The 2013 White House Christmas Ornament
The 2013 White House Christmas ornament honors Woodrow Wilson, the twenty-eighth president of the United States. The years of Wilson's two terms in office, from 1913 to 1921, are defined by the unprecedented devastation of World War I, yet Wilson himself would be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1919, and his life is distinguished by his resolve that the Great War would truly be the war to end all wars. It was President Wilson's extraordinary quest for a lasting world peace that inspired the design of our ornament.
The centerpiece of the 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. To plant a tree is to signify hope, a powerful emotion the president surely needed as his two terms unfolded. The stately elm tree is depicted as it once stood, a quiet sentinel, beside the President's House on a wintry day. This snowy scene is surrounded by a 24-karat gold-plated frame comprised of elm leaves on the innermost circle, a wreath of olive branches in the middle, and holly leaves bordering Wilson's monogram on the outermost circle. Two peace doves perch upon the olive branches, bearing banners that announce "The White House, Christmas 2013." The words inscribed on the reverse side of the ornament were delivered by President Wilson in his War Message to Congress of April 2, 1917: "Peace must be planted upon the tested foundations of political liberty."