First lady Michelle Obama shares holiday traditions in ‘Ladies’ Home Journal’ cover story

First lady Michelle Obama on the cover of 'Lady's Home Journal'

First lady Michelle Obama on the cover of 'Lady's Home Journal.' (Lady's Home Journal)

First lady Michelle Obama has shared her family’s favorite holiday traditions with Ladies’ Home Journal for this month’s cover story.

In a piece called Christmas at the White House, Mrs. Obama reveals the holiday tunes and cooking activities she and her closest loved ones enjoy to make the season bright.

“The sounds of Christmas in the Obama White House mean James Taylor, Mariah Carey and Nat King Cole,” reports New York’s Daily News about how America’s Mom-in-Chief sets a seasonal mood.

First lady Michelle Obama on the cover of 'Lady's Home Journal'

First lady Michelle Obama on the cover of ‘Lady’s Home Journal.’ (Lady’s Home Journal)

Christmas at the White House is certainly a grand experience compared to Michelle Obama’s humble holidays with her mother, father and brother growing up in the South Side of Chicago. Even though they were of working class means, Christmas was enriched through her mother’s loving attentiveness.

“Christmas has always been a special time in my household. Growing up, we lived in a little-bitty apartment, but my mom put her heart and soul into decorating that house,” she remembers. “She would take cardboard and make a chimney over our radiator because she wanted us to feel like we had something for Santa Claus to come down.”

In addition to sharing personal family memories, the first lady dazzles in the photo shoot accompanying the piece in a golden brocade dress that shows off her amazing arms.

“Can you say gorgeous?!” opined the Mrs. O blog about the festive garment. To reference President Obama‘s first campaign slogan: Yes, we can!

First lady Michelle Obama remains contoversial

First lady Michelle Obama graces the cover of Ladies’ Home Journal at a time when she has come under fire from the POLITICO news blog for allegedly derailing feminism by opting to focus on a traditional role. Numerous supporters in reaction to the piece have affirmed that true freedom for women includes the choice to make the home one’s focal point, especially for black women who have historically been denied this opportunity.

Mrs. Obama seems to remain a controversial figure, despite developing numerous programs that help fight childhood obesity and aid military families. She has been accused of being a “Marie Antoinette” for her designer clothing, and invading citizens’ private lives for seeking to address our nation’s growing health problems related to poor food choices.

Some overlook that every Christmas she and President Obama visit a military base on Christmas Day, and that she is highly active in the annual Toys for Tots Marine Corps Reserve holiday gift drive.

Mrs. Obama remains centered in family life

Despite all this, Michelle Obama’s cover story for this months’ Ladies’ Home Journal reveals that the first lady is a down-to-earth woman who has risen to prominence, while remaining grounded in the pleasures of family life, which she is happy to provide.

Part of the way the first lady does this is through maintaining her family’s traditions, which is part of what makes the season great for the Obama clan.

What are your family’s favorite holiday traditions? Share your best holiday memories and means of making every Christmas (or Kwanzaa) season one to remember.

Follow Alexis Garrett Stodghill on Twitter @lexisb.