​​                by artist Jupi T. Das
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My Holiday Experiences inside The White House 


 Winter has come and almost gone, but first, we would like to look back on the holiday season one last time, for a story I’d rather not let pass and fade like the changing seasons.

I was really surprised when I got a letter addressed to me with the seal of the Pennsylvania Governor’s office. As I opened, it turned out to be a pleasant surprise. The letter announced that I have been chosen to create a one-of-a kind ornament for the White House’s annual themed Christmas tree and I am among nine other artists from Pennsylvania. Every year, the White House invites artists from across the country to create ornaments for the official Christmas tree.

The ornament, made to specific height and weight requirements, than become part of the White House permanent collection. This past year’s theme was “All Things Great and Small”, which was distinguished by ornaments that represented birds indigenous to each of the 50 states. As a paper artist my ornament was also made of paper, hand cut & hand colored adding some gold trim on it. It was a three-dimensional diamond shape decorative piece featuring four Cardinal birds. The title of my ornament was the “Cardinals at Christmas”. During the last spring, the First Lady Laura Bush chose the theme. Then nine artists from Pennsylvania we’re selected by Gov. Schweiker and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC).

At noon on December 4, 2002, I was invited to the White House to a reception hosted by the First Lady Laura Bush. Along with nine artist from the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, we joined other artists from all 50 states in the White House in Washington DC.

It was the best holiday experience I have ever had. The decorations, the orchestral music, the ice sculpture and everything were simply breathtaking and lived up to the standards of what we imagine a Christmas would be like in the White House. It was also a great opportunity for the artists to view their ornaments and to meet & be photographed with the First Lady. It was quite an exciting event and a dream come true. Everything went very smooth; inside the White House there were almost no restrictions on where we could go.

It was awesome, it was overwhelming but it was really an honor. I will cherish this memory for years to come!

The art of papercutting