Arizona designer helped decorate The White House for the holidays

Susan Haviland shared her experience of decorating the Gold Start Tree and other displays at the White House.

The White House is now decorated top to bottom for the holidays. The theme this year is "Time-Honored Traditions," which pays tribute to 200 years of White House holiday traditions.

The decor features 53 Christmas trees, 71 Christmas wreaths, more than 18,000 lights and 12,000 ornaments.

An Arizona designer had the incredible opportunity to help decorate the historic presidential home.

“Unbelievable. I can’t even describe what an honor it was to be there and create a beautiful White House and it was spectacular," said Susan Haviland.

Haviland is the owner of Susan Haviland Designs.

Every year, the White House allows designers to fill out an application for the job. Susan along with 70 others were selected.

“I was the only one from Arizona but it was such a pleasure for me to get the opportunity to meet all these fabulous people from all across the country," said Haviland.

One of Haviland's jobs was making homemade ornaments for the Green Room tree.

“The ornaments were pine cones made out of gold paper,” said Haviland. "I was also lucky enough to decorate the gold star tree and the Vermeil tree inside the Vermeil room."

On top of that, Haviland helped create a magical scene inside the entrance corridor.

“The trees were phenomenal, ranging from 5 feet to 12 feet and we sprinkled them with snow and drizzled them with fairy dust. There were icicles hanging down and crystal ornaments and it was literally a winter wonderland,” said Haviland.

The end of the week was capped off with an up-close meeting with the first lady, who welcomed the group of volunteers to the White House and thanked them for their hard work.

“It was just really nice to be able to hear her talk and express her gratitude for taking time out of our lives to serve the White House,” said Haviland.

What seemed like an impossible bucket list item to check off became reality.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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