Last Bush Christmas in the White House Before Move to Dallas

Laura Bush reveals that she's cutting back on Christmas presents to pay for new Dallas home.

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By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers.

Starting her final turn as the White House Christmas host, a charming Laura Bush today revealed that the first family will be moving to Dallas, home to the president's new library and museum, after leaving the executive mansion. "We will be moving to Dallas," said Mrs. Bush, handsome in a red suit. The move has the first family thinking frugally about Christmas, she added. "We are going to be very, very careful at Christmas," she told a gaggle of reporters there to get a peek at the White House's red, white, and blue decorations. "That's where we will be spending our money," she said, referring to the new house. That they are moving to Dallas is no surprise. But some locals had thought they would buy land and build a house. Mrs. Bush's announcement seemed to suggest that they will be buying an existing home.

It being her last decoration press preview, Mrs. Bush seemed to linger longer to take every question and express her sadness at leaving the house and its staff. "It will be the people we will miss the most," she said.

For Christmas, the Bushes will make the traditional trek to Camp David, Md., where she and her husband have spent a record 12 Christmases—eight as the first couple and four as relatives of former President George H. W. Bush. "I'm sure we've got the record," she crowed.

And of her recent White House tour for incoming first lady Michelle Obama, Mrs. Bush revealed that she passed on a little tip first given to former first lady Hillary Clinton by former first lady Barbara Bush. It was that she can look for her husband at any time by gazing out a window in the first lady's dressing room that overlooks the Rose Garden and into the Oval Office.

Finally, Mrs. Bush took the opportunity to answer the perception question: Is there a gap between how Americans view the president and what he's really like? "I think there is a great gap," she said. But that's politics, she added.