First Lady Melania Trump is receiving a lot of criticism following her big Christmas decorations reveal at the White House.
On Monday, Nov. 26, 2018, Melania shared a video showing off the White House’s 2018 holiday decorations on Twitter, and, unfortunately for her, many people were quick to bash her choice of decor. While she did have traditional green Christmas trees with white string lights and gold or red ornaments around the White House, it’d appear that she intended for a highlight of her holiday decor to be a hall of bare, blood-red trees.
The Washington Post reported that the color red was a big component of this year’s holiday design, noting that there were exactly 40 red trees in the East Colonnade and 14,000 red ornaments in the Grand Foyer and Cross Hall. Explaining how the color related to this year’s holiday theme of “American Treasures,” the office of the First Lady shared, “The choice of red is an extension of the pales, or stripes found in the presidential seal designed by our Founding Fathers. It is a symbol of valor and bravery.”
Still, regardless of Melania’s intent to evoke American history, people were not impressed by the unusual design. And many thought the crimson trees, in particular, were pretty darn ominous.
Referencing Melania’s heavily criticized 2017 White House Christmas decor, which featured tall white branches that cast eerie shadows on the walls (via The Daily Beast), one Twitter user shared, “So it looks like @FLOTUS has chosen ‘dystopian nightmare’ as her Xmas theme for the 2nd year in a row.”
Another tweeted, “How festive! Melania’s trees are covered in blood this year!”
Many others have compared Melania’s decor to a number of popular horror films and shows, likening the red trees to the handmaids in Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale, to the blood-spewing elevator in The Shining, and the red weeds that cover the earth in War of the Worlds.
But the red trees weren’t the only decor choice that people took issue with. People also criticized Melania’s “Be Best” decorations. The phrase, which is the First Lady’s initiative to help children become “happy and productive adults” (via Newsweek), appeared on a globe ornament and on a wreath made of sharpened “Be Best” pencils. The initiative has been criticized for its poor grammar, as well as for its stance against cyberbullying, despite Melania’s husband, President Donald Trump, often engaging in not-so-nice online behavior (via The Guardian).
“You ruined it with that ‘Be Best’ ornament. You just had to go there,” one Twitter user commented. Referencing Melania’s controversial jacket that read “I really don’t care, do u?” that she wore to visit migrant children who were separated from their parents at the Texas-Mexico border, the Twitter user continued, “Is there a ‘I really don’t care! Do you?’ ornament as well? Might as well be stupid all the way.”
Another user tweeted, “The ‘Be Best’ ornament looks like it came out of a box of cereal.” Ouch.
As The Washington Post reported, Melania wasn’t present for the press preview of the White House’s holiday decorations. Her rep, Stephanie Grisham, said that she wanted “to let the decorations speak for themselves.” Instead, members of the media went on a 30-minute, self-guided tour without the First Lady present for photo ops.
In a statement shared on the White House’s website, Melania said of the holidays, “This is a joyous time of year when we decorate the White House for the Christmas Season.” She went on, “Our theme honors the heart and spirit of the American people. Thank you to the many volunteers and staff who worked hard to decorate the halls of the People’s House in Christmas cheer.”
The holiday decorations reportedly took a few days for a whopping 225 volunteers to put up.
Melania added, “On behalf of my family, we wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.”
People who are not members of the press will have plenty of opportunities to see Melania’s White House Christmas decorations in person, as the White House will reportedly host 100 open houses and receptions in December, according to The Washington Post. As many as 30,000 visitors are expected to walk through the White House on holiday tours.