Alverton native enjoys White (House) Christmas
It took seven years, but Carol Show finally got her Christmas wish.
The former Westmoreland County resident tirelessly wrote letters to the White House pleading for one of the coveted volunteer decorator positions. This year, she ripped open her acceptance letter in the hallway of the Virginia high school where she teaches early childhood education and interior design.
“I got a letter from the White House, and I knew,” said Show, who grew up in Alverton, East Huntingdon. “I started to scream. I ran out in the hall and told all the other teachers.”
Show was one of 85 volunteers from 39 states who spent five days decorating the White House, according to its official website. Volunteers completed a variety of important decorating tasks — from stringing 20,000 pompoms together to create a giant Bo statue for the East Garden room to hand making ornaments for 54 trees around the complex.
This year‘s decorations pay tribute to the armed forces and their families.
Show was assigned to work in the Blue Room on the State Floor. The room displays the White House Christmas tree, an 18 1⁄2-foot Fraser fir from North Carolina.
Her husband, Chaplain Col. Stephen Show, a Mt. Pleasant native, is stationed at the Pentagon.
The “Joining Forces” tree is decorated to honor the service of troops, veterans and military families. Children living on U.S. military bases all over the world created one-of-a-kind ornaments to honor their parents' commitment to service.
Scaffolding and ladders butted up against the tree as volunteers revamped ornaments from past years and handcrafted new materials into stars and bows in radiant blue hues.
“I guess I never realized how many people loved to decorate out there,” Show said. “It was so interesting how they would debate over the placement of one ornament.”
It took the volunteers about two days to complete the decorations in the Blue Room, where formal receptions traditionally are held. “I would stand at the window, and I found myself contemplating where to put an ornament,” Show said. “It was overwhelming to be standing where so much history has transpired.”
Show next headed to the East Room, which was used as a laundry room for Abigail Adams in the early 1800s but is now a formal entertainment room. Volunteers tackled four trees and fireplaces in the room.
About 900,000 visitors are expected to tour the White House this season, getting a glimpse of eight rooms decorated by the volunteers, Show said. First Lady Michelle Obama hosted a reception on the final night of the decorating spree.
Show was accompanied by her husband and her mother Betty Claycomb of Alverton, who writes the Trib Total Media Busy Bee recipe column.
“Mrs. Obama was greeting and meeting volunteers,” Show said. “And we got to see Bo.”
Amanda Dolasinski is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6220 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Southmoreland administrators receive 5-year pact
- The story of Scottdale’s Abraham S. Loucks recalled
- Big Band sound coming to Scottdale
- Southmoreland graduate Abel conducts hoops camp
- Exploring history: The Railroad Tycoon
- Scottdale business’s drive results in donation of 514 toys for Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh