President and Mrs. Reagan celebrated their fourth Christmas in the White House in the company of close friends yesterday. They spent a leisurely morning opening gifts and held a traditional Christmas dinner for 17 guests later in the day in the White House family quarters.
Sheila Tate, the first lady's press secretary, said the Reagans received matching pairs of down booties from their son, Ron, and his wife, Doria. The president also got a carrying case and blade guard for the saw he uses to cut wood at his California ranch. No Reagan children came to the White House this holiday season. A White House spokesman said the family was "in touch by phone" but declined to give further details.
The president and first lady earlier announced their gift to each other: a new pickup truck for the ranch. Tate said no decision had been made on the model, except that it would be American made.
The Reagans were joined for Christmas by the first lady's brother, Richard Davis, his wife and their two children. The Reagans gave Davis a robe acquired during their trip to China last year and presented his daughter, Anne, with an etched glass dish.
The Reagans spent Christmas Eve at the home of U.S. Information Agency chief Charles Z. Wick and his wife Mary Jane. Mrs. Reagan made a surprise appearance as Santa Claus.
"She said she thought it was obvious to everyone because the pillow for her stomach was down to her knees," said Tate.