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Hannibal Hamlin peaks out, ready to bring gifts for Presidents' Day.

The Stump Speech

As we all know, one of the great Presidents’ Day traditions is to join forces and create a moving, informative, and inspirational stump speech.

And, as we all know, a stump speech is a speech given about a tree stump.

To this end, each guest at the Presidents' Day celebration writes one sentence that they would like to contribute to the stump speech and puts it in a designated envelope, box, or upside-down top hat. The sentence can cover any point from the speech that the guest would like, including, but not limited to:

  • How this tree stump serves as a metaphor

  • The history of the tree stump

  • Why this particular stump is inspirational

  • Some jokes or puns about stumps, trees, bark, etc.

The stump speech will be compiled of all these sentences, drawn in a random order, toward the middle to end of this Presidents’ Day celebration. It will be delivered either by one designated orator or, sentence by sentence, by all the guests. 

A stump to give your stump speech about.


It is customary to sing and listen to Presidents' Day carols up to and on Presidents' Day. 

One question that comes up time and time again is "When is too early to start listening to Presidents' Day music?" Generally, it is discouraged to listen to it before Christmas, but on and after December 25th is socially acceptable.

If you need lyrics for any upcoming neighborhood caroling outings, you can refer here to our carols section. 

Customary Food

What would a holiday be without food? While many people have different culinary traditions on Presidents' Day, there are many recipes which often show up at holiday parties:


An Emily Spinach

As we all know, Emily Spinach was the name of Teddy Roosevelt's daughter Alice's snake. An Emily Spinach, of course, is a spinach-filled pastry in the shape of a snake. Beyond that, there are many different ways of constructing an Emily Spinach, whether it is a serpentine calzone, a curvy palak paratha, a slithery borek, or even in some instances a snake-shaped quiche.

Lemonade Lucy

Named for Rutherford B. Hayes' tea-totaling wife "Lemonade Lucy," this drink is anything lemonade based, though traditionally has lemonade, soda water, and a maraschino cherry. 


Celebrating Vice President Dan Quayle's spelling of "potato," this is a fingerling potato with almond detail to look like a toenail. This dish is a bit more macabre and generally served at households that tend to lean their Presidents' Day celebrations toward the Halloween esthetic. 

Customary Costumes

It is customary to dress up for Presidents' Day celebrations. Whether you go as a former commander-in-chief, vice president, first lady, second lady/gentleman, presidential pet, supporting political figure, failed presidential candidate, or chopped down cherry tree, the purpose of being in costume is to embody the people who stood before us and presided over such important acts as the one which made Presidents' Day a federal holiday.

Festive Dances

Dancer doing some traditional Presidents' Day dances - the veto and the Clinton.

The Cherry Tree Chop

This dance is done with feet steadily planted while mimicking chopping down a tree with an axe. It is generally done to fast music, though can be artfully done to any piece played at adagio. 

The Clinton Thumb

Like a forceful thumbs up, but the thumb is at rest on its fellow fingers. In dance, this is used to make a point. If you want fellow dancers to admire your moonwalk or be in awe of your hip thrusting, pair it with a sturdy Clinton Thumb.

The Veto

Pretend to tear a piece of paper in half two times, then give a thumbs down and shake your head. You must protect your constituents from bad laws and bad moves on the dance floor. 

On the 'Morrow

"On the 'Morrow" is an old Presidents' Day poem, traditionally read the night of Presidents' Day Eve. The words to it can be found here.

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