Jacqueline Kennedy’s Enchanted Christmas Present Tree

The ornaments used on Mrs. Kennedy’s White House Christmas trees were much smaller than those used by subsequent First Ladies. In fact, they appear almost miniature, given the scale of the White House. One endearing ornament Mrs. Kennedy hung on the Blue Room tree was a small present. It was a square cardboard box that’s available at most craft stores, and it was wrapped with festive paper.

Wrapping paper, one or two types (see tips)
Small boxes
Cellophane tape
Trinkets (optional)
Narrow ribbon, 1/2 inch wide or less (see tips)
Gold or silver cord

Step One
Using the scissors, cut the paper and wrap your boxes; secure with the tape. For a modern twist, put a small trinket or treat inside a few of the boxes before you wrap them. Make sure you mark the boxes containing the treats so they are easily identified on the tree.

Step Two
Embellish the presents by tying them with the ribbon once horizontally and once vertically as is the custom. Be sure to finish them with a ribbon bow.

Step Three
Slide the gold or silver cord under the ribbon on the side of the box, and hang the present on the tree. Repeat with the remaining presents.

Step Four
Have guests pick a present from the tree to see if they win a trinket!

It is best to limit yourself to one or two different papers. The ribbon is the unifying element, and the same ribbon should be used on all of the presents.