Beaufort County woman helps decorate White House for Christmas
WASHINGTON, N.C. (WITN) - Volunteers from across the country, including a woman from eastern Carolina, went to the nation’s capital in November to prepare the White House for the holiday season and decorate it for Christmas.
Interior designer Kasey Stone, of Washington, N.C., is not only a fan of Christmas but a political junkie and history buff.
Stone said she’s been applying to decorate the White House for three years and finally, she achieved her goal.
“It was emotional, I cried a little bit,” Stone said upon receiving an invitation from Melania Trump.
Amid the pandemic, the Beaufort County resident had a task to do, but said staff and volunteers were conscious of preventing the spread of COVID-19 and decorated in small groups, worked at a social distance and wore masks.
“Every person was COVID tested when we arrived that first day,” Stone said. “I was a little nervous, you know, cause I thought you’d hate to work this hard, get all the way there, and then not get to work because of COVID.”
But Stone tested negative and had the opportunity to spread Christmas cheer by making hundreds of handmade ornaments and bows for three days.
Stone said decorating, especially this year, is necessary and when people put aside their political differences to come together and work, it can make one feel united.
“One of the great things about it is to think about the history,” Stone said. “I was working in a room that Abigail Adams used as a laundry room – and so when you think about the history there, it’s so much bigger than the political drama we have going on right now.”
Stone named two of her favorite rooms.
“One is, I did all the bows that went into the State Dining Room and that’s just such a special space, you know, with the giant portrait of Abraham Lincoln,” Stone said. “But my personal favorite was the library, and the décor for that room was in honor of the 19th Amendment.”
Stone said the hardest part of decorating was putting lights on the trees, making sure they were lit properly and done the White House way.
But her hard work was worth it - Stone’s handmade decorations will be in the National Archives and eventually, at a future Trump presidential library.
Stone said this was an experience she’ll remember.
“First of all, I made some amazing friends that I feel like we’re gonna be in touch forever,” Stone said. “We’re still texting each other and talking about how much fun we had. And just being a part of it. It’s a memory that I’ll never forget.”
The decorations will come down the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Normally, volunteers who decorated would go back to take them down but due to the pandemic, it may be handled by the House staff this year.
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