This year The White House has 26 Christmas trees. One of them is made of cardboard. Not just any cardboard, but recycled cardboard made into a Wish Tree. Who made this cardboard wishing tree? My friends at Cardboardesign in New York City.
I spoke with David Rosenzweig, sales and marketing director at Cardboardesign to get the skinny on the tree. So how did it come about? Something like this: The White House (pardon the metonymy) decided to do a Green Christmas. White house social secretary Desiree Rogers knows design superstar Simon Doonan (be still my heart - Doonan is one of my heroes.) Doonan was hired to oversee the Christmas decor and design at the White House. Doonan knows Rosenzweig. Et Voila. Doonan asked Cardboardesign to make a special order Christmas wish tree.
Mrs. Obama and her daughters, Sasha and Malia, made a Christmas presentation at The Children's National Medical Center, and when someone asked about the trees at the White House, here's what they said:
SASHA: What about the wishing tree?
MRS. OBAMA: Well, there's one -- you want to talk about the wishing tree, one of the trees?
SASHA: One of the trees is called the wishing tree, and it is made out of cardboard. And so you can write down a wish and you roll it up and then you can put it one of the holes and it might come true.
MRS. OBAMA: So that's a new tradition at the White House. So what we want you all to do next year is to come to the White House, because you can see all of them. It's open to anybody who wants to come. (Bo barks.) You, too. (Laughter.)
All right, you promise me that next year you'll come by the White House and see for yourself? Okay.
The tree and the rest of the White House Christmas decor will be on HGTV on Christmas Eve, or you could probably find it at the HGTV website after the broadcast, so be sure to check it out.
UPDATE Jan 7th - Simon Doonan writes in The New York Observer about his experiences with the Christmas White house:
"Last spring, Desiree Rogers, the glamazon White House social secretary, invited me—are you sitting down?—to help decorate the White House for the holidays!!! I felt honored and stunned but not, if I am to be honest, totally surprised. This may sound arrogant, but if not me, then whom? With more than 35 years of Holiday decorating at Barneys and elsewhere, I am, après tout, one of the most experienced elves in the land. Why, conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart (more on him in a moment) was still in diapers when I began practicing my craft.
My accumulated holiday savoir-faire did not stop me from being utterly terrified by this fabulous project. The responsibility! The gravitas! The White House! What would happen if I screwed it all up? What would happen if it all turned out looking all horrid and naff? What would happen if some self-appointed Web luminary blogged about some infinitesimally small aspect of my holiday décor, thereby setting off of a gruesome and hostile Internet fatwa? But let’s not get ahead of ourselves." More here
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