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Holiday Exhibit Holds Special Meaning for Former First Lady

The halls are decked at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas.

Holiday in the National Parks: Christmas in the White House 2007 takes you back to the days with the Bush family lived at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

A walk through the new exhibit brings you back to that year exactly. All of the décor was saved and archived to be rolled out at Bush's presidential library.

"These are the same decorations that we used in 2007. The theme was our national parks," Former First Lady Laura Bush said as she walked NBC 5 through the exhibit.

Each national park enlisted an artist to create a unique ornament for the White House Christmas tree that year, resulting in 391 hand-painted ornaments. They adorn the Christmas tree inside the Bush Center -- a replica of the actual tree that year.

Well before the White House, Laura Bush was passionate about national parks.

"I have hiked in a national park every year for 30 years with women that I grew up with in Midland, Texas," she said.

One year, she said the group of women invited their children.

"We all brought our girls on the trip and it was really fun and they loved it. They said, 'We want to do it again,' and we said, 'No,'" Bush said with a laugh.

In the exhibit, you will see Barney and the other Bush family pets. In keeping with tradition, one of President Bush's paintings is on display, and its image made into an ornament sold at the Bush Center gift shop.

"This (painting) is a big tree on our ranch. It looked really pretty when we were just there for Thanksgiving," Laura Bush said.

When asked about the Bush family Christmas plan, the former First Lady said, "We will go to our ranch with everybody, which will be fun, the whole crew. They didn't come for Thanksgiving because they went to the in-laws, but that's OK because they'll be with us, including little baby Hal. I am in love. He's like a kitten, his eyes are barely open, he's so cute."

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