Right as the economy was going down the rabbit hole, the Obamas decided to host an Alice in Wonderland themed Halloween party, complete with Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter and Tim Burton-arranged decorations.It is beyond comprehension that the
They even talked to Star Wars director George Lucas and convinced him to lend them the original Chewbacca costume for the entertainment of their guests.
The extravagant fantasy world that they created, however, was kept very much under wraps because at the time of Halloween 2009, the economy was in the slumps and the national unemployment rate was still at a dismal 10 per cent.
The details about the lavish affair come from the pages of a new book about the relationship of the first couple during Mr Obama's presidency.
As is tradition, the Obamas handed out treats to Washington, D.C. school children earlier in the day, and while that event was covered heavily by the press, their later festivities were very actively kept secret.
Instead of chowing down on the presidential M&Ms, sugar cookies, and dried fruit that Mrs Obama traditionally hands out in her trick-or-treat bags, the guests at the invitation-only party had bone-shaped meringue cookies and fruit punch served in blood vials.
In keeping with her dedication to military families, the invitees were the children of military service men and women along with the children of White House employees.
Mrs Obama has invited the children of military families to many of the events she has hosted while first lady, including more recent Halloween trick-or-treating sessions and the unveiling of the White House Christmas decorations- which even had a Gold Star Families tree dedicated to the group.
The Halloween party took place five months before Mr Burton's Alice in Wonderland film was released, so the kids served as informal taste-testers and gave an indication of how his spooky take on the Disney classic would be received.
As the children walked into the State Dining Room, they were greeted by a fully-costumed Johnny Depp standing on a table decorated with vintage-inspired table cloths and surrounded by giant stuffed animals.
First daughters Malia and Sasha, who were respectively 11 and 8 at the time, were able to invite their close friends to share in the activities, which also included a magic show in the East Room.
By Findalis of Monkey in the Middle