Local family to decorate White House for Christmas

A local father-daughter team is taking their family tradition to Washington DC
Published: Oct. 21, 2020 at 12:47 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - The Smith family loves to decorate.

Mark Smith and his daughter Danielle Sims have been decorating the Wildwood Manor House for the Christmas season for three years. Dreaming big, Smith thought decorating the White House was out of reach.

“I assumed that they probably had their own decorators and people that did it,” he said.

But that all changed last month.

“Lee Conklin on the 11 o’clock news aired a segment that said if you really like holiday decorating, there’s a website you can go to and apply to do the White House,” Smith said.

So, Mark and Danielle applied. And last week, they found out they were accepted.

“I couldn’t believe it at first, I thought it was a scam," Sims said. “I read through it again and kept looking at it.”

Smith said, "She said ‘We’re accepted!’ And I said, ‘Accepted?’ And she said “For the White House! We’re going!’ I was shocked.”

Danielle says applying was easy.

“You had to fill out your experience with decorating if you’ve had any. My dad and I are by no means professionals, but we’ve been doing the Manor House for three years,” she said.

But for them, decorating for Christmas goes back much farther than that.

“It’s always been huge decorating at my parents' house," Sims said. "My mom makes a lot of cookies and candy for the holiday season.”

Smith added, "We enjoy doing it. We decorate our homes, I decorate our church, we do some fall garden exhibits at the fair.”

The family’s traditional decorations have always included a stuffed dog, who won’t be able to make the trip, as volunteers use the decorations chosen by the First Lady. They’re set to decorate the weekend after Thanksgiving.

Copyright 2020 WTVG. All rights reserved.