"She said just the other day that she can't believe this is her second-to-last Christmas at the White House," says a friend. Among her personal touches: Back in March Mrs. B picked the theme, holiday in the national parks, and wrote all 391 parks seeking uniquely painted ornaments--347 delivered. Then, when the Christmas card displaying the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden was done, she added a mention on the back crediting her predecessor Lady Bird Johnson for designing the little park. Mrs. B also added 3,000 guests to the list of 20,000 and two more parties, one for friends and families, the other for park officials. Most fun: After daughter Barbara raved about a wedding band she saw last summer, Laura booked Philly's popular Jellyroll for the annual congressional ball. "She's been more engaged than ever," says a friend.
By Paul Bedard