Christmas was a low-key affair in President Lincoln’s White House

Christmas in the White House in the 1860s was a far cry from the ornate displays of decor familiar to Americans today. During the Lincoln administration, the holiday was celebrated in low-key fashion.

Celebrations of Christmas in those years were far less prevalent than today, and the White House was no exception. The first indoor Christmas tree at the White House did not appear until 1889, and the first outdoor tree lighting was not held until 1923. For President Lincoln, Dec. 25 was often a working day.

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