Never mind that it's not even Thanksgiving yet, Kate Bateman has Christmas music playing inside her Radcliff, Kentucky home. When you visit, you'll find she's obsessed with Christmas.
"Bad enough that I put up five trees. I have Santas in a showcase that stay out all year long. I have a six-foot tall Santa in the foyer and he's out all year long," explained Bateman. "It's kind of an overkill I guess, but I love Christmas."
The retired Hardin County Schools art teacher will soon combine her passion and talent to help America’s First Home sparkle for the holidays. Bateman is part of an all-volunteer group of people from all over the country selected to help decorate the White House for Christmas. She first learned about the opportunity while watching a special on HGTV.
"I thought to myself 'Man, I'd love to do that!' but it wasn't a good time for me," she said. "I was still teaching and I said 'I'm going put that on my list for when I retire."'
Fast forward a few years to the end of last month when Bateman learned the application she submitted over the summer had been accepted. She leaves for Washington on Thanksgiving Day. The opportunity puts a crimp in her traditional Thanksgiving plans, but she doesn’t mind.
"My youngest daughter had already said she wanted to host Thanksgiving at her house this year and I was all for that," stated Bateman. "I'm making the pies the day before. Their dad will take the pies over, and I'm on a plane. And I'm so okay with that!"
Bateman will join a group of about 100 volunteers ranging from florists to lawyers who will put their mark on the 132-room White House. She doesn’t have her assignment yet, but the suspense, she says, is part of the fun.