West Point Spouse Helps Decorate White House Christmas Tree

West Point Spouse Helps Decorate White House Christmas TreeEvery summer, the White House sends out approximately 7,000 applications to apply to decorate the White House Christmas Trees. Once the applications are returned to the White House, the First Lady and the chief decorator look at the applications (and probably do security checks) and select roughly 125-200 people to come and decorate the trees at the White House.

Kari Harmeling, a military spouse residing at West Point who also just happens to have graphic artist experience, was one of those accepted.

"The theme for the decorations is ‘American Treasures' and I was one of six others in my group," Harmeling said. "There is a Gold Star tree, and that is the first thing you see as you enter the East Room. It serves as a reminder of those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice to our nation. It really set the tone."

Harmeling said she didn't know any of the six that were with her, but they stayed in the same hotel.

"We became fast friends though," Harmeling said. "We worked from sunup to sundown. But we had breakfast in the State Dining Room. We first spent the day sorting through decorations in a large warehouse and then the decorations were sent up and we started. There was a piano player playing all day, which was very nice and, in some rooms, a band played. Read More

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