There’s a life-sized replica of Bo, the first family's dog, in the East Garden Room of the White House this holiday season. That actually sounds a little creepy to me — like Bo has died and been stuffed for preservation. Hopefully, when you see the statue, it doesn’t feel that way.

I know about the replica of Bo because the White House has just released “Joy to All,” a holiday tour book that takes readers room by room and explains how and why they are decorated that way for the holidays. This year the Blue Room pays tribute to the Armed Services with its decorations. Military children helped trim the tree in that room this year with ornaments they decorated to honor their parents’ commitment to service.

You can read more about each room by downloading the free book in pdf format. You can also get this year’s White House holiday cookie recipe. It’s for Ginger Crinkles (pdf), a traditional holiday cookie, and I think I’m going to add it to my holiday baking list.

It occurred to me that there have been a lot of cookie recipes released by the White House in the past few years, and if you’re really happy about President Obama’s victory earlier this month, you could use the recipes to create a holiday cookie tray dedicated to him. You could serve the Ginger Crinkles or Michelle Obama’s winning White and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Sounds like a yummy holiday cookie assortment, doesn’t it? And to get in the spirit, you can watch the White House gingerbread house come together in the video below:

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Get the White House Ginger Crinkle Holiday Cookie recipe
The official White House holiday tour book, 'Joy to All,' describes the meaning behind the decorations in each room and has a holiday cookie recipe from the Whi