Shriver House Featured in New Christmas Book

Christmas at Historic Houses

The Shriver House Museum is proud to be among 19 distinctive historic homes from around the country featured in “Christmas at America’s Landmark Houses,” by San Antonio authors Patricia Hart McMillan and David Strahan. The foreword is by Christopher Radko, well-known for the vintage-style Christmas ornaments his company produced for several years. The book’s 360 images show houses of diverse periods and styles. Among them are Filoli in California, Colonial Williamsburg houses, the President Woodrow Wilson House in D.C., James Whistler’s Massachusetts birthplace, and President George W. Bush’s Texas ranch-style boyhood home.

The authors’ expertise in interior design and architecture enables them to focus on both aspects of the wonderful houses featured. Each, of course, is beautifully decorated for Christmas. “It’s wonderful to see authentic, regional decorating touches in these houses,” said McMillan.

One of Gettysburg’s most historic homes, the Shriver House highlights a by-gone era with the warmth of the season featured in a truly old-fashioned style. To enter their home today is to travel back in time to see how the Shrivers may have decorated their home for an 1860s Christmas. The Civil War home of George, Hettie, Sadie (7), and Mollie (5) Shriver illustrates how Christmas was celebrated in the mid-9th century. The 4-foot tall candle-laden Christmas tree sits in its place of honor on the parlor table as a fire roars in the fireplace of the handsome room decorated with holiday greenery. After stringing popcorn for the tree and hanging their stockings on the mantle, Sadie and Mollie set out milk and cookies in anticipation of a visit from Santa Claus and his reindeer on that magical night. The smell of pine and popcorn fills the house bringing memories of Christmases past.

McMillan, whose long interior design career includes both design practice and editorial positions with a New York City-based decorating magazine, has authored 15 books on interior design and architecture.

Strahan is a well-known San Antonio architect. He and McMillan coauthored “Old Places New Spaces” which features vintage San Antonio homes with historic exteriors and updated interiors. The authors are partners in Strahan + McMillan, Architecture and Interior Design, a San Antonio business.

“Christmas at America’s Landmark Houses” is available at the Shriver House Museum Shop