FLORISSANT, Mo. (KMOX) – A mother-daughter duo of St. Louis area florists can say they’ve done something few others have.
Kim Brannan tells KMOX she and daughter, Jenny Thomasson, were chosen to decorate the White House for Christmas. The two run Stems Florist in Old Town Florissant.
Thomasson says the theme of this year’s White House decor is “A Children’s Winter Wonderland.”
“We had 3,200 glass crystal drops we had to wire and place on the tips of the tree branches, so it looked like an ice storm came through,” she says.
Brannan explains what some the executive mansion’s interior looks like.
“I don’t think there’s a window or door that isn’t decorated with fresh green garlands, ribbons, ornaments, and fresh sprays.”
Brannan’s team was in charge of the east visitors’ entry, “where you always see repetition wreaths,” she says. “I actually did that entire hallway.”
Thomasson says a big thrill for her was attending a cocktail reception after all the decorating was done.
“Everything was just magical,” she says. “We turned the corner where a choir was singing and I started crying, thinking – I’m here, I’m really here.”
Thomasson also got to meet First Lady Michelle Obama, who picks the theme and design for each year’s decorations.
“I told her, ‘Thank you very much for having us,'” Thomasson says. “She said, ‘Thank you very much for coming and decorating. It’s just beautiful.'”
Brannan says they got to go “behind the ropes” at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and see things up close that tourists don’t see.
And then there was the marble staircase.
“You could actually see the treads are worn from thousands and thousands of shoes. I said to my daughter, ‘Do you even realize who’s walked on these steps?'”
Thomasson and Brannan applied and were chosen to represent Missouri in the team of volunteer decorators, along with only a few others.
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