First lady Melania Trump is getting ready to decorate the White House for Christmas, USA Today is reporting.
It’s only August, and in Washington, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.
The White House is recruiting volunteers — musicians, entertainers, and decorators — for the job of decorating the 200-year-old mansion for the holidays.
Traditionally, the first lady has represented the White House as a building, which means that it’s up to her to handle the decorations for special events, such as holidays. And since Christmas is the biggest cultural holiday in the country, that’s when the executive branch pulls out all the stops.
And while the first lady will almost certainly turn over the job of designing the decoration scheme to a professional designer, the job of hanging the hundreds (if not thousands) of lights, strands of garland, ornaments, wreaths, and everything else, will require hundreds of volunteers.
And that’s just the decorating. There will also be musicians and entertainers, and those jobs will also go to volunteers.
On December 7, 2014, President Barack Obama whistled a Christmas song in the Blue Room with First Lady Michelle Obama while waiting to be introduced at a White House reception. The theme for the White House Christmas that year was "A Children’s Winter Wonderland." pic.twitter.com/9NN75n5E4o— White House History (@WhiteHouseHstry) December 13, 2017
Coordinating all of that will take months, and that’s why the White House is getting started on Christmas now, even though a single leaf has yet to fall and the temperatures outside are far from frigid.
On the White House website, the first lady’s office sent out a request for volunteers.
“Applicants may outline specific requests and previous, relatable work experience using the online form.”
If you’re going to apply to be a volunteer, be prepared to be put to work: last year, volunteers spent a collective 1,600 hours decorating the White House for Christmas.
Besides volunteers to decorate and do whatever else the first lady needs done, she is also recruiting entertainment. Specifically, according to the White House website, Mrs. Trump is looking for “high school bands, choirs, and Christmas-themed entertainers” to perform.
Volunteers have until September 3 to apply, and musicians and entertainers have until September 17. If you are interested, fill out your application here.
Last year, Mrs. Trump’s Christmas decorations at the White House didn’t go over particularly well. As Time reported during the season, the austere and stark theme, which relied largely on lighting and shadow, failed to resonate with many Americans.
There’s no comparison President Obama’s Christmas 2014 were more colorful than Melania’s version of a gloomy swampy 2017 Christmas. pic.twitter.com/sQz2XFyoYb— Armando Perez (@iluispc_perez) July 27, 2018
The White House will be open to the public on select days throughout the Christmas season. As of this writing, those days haven’t been announced.