Mark Cornelison/Lexington Herald-Leader/MCT/Getty
December 20, 2016 04:44 PM

It’s a holiday tradition for proud parents to show off photos of their kids in Christmas cards to friends and family — and 50 years ago, Barbara and George H.W. Bush took full advantage of that opportunity.

The former president and first lady shared with PEOPLE their 1966 family Christmas card, which features vintage photos of their five children: George W., Neil, Marvin, Dorothy and Jeb — who is fondly referred to as “Jebby” in the card.

“With every joy, the Bushes again extend their wishes for a very merry Christmas and a very happy New Year,” the message inside reads.

The card also features a quote from Aristotle about the importance of friendship: “Friendship enriches life — nobody would choose to live without friends, although he were in possession of every other good.” 

Courtesy of the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum
Courtesy of the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum

These days, the Bushes are still as tight-knit as ever, and matriarch Barbara tells PEOPLE they will spend Christmas together as a family, as always.

“George and I are very fortunate that our family continues a tradition of gathering together after Christmas,” the former first lady said in a statement, joking, “We think there is a law somewhere requiring all ‘seasoned citizens’ to go someplace warm — but happily our big family comes too.”

Although the Bush kids are all grown up now, Barbara and George H.W. Bush still found two little ones to participate in their 2016 Christmas card: their dogs, Mini and Bibi — a.k.a. “the girls.”

Evan Sisley
Evan Sisley
Evan Sisley
The Bush Family

“Merry Christmas,” the message inside reads. “May the Christmas season fill your home with family and friends, your heart with love and kindness. God bless you and yours, and God bless our great country!”

Evan Sisley
Evan Sisley

One of Barbara Bush’s favorite activities is reading, and with the whole family gathered together for Christmas, she’ll likely spend some time reading aloud to the youngest Bushes: her seven great-grandchildren.

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This holiday season, the former first lady’s Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy is also honoring the magical tradition of reading bedtime stories with loved ones by collecting books for children and parents who don’t have them in the home. Readers who want to donate bedtime story books can visit www.givetoread.org.

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