By many standards, President Obama had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year. Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

Every year, on the day after Thanksgiving, almost 100 volunteer decorators show up at the White House. They spend the next five days stringing garlands and hanging ornaments, making the White House sparkle for the holidays. Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Michael Robertson, then chief of staff of the Government Services Administration, testifies on Capitol Hill on April 16, 2012. Now chief of staff of the Cabinet Affairs Office in the Obama administration, Robertson has undergone treatment for stage IV colorectal cancer. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Chuck Shelton in the cold room at Albemarle CiderWorks in Virginia, which makes sparkling alcoholic cider with some of the same apple varieties used by Thomas Jefferson. Meredith Rizzo/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Meredith Rizzo/NPR

"You may have to go someplace like Montana to 'get' this record." John Mayer tells NPR's Ari Shapiro about his new album, Paradise Valley. John W. Poole/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption John W. Poole/NPR