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A Christmas Tree in the White House by Gary Hines

Updated on February 26, 2018

Photo of my book

A Delightful Children's Book for Christmastime!

This book for children is based on true facts about one Christmas in the White House with President Theodore Roosevelt and his children. The children wanted a cut Christmas tree for the White House but President Roosevelt insisted that they set an example for America and not kill a living tree but save the trees for the future. Since President Roosevelt was so active in Conservation, he felt this was of the utmost importance and refused to agree with the children's request until he learned better.

Two of his sons sneaked out of the White House during the night and cut a tree that they put up in their bedroom and hid in their closet. When their dad found it, he grabbed up both boys and headed to the home of his friend, Gifford Pinchot. Gifford Pinchot was the first trained forester and was the first chief of the U.S. Forest Service. President Roosevelt was expecting his friend to teach the boys a good lesson but instead he explained to them that sometimes it is good to take out a live tree in order that the smaller trees get more sunlight and more room to grow.

President Roosevelt never did allow a big cut tree in the house for Christmas but they celebrated that year with the small one in the boys room.

President Roosevelt and Gillford Pinchot were responsible for setting aside millions of acres of forested land for future use and protection.Photo Credit: "A Christmas Tree in the White House" available on

Purchase your copy here

A Christmas Tree in the White House
A Christmas Tree in the White House

I am not sure how many parents have read this book to their children but I feel it is well worth the read for both parents and child.

If you see this book on Amazon or Ebay or anywhere for sale, you ought to purchase the treasured First Edition. When I made this lens, I did not realize that the book was out of print. It is such a wonderful book for children ages 4 - 8 and I was very disappointed to learn that it was out of print. We will certainly treasure our copy.Amazon is now showing this book for sale again. They have some new copies and used. Remember that it is now considered a collectible and will most probably increase in value.

This is a wonderful story with an important history lesson for all ages. President Roosevelt was surprised that his friend Gifford Pinchot did not agree with him about not having a Christmas Tree in the White House. Pinchot explained to Roosevelt and his children that cutting down a tree did not mean he was going against his conservation efforts. Fortunately, the children in the White House were able to keep the tree that they had hidden from their father. Although they were never allowed to cut down a huge tree like they wanted, they were allowed the smaller one in their room.

This is a delightful read for not only the listener but also the reader and one you will want to keep and pass down to the next generation.


A Little Preview of A Christmas Tree In The White House - A very special Childrens Book

I am reading and showing you the first few pages just to give you an idea of how wonderful this book is. It really is a treasure and a keepsake.

I hope you enjoy this sneak preview!

Have you read this book? - Join in this poll and let me know your answer.

What do you think of this book?

See results

Childrens Author - Gary Hines - I still love to read Childrens Books

When my grandson was little, we would get in the bed and he would get between my legs with a pile of books. We would read until he fell asleep. He reminded me of that the other day and it felt so good that I had given him a fond memory. I read to him the day he was born and continued to read to him every day.

Interview With Author Gary Hines

I appreciated Author Gary Hines taking time for this email interview

I had emailed Author Gary Hines from his website to ask permission to use his picture and I also mentioned that I would like to do an email interview. I was thrilled when I heard from him and he granted his permission for me to use his picture as well as answered a few questions for me.

After I told him how much I enjoyed his book "A Christmas Tree in the White House" and told him about my Review of it, I asked him the following questions:

  • Mr. Hines, is your book "Christmas Tree in the White House" out of print? Unfortunately, both "A Christmas Tree in the White House" and "Thanksgiving in the White House" have recently gone out of print, although Thanksgiving can still be purchased through one of Scholastic's book clubs.
  • What is your latest book? My latest picture book, a story about conservation, is called "Midnight Forests." You can find out more about it on my webpage.
  • Are you working on any other books that we can look forward to? Currently, I'm working on a middle grade novel involving time travel and have a few other manuscripts with my agent.

Author Gary Hines also had this to say in one of his emails:

"Thanks for your message. I'm glad you enjoy "A Christmas Tree In The White House" and appreciate your nice review."

A Christmas Tree In The White House was illustrated by Alexandra Wallner

I truly enjoyed these illustrations

I was looking for information about Alexandra Wallner and came across this wonderful site:Alexandra Wallner (1946-) Biography - Personal, Addresses, Career, Writings, SidelightsI hope you will visit this site as it has some great information.

