Calvin Coolidge, 1923-1929

2015 White House Christmas Ornament honors 30th US President, Calvin Coolidge, 1923-1929

A few years ago, a friend surprised me with an unusual and much appreciated gift – a Christmas ornament from the White House Historical Association. And almost every year since, in what has become a cherished tradition, she gifts me with the most recent White House ornament to add to my collection.

To date, the White House Historical Association has issued 35 ornaments, many of them in recognition of previous presidents and their administrations. Each ornament is packaged in a gift box containing a booklet that describes the president, his personality and his notable achievements while in office.

This year’s White House Christmas ornament honors Calvin Coolidge, our 30th president who served from 1923 to 1929. Designed and made in the United States, the decorated shiny brass nickel and 24k gold plated Christmas tree features a first – a tiny LED light that illuminates it from within – symbolizing President Coolidge’s lighting of our nation’s very first National Christmas Tree in 1923.

The ornament’s 14 colorful miniature decorations signify events and hallmarks of Coolidge’s life and presidency.

Other ornaments in my collection (below) include:

(Left: 2014 – President Warren G. Harding was honored in 2014. The 29th president of the United States from 1921 to 1923, as a young boy, Harding dreamed of being a locomotive engineer.)

(Right: The centerpiece of the President Woodrow Wilson (1913 – 1921) 2013 ornament is an American Elm tree planted by President Wilson on the North Lawn of the White House on December 18, 1913, just before Christmas.)

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The White House History website also offers interesting facts and trivia about the Executive Mansion and those who inhabited it. For example, ever wondered why the White House is white? Or the Oval Office oval? Can you name the most famous ghost of the White House? (First Lady Grace Coolidge, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands claimed to have seen him.)

Founded in 1961 by first lady Jacqueline Kennedy, the White House Historical Association is a charitable nonprofit institution dedicated to preserving the historic legacy of the White House.

“Don we now our gay apparel, falala, lalala, lalala!

This family of eight has a different Christmas tradition! Watch as they do an intricately choreographed dance to a catchy Christmas song, each wearing his own favorite Christmas sweater!

The video Christmas card has had close to three million views since it was posted early this month.

“This year is our 4th annual music video,” reads the text accompanying the video. “Set to Justin Bieber’s “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” it’s our best work yet. Another fun fact is that every year we wear our Mother’s quirky Christmas sweaters!”

If you liked it, here are their previous Christmas videos:

2014 Music Video

2013 Music Video

2012 Music Video

Storage space

After the Christmas gifts have been opened, the wrapping paper and ribbons stowed away for another year, many of us are challenged to find a new home for all the goodies left by Santa.

If one of your “new year” resolutions is to get better organized, now is as good a time as ever to make room for that new scarf, shirts, belts, bike and other items you’ll be squeezing into closets, drawers and garage.

So here are some helpful tips, but first, a quiz: What can you do with shower curtain hooks, shoe boxes, PVC pipe, pool noodles, pop tops, holiday ornament boxes, ice cube trays?

Faith Tap has the answers along with some clever “hacks” that will cost you next to nothing to make the job of organizing and storing your stuff much easier. Click here to get inspired!

You’ll be amazed at the myriad clever uses for common household objects!

Can your feline sing like this?

The CATalunia Boys Choir sings “Meow” from the opera Otello. Formally known as the “Duetto buffo di due gatti” (“humorous duet for two cats”), it is a popular performance piece for two sopranos. These two young boys sing it with a straight face. This particular performance dates back to 2009, and the video has been viewed nearly 4.5 million times. Though the piece is quite humorous, the boys manage to play it straight. (I bet your cats would know the lyrics!)

Can your kiddo dance like this?

Feeling blue?

After all the Christmas hubbub and before the New Year’s revelries, something soothing before the corks pop, the champagne is poured, and fireworks festivities usher in 2016…

Like the color blue? Then you might like this visually beautiful, high def video by Ray Lindo, set to the song “O Come Emanuel”.

And if you liked that, you might also enjoy his stunning Red in HD accompanied to the music of the beautifully performed “We Three Kings.”

And finally, here is a visually gorgeous look at royal purple, set to more soothing music.

Happy New Year to all our friends and readers at WND.com!

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