The Washington Times - December 3, 2008, 05:13PM

President Bush and his family will be cutting back on gifts and other forms of spending over the holidays, first lady Laura Bush said on Wednesday.

“This year we’re going to be very, very careful at Christmas,” Mrs. Bush told reporters while giving a tour of the White House Christmas decorations.

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“I suspect that a lot of other American families will be the same,” Mrs. Bush said, alluding to the current economic crisis.

“We’re going to try to be with each other, to have what really, really matters at the holidays, which is your family and friends around you, to be thankful for our blessings, both the blessings that we have because we’re Americans and the blessings that we have because of our family and how close we are,” Mrs. Bush said. “So that’s really what it’s going to be.”

The first lady said that another reason she and the president will be saving money is so they can buy a house in Dallas in January. She hinted that she might have chosen a home to purchase and may surprise the president with the selection for Christmas.

“There might be a new house coming along. So I think that’s where we’ll spend our Christmas money,” Mrs. Bush said.