Texas Creator Shares What It's Like To Help Decorate The White House For Christmas

With dozens of trees and thousands of lights, it takes days to bring the vision to life.

WASHINGTON, DC November 28, 2022: Christmas ornaments of self portraits by the students of the 2021 Teachers of the year from across the country decorate the Christmas trees in the State Dining Room of the White House on Monday November 28, 2022. The Holidays at The White House 2022 theme is We the People. (Photo by Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

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This year, guests can once again walk the halls of the White House and take in the 77 Christmas trees and more than 83,000 lights adorning hallways, dining rooms, and grand state rooms.

The work of dozens of volunteers, White House craftsmen, cooks, and designers, the theme of "We The People" is carried from room to room with personal touches, including artwork from America's school children, hand-painted state birds, and the names of fallen soldiers on golden stars.

Marite Espinoza Sanchez, a Peruvian-American Pinterest Creator and blogger at Marite Does It living in Katy, Texas, was one of 150 volunteers, along with her husband Hugo, chosen to help decorate the White House this year.

Hugo and Marite Sanchez in White House

Courtesy of Marite Espinoza Sanchez

Marite, who previously worked with First Lady Dr. Jill Biden and Pinterest to renovate a teachers' lounge in Knoxville, Tennessee, said the White House reached out to her in October and asked if she was interested in coming to help decorate for the Christmas season.

"I feel so lucky that [they] reached out to us because there are thousands of people that applied to do this. Of course we said yes, we're all in and going the whole week," she told Southern Living.

Marite and Hugo, parents of a 9-year-old girl and 5-year-old boy, took off to Washington D.C. over the Thanksgiving holidays and worked "long days" to bring the vision to life, room by room. "My feet were not happy with me," Marite joked, "but it was super fun."

Teams of volunteers are divided among the more than one dozen rooms and hallways that are decorated as part of the holiday festivities. The design this year, for which work started just after Easter, Marite says, focuses on what brings us together.

"They already have the vision and all the details and significance. [Dr. Biden] is very involved in it," Marite says. "It was beautiful how all the details in the theme, We The People, were reflecting the spirit of this country."

As a creator, Marite says she appreciated the emphasis on ornaments and decorations people can make at home. She worked on the Green Room and the East Room. In the Green Room, with a theme of Sounds & Songs, Marite helped paint "dollar store" containers to look like aged brass (see how on her blog). And in the East Room, with a theme of Nature & Recreation, she helped flock trees to give a just-fallen snow look.

Creators were also able to peek in on what others were doing throughout the White House. That's where Marite spotted another DIY decoration idea she really enjoyed: foil flowers. Watch below a quick demonstration of how volunteers used craft foil to create reflective flowers.

Marite says so many of the ornaments and decorations create reflections "so people can see themselves in these trees. I thought it was beautiful the thought that went into these decorations," she said. "You think of the White House, and you think of lavish decorations. But these are things you and I can do. That's a thing I like a lot, that they made it relatable. Not everyone has a White House budget, so it's really good that it's feasible for you and me."

Take a tour of all the decorated rooms at the White House.

Entrance to Blue Room, White House

Courtesy of The White House

"I want people to take away this is their country. They call it the People's House, so it's your house, too. I hope in future years we see more people who never thought they'd be going," Marite says.

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