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Christmas At Drumthwacket

Each holiday season, garden clubs around the state decorate our grand and historic governor’s mansion. Join us on a tour.

Posted November 17, 2010 by Lauren Payne

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Although Governor Chris Christie and his family live primarily in their Mendham home, they hope to spend quality time this holiday season at Drumthwacket, the official governor’s mansion.

Drumthwacket is among the most fabled and elegant of America’s executive residences, with a history dating back three centuries. Located in Princeton, not far from the state government offices in Trenton, the mansion was acquired by the state in 1966 and has been the official—if not daily—home to every governor since.



Upstairs, twelve private rooms serve as a part-time home to the first family; six public rooms on the main floor are the site of many official functions. Perhaps the most impressive is the annual Garden Club holiday display.

“I anticipate possibly spending the night at Drumthwacket Christmas Eve,” reports First Lady Mary Pat Christie.



Even so, the Christies plan not to stray far from their accustomed holiday celebration, steeped in tradition and focused on family. The First Family typically goes to Christmas mass—“My smaller children will be a part of the nativity scene,” Mary Pat says—and then on to the home of the governor’s brother for an Italian feast. Christmas morning is just the six Christies, opening presents and enjoying Mary Pat’s cream cheese-cinnamon pastries hot out of the oven. They then head to Mary Pat’s mother’s house in Pennsylvania for Christmas Day dinner, a meal capped off with Mary Pat’s chocolate-mousse sponge cake—“the crown of the evening,” she calls it.

So how will things be different this year, their first year as official residents of Drumthwacket? Upstairs, they plan to keep it simple, following their long-standing traditions. They’ll decorate a family tree—“we have so many ornaments,” says Mary Pat—and adorn it with a homemade cranberry and popcorn string. “It’s tedious for my children at this point, but I really enjoy it,” she says.

Downstairs, it’s a different matter. The public space will be decorated to the hilt by the seven participating garden clubs from around the state. “We want to open Drumthwacket to as many people as possible,” says the First Lady. “These ladies put in so much time and effort, with such talent. We are planning a lot of festivities to host a lot of people who haven’t had a chance to see the decorations. We feel incredibly privileged and honored to be the stewards of this home for the next three years.”

Participating garden clubs for the 2010 holiday season include Essex Fells, Hunterdon Hills, Montville/Valhalla, Neshanic, New Vernon, Somerset Valley, and Spring Lake. Guests are welcome to tour the governor’s mansion during five scheduled open houses: Wednesdays, December 1, 8 and 15; Sundays, December 5 and 12, from 11 am to 2 pm. Reservations are required. Call 609-683-0057, or go to drumthwacket.org. Suggested donation of $5 to the nonprofit Drumthwacket Foundation, the curatorship organization. The gift shop, located in the circa-1759 timber-frame farmhouse on the grounds, will also be open, offering seasonal gift items exclusive to Drumthwacket.


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Comments
How to register for a tour

Please send me information regarding registering for a Christmas Tour of Drumthwacket

Posted by: kathleen Linebarger, Ewing, NJ | Nov 30, 2012 16:17:41 PM |

Xmas tour of Drumthwacket

With my wife and (at least) 3 friends we would like to have a tour of the House at this year Xmas time. Do you have a schedule yet? Thank you, Arrigo Conti.

Posted by: Arrigo A. Conti, Point Pleasant Beach | Oct 01, 2014 17:54:45 PM |

Christmas tour

I’m just wondering why there is no schedule yet for the holiday Christmas tour. It is now October and I would think that a schedule would have been set up already. Are you still having the tour this year 2014

Thank you
pmmw/Pat

Posted by: Patricia M. Wospil, Allentown, New Jersey | Oct 01, 2014 00:38:18 AM |

Christmas tour

I’m just wondering why there is no schedule yet for the holiday Christmas tour. It is now October and I would think that a schedule would have been set up already. Are you still having the tour this year 2014

Thank you
pmmw/Pat

Posted by: Patricia M. Wospil, Allentown, New Jersey | Oct 01, 2014 00:38:33 AM |

Christmas Tour

When do the Christmas Tours start?

Posted by: Mary Wall , Atlantic Highlands | Oct 11, 2014 09:27:59 AM |

Reservation request for a 2014 Christmas tour of Drunthwacket

I would like to tour Drumthwacket on Wednesday, December 17th.u

Posted by: Joseph Gehousky, Mantua, NJ | Oct 15, 2014 18:03:35 PM |

Christmas Tour

I have about 14 ladies that would like to have a tour of the house during the day hours on any Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. Can you tell me the dates that you have opened.

We are the Red Hat’s of Allentown, New Jersey

Thank you
pmmw/Pat

Posted by: Patricia M. Wospil, Allentown New Jersey | Oct 22, 2014 14:36:49 PM |

Christmas Tour

I have about 14 ladies that would like to have a tour of the house during the day hours on any Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. Can you tell me the dates that you have opened.

We are the Red Hat’s of Allentown, New Jersey

Thank you
pmmw/Pat

Posted by: Patricia M. Wospil, Allentown New Jersey | Oct 22, 2014 14:36:59 PM |

Christmas Tour 2014

I would like to schedule a tour for Dec. 10 for approx.22

people @ 10:00 or 10:30. My home phone # is 215-497-0198

My mailing address is Joyce Hamblin--270 Shady Brook Dr.

Langhorne, Pa. 19047

Posted by: joyce hamblin, Langhorne, Pa. 19047 | Aug 15, 2014 16:26:05 PM |



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