First Lady Melania Trump has transitioned the Trump White House Christmas aesthetic from last year’s daunting Yuletide Black Lodge theme to something like a repeat of 2017’s cold, detached Fortress of Solitude motif. This year’s theme is titled “The Spirit of America,” and it’s perfectly on-brand for the administration: chintzy, vaguely menacing, and all bathed in lights of blinding white.
According to the White House press release, Melania Trump’s “beautiful exhibit of patriotism” includes a Christmas tree decorated by and dedicated to Gold Star families, a “White House Advent calendar hanging in the windows,” and assorted gingerbread replicas of famous American landmarks.
As always, the general public gets to experience Melania Trump’s big Christmas unveiling via a video in which the famously private and taciturn first lady walks through whatever Calvin Klein commercial is playing in her mind and silently appraises random ornaments, wreaths, and origami stars hanging from