Heber couple helps deck the White House halls
A couple from the Wasatch Back was among the volunteers chosen to decorate the White House for the holidays.
When Heber resident Farah Sanders learned the White House was decorated by volunteers for the holidays every winter, she knew she wanted to take part.
She contacted the first lady’s office last January, and this winter, her dream of helping decorate 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue came true. She and her husband were selected to be among the 300 volunteers assembling this year’s decorations.
“This year, the theme was ‘Magic, Wonder and Joy,’” she said. “That’s something that we loved so much, because in our application, we talked about how we want to bring joy to people.”
For a week around Thanksgiving, the Heber couple went through White House security at 7 a.m., then spent each day painting crafts, decorating trees and hanging garlands with the other volunteers.
“People from all over the country, who had all different belief systems, all different ways of life, who were very different in how we looked and how we dressed – we all worked together,” she said.
She said she met one other volunteer from Utah.
Farah said she and her husband helped create the garland below Lincoln’s portrait in the State Dining Room, build archways and topiaries in the corridor that connects the East and West Wings, and work on a room celebrating the 200th anniversary of the poem “’Twas the Night Before Christmas.”
After all the decorating was complete, they toured the finished White House and met first lady Jill Biden.
Farah said she plans to apply to decorate the White House again in the coming years.
“I would tell people in our state [to] apply – they don’t get as many applications from the west,” she said. “It’s just a wonderful, wonderful journey and experience.”
Now, Farah and Bryan are back home in Heber City, where they run Huckleberry Lane Flower Farm. They’re in the midst of preparing centerpieces and wreaths, helping make the holidays a little more festive here on the Wasatch Back.