What It’s Like to Decorate the White House for Christmas

While most of us spent Thanksgiving weekend in a food coma, Moorestown’s Dria Law was having the weekend of a lifetime at the White House.

Each year, volunteers from around the country travel to Washington, D.C., to assist in decorating the presidential residence. This year, Law was one of them.

Law’s two daughters suggested she apply to be a volunteer while watching HGTV’s “White House Christmas” last year. Since decorating is a hobby of Law’s and her house had just been included in Moorestown’s holiday house tour, the girls thought it was perfect for her. Law didn’t think much of it, but when it came time to apply in July, she did.

It wasn’t until a few weeks before Thanksgiving that Law was notified of being chosen to join 125 other lucky volunteers for an exclusive experience.

Law left on Thanksgiving day for a five-day decorating adventure that began with two days in a Maryland warehouse that serves as the White House storage facility. “We sorted through materials and created the things we would decorate with,” Law says. “I glued hundreds of bows to a structure that later would decorate a pillar.”

The next two days were spent in the White House. Teams of volunteers were assigned to different areas, and Law spent her time in the East Wing entrance.

On the final day, volunteers were treated to a special reception where Michelle Obama thanked everyone for their help. Then the volunteers were finally allowed to take pictures and post to social media about what they had been doing for the last five days.

Although she was constantly busy with decorating, Law had a few surreal moments. Her favorite was during a lunch break on the last day of decorating. All volunteers pay their way to the White House but are provided lunch in the State dining room.

While eating her lunch, Law ended up a few feet away from the White House executive pastry chef as she was adding final touches to the annual gingerbread house. “I ate lunch and watched her put a flying Santa and replicas of Bo and Sunny on,” Law says. “It was really exciting.”


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