While the holidays are still months away, the first lady is already calling all aspiring decorators to help her transform the presidential palace into a winter wonderland. That's right, Melania Trump wants Christmas volunteers to help her decorate the White House for 2018, and whoever volunteers has their work cut out for them considering that last year's adornments had the Twitterverse sharing more than a handful of er, less-than-flattering memes. If you've always wanted to show off your decorating prowess on a national level, now's your chance to get creative, tinsel and twinkling lights encouraged.
In a statement shared on August 3, the White House revealed that they're already making preparations for the 2018 holiday season. While it's still only August, I've already been seeing the stores replace their summer BBQ gear with Halloween and Christmas regalia seemingly overnight, and it's not surprising that FLOTUS would also want to get started early. After all, decking the halls of the White House with all the cheer and frozen icicles is a very big and important job. Here's how to apply to unleash your inner Queer Eye guru and give the president and first lady's home a festive makeover for the holiday season.
In the White House briefing, it says that volunteers looking to take part in the tradition of decorating the White House can apply through 5:00 p.m. ET on September 3. Unsurprisingly, relaying your relatable work experience through the online form is definitely a plus. You can also write in specific requests or preferences if you've always dreamed of covering a particular room in the White House in a blanket of faux snow or you specifically pride yourself on hanging ornaments just so. The release also notes that each person should sign up individually, even if you're hoping to spend the day spreading Christmas cheer with a group of friends or family members.
Applicants are required to share their phone number and email address, and successful volunteers may have to undergo a reference check, background investigation, and criminal history inquiry, per the briefing. In addition, you'll need to be in Washington D.C. either before or after Thanksgiving, specifically full-time on Monday, Nov. 19, 2018 through Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018, or full-time on Friday, Nov. 23, 2018 through Monday, Nov. 26, 2018. You can share which time frame works best for you in the form.
Unsurprisingly, the competition is stiff, but you could still edge out the rest of the applicants without Joanna Gaines' levels of experience under your belt. According to Bryan Rafanelli, who was in change of the White House's holiday decorations in 2015 and 2016, “Lots of teachers and folks who served in the military, caregivers, nurses" were selected, per a Vogue feature. He added, "It wasn’t that we had 100 creative genius designers — people flew in from all over the country to do this.”
If making the halls of the White House merry is not really your thing, musically-gifted volunteers can also spread the holiday cheer in December. The statement says that "local musicians including high school bands, choirs, and Christmas-themed entertainers" are invited to submit their applications through 5:00 p.m. ET on September 17. The gig includes performing at the White House's Holiday Open Houses, which take place from 8:00 a.m. through 10:00 p.m. on Nov. 26, 2018 through Dec. 22, 2018. You can select your preferred dates in the online form, and will hear back if you've been selected in the fall.
September may seem far away, but I'd start blocking off those dates, set flight alerts, and begin drafting that perfect essay ASAP if you're hoping to transform the White House this holiday season. Something tells me that Melania Trump would appreciate an early application.