The First Time I Saw This Book

My friend, Billie Allen, gave this book to my grandson when he was very small. She and her husband, Bob, insisted that I read it to him and I was so glad that I did. Bob was with the Forestry Department at Clemson University and had worked for the U.S. Forest Service. He was also a great admirer of President Theodore Roosevelt. Bob and Billie were very dear friends and I miss them very much. I learned a lot from both of them.

Author Gary Hines signed my Guestbook on November 17, 2008!

Anyone can sign the guest book. Of course, I was thrilled to have the author of this book sign it and I will be just as thrilled when you do, too.

I would love to hear what you think of this childrens book. Tell me about your favorite Childrens Book.

Thanks for the nice review!

— Gary Hines

Thank you for reading my review of this wonderful children's book. - Please sign my guest book

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    • profile image

      Ruthi 4 years ago

      It is so cool that you included an author interview for his great Whitehouse Christmas Tree book. I am also interested in his Midnight Forests book.

    • SusannaDuffy profile image

      Susanna Duffy 4 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      A wonderful book for children

    • OrganicMom247 profile image

      OrganicMom247 5 years ago

      thank you for sharing this information to us.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 5 years ago from Canada

      President Theodore Roosevelt was an amazing man but I am glad to hear how this Christmas tree story turned out. Very heart warming.

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 5 years ago

      A good part of them, I don't know, but you make me curious. Thanks

    • WhiteOak50 profile image

      WhiteOak50 5 years ago

      I can really appreciate all of the work you put into writing this page. Very nicely done!!

    • profile image

      poutine 5 years ago

      So glad that you are introducing us to this great book.Just added it to my wishlist on Amazon.

    • BarbRad profile image

      Barbara Radisavljevic 5 years ago from Templeton, CA

      I much enjoyed this review of a book I was unfamiliar with, though the illustrator is familiar. Thanks for introducing me to A Christmas Tree in the White House.

    • CherylsArt profile image

      Cheryl Paton 5 years ago from West Virginia

      A Christmas Tree in the Whitehouse sounds like a wonderful book. It's nice to read a book about the family life of the president.

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image

      JoyfulPamela2 6 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      Wonderful! I love finding out about children's books that I haven't read before. :)

    • profile image

      aishu19 7 years ago

      This is such a wonderful book review. I am really amazed to see that you got the author to not only read this lens but to also provide you with an interview. Great job. Lensrolling this to my Christmas books for kids lens

    • profile image

      ohcaroline 7 years ago

      This was a wonderful presentation. Blessed by an Angel. This lens will be featured on my angel lens: "angel-on-assignment".

    • profile image

      fenellashorty 8 years ago

      what a lovely lens! also wanted to say thank you very much for your kind comments on my story, it made me feel very welcome at squidoo! fenella

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 8 years ago

      5* fun lens.... and will lensroll it to my Xmas tree lens

    • Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 8 years ago from Concord VA

      Thanks for visiting my Thanksgiving Books lens and the lensroll. (I'm lensrolling you back and also with my Christmas lenses.) This is a great lens...I like the way it's done. Merry Christmas!

    • profile image

      XNet 8 years ago

      Very nice lens. I thought it was only about this one book but you managed to get so much more information into this. I'm especially interested in holiday movies. I set up my own Christmas DVDs blog to help others find the good stuff. Did you know that there are over three new Christmas DVD releases per week during the holiday season?

    • jptanabe profile image

      Jennifer P Tanabe 8 years ago from Red Hook, NY

      Great lens and great reminder of that story! Love it!

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 8 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      Back for a second look and a SquidAngel Blessing! This is wonderful...I think I'll get it for my granddaughter for Christmas!

    • ILoveLegosToo profile image

      Tom Fattes 8 years ago from Naperville, IL

      I'll definitely be looking out for this book.

    • puzzlerpaige profile image

      puzzlerpaige 8 years ago

      I love the cover of this book. Thanksgiving in the White House looks great too. I've heard of all sort of stories of President Theodore Roosevelt. He must have been quite a character. We'll be reading them within the week! Lensrolling.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 9 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      [in reply to cappuccino136] Thank you for visiting this lens out of season. I sure do appreciate it and love the comments.

    • cappuccino136 profile image

      cappuccino136 9 years ago

      What a great lens about a lovely book. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      My second visit here. I enjoyed this lens very much!

    • RuralRoute2 profile image

      RuralRoute2 9 years ago

      This is a great story. Lenrolled to my 3 Christmas lens.LeAnn

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 9 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      Congrats on your win in the Squidoo Home for the Holidays contest 2008!

    • thepartyanimal2 profile image

      thepartyanimal2 9 years ago

      Yahoo you are a winner in The Squidoo Home for The Holidays Lens Contest So Go Grab your badge.

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 9 years ago

      Have a wonderful ChristmasLizzy

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      Nancy, I wanted to drop by and wish you, your family, friends and loved ones, a wonderful holiday season and health, happiness and prosperity for 2009 - Kathy

    • profile image

      marsha32 9 years ago

      awesome review...I've heard of the book, now I know it's a must read to my grandchildren.

    • profile image

      Joan4 9 years ago

      how wonderful to have the author sign your guest book!

    • profile image

      enslavedbyfaeries 9 years ago

      I don't know how I've never heard of this book, but it sounds like an interesting story and very worthy of checking out! Congratulations on having the author visit your lens, how exciting that must have been!!

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 9 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      Great lens! I have yet to read the book. Thanks for lensrolling my Christmas Tree lens. I will roll this into my two Christmas lens.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 9 years ago

      My step-son has a collection of Christmas ornaments from the White House (we have a relative who works for the Bush Administration) and this book would be a perfect gift. I hope I can find a copy. Wonderful lens, as usual!

    • JudyDunn profile image

      JudyDunn 9 years ago

      I love children's books...especially for the holidays. They bring back memories of our Christmases as a child. Thanks for sharing about your favorite.

    • profile image

      Andy-Po 9 years ago

      Great lens. I had heard of this book, but never read it.

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      Another special lens, Nan! The video,author's interview, and your thought-provoking questions made it so! Personally, I have gone full circle with Christmas trees and now have a "Charlie Brown" artificial one. When heavily decorated with many treasured ornaments, it is beautiful. Like the boys, I must have a Christmas tree!

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 9 years ago

      Wow, you have to teach us how to get an author to sign your guest book. Of course, two of my book lens are Anne Rice and Stephan King, they might be a bit too busy. but great that you got this coup!

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      Thanks for the nice review!

    • Terry Boroff profile image

      Terry Boroff (flipflopnana) 9 years ago from FL

      I love this lense! What a wonderful book, I am going to get it for my granddaughter. Thanks for all the wonderful links to explore!

    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 9 years ago from Royalton

      As a very small child I remember my grandfather also explaining about cutting some of the trees to let the others grow.

    • profile image

      GrowWear 9 years ago

      Loved your video! Very nice lens and book suggestions. 5*Fav

    • AwakenYourSpirit profile image

      AwakenYourSpirit 9 years ago

      I really enjoyed your story about Teddy in the White House! By the way, I've lensrolled this to my Christmas Stories lens since I think my lens visitors would really enjoy your lens as well.

    • AwakenYourSpirit profile image

      AwakenYourSpirit 9 years ago

      I really enjoyed your story about Teddy in the White House! By the way, I've lensrolled this to my Christmas Stories lens since I think my lens visitors would really enjoy your lens as well.

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 9 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      Great lens. I need to get this book for my grandchildren.

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 9 years ago

      I think I'd like to read this book -- FDR always seemed to live a bigger than life sort of life.

    • ZenandChic profile image

      Patricia 9 years ago

      I have not read this book, but your lens has me interested.

    • Lou165 profile image

      Lou165 9 years ago from Australia

      what a neat lens, I loved it.

    • Kiwisoutback profile image

      Kiwisoutback 9 years ago from Massachusetts

      Thanks for featuring my National Parks lens! Much appreciated and nice work here!

    • JohannDog profile image

      Johann The Dog 9 years ago from Northeast Georgia

      What a great book! Teddy was so ahead of his time. Woofs, Johann

    • JohannDog profile image

      Johann The Dog 9 years ago from Northeast Georgia

      What a great book! Teddy was so ahead of his time. Woofs, Johann

    • profile image

      GregGiordano 9 years ago

      This was a great book and a great lens. Thanks!

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 9 years ago

      Welcome to the Totally Awesome Lenses Group.Lizzy

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 9 years ago

      Wonderful lens! Have you added it to the Totally Awesome Lenses group? If you haven't, you should. Its awesome.Lizze

    • VBright profile image

      VBright 9 years ago

      Great lens! Had never heard of this book, like Joan, have to get for the G-babies!

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 9 years ago

      Its always great to learn about something you didn't know about and I didn't know about this story. Maybe in a couple of years I will get it for my grandson.

    • giacombs-ramirez profile image

      gia combs-ramirez 9 years ago from Montana

      Very nice review. Can't wait to read it!

    • profile image

      Joan4 9 years ago

      This sounds like a must read for our grandchildren. We will read this one this Christmas! Great review!