WASHINGTON -- Ho ho ho. The ghosts of the Clintons' Christmases Past have all gathered for one last cup of spiked eggnog.
Tuesday's press preview of the decorations for White House Christmas 2000 was a Bill and Hillary Greatest Holiday Hits, from the angels that were Chelsea's favorite in 1993 to the 1999 ornaments highlighting American history.
"We went back and reprised all the themes," Hillary Rodham Clinton said at the official unveiling of Holiday Reflections. "We re-used seven years of decorations for the eighth and final year."
They're baaack: The Christopher Radko glittery ballet scene made for the Green Room mantel (1996); the eight towering cone-shaped wire topiary trees in the Grand Foyer designed by Robert Isabell and laden with the same baroque finery (1999).
Staffers, headed by White House chief floral designer Nancy Clarke, hit the attic, where they picked out the best of about 10,000 ornaments the Clintons had commissioned during their two administrations. Think recycling: 81 volunteers from across the country ironed ribbons, dusted off pine cones and fluffed up previously used bows.
The only major additions this year: a seriously fringed burgundy velvet tablecloth for the State Dining Room and a huge needlepoint kissing ball by Washingtonian Hyla Hurley.
The public can sneak their last peak through Dec. 29, when the ornaments will be shipped off to Little Rock to be stored until the Clinton Library is ready for them.
Meanwhile, the Official White House Christmas Card this year was taken from a watercolor by Ray Ellis and shows the rarely seen Yellow Oval Room upstairs in the private quarters. "This is where we have our personal Christmas tree. That's why we saved our own for last," Hillary Clinton said.
"This year is setting up to be a nostalgic time," said the senator-elect from New York, who wore a sleek charcoal gray pantsuit minus any of the bejeweled pins that once were her holiday trademark. "There is no instruction book for being first lady. Each one must do what is best for her and her family."
If you're already feeling nostalgic about the Clinton years, pick up a copy of Hillary Clinton's just-published book "An Invitation to the White House: At Home With History" (Simon & Schuster, 311 pp., $35).
For information on public tours, including the annual candlelight tours of the White House, call (202) 456-7041.
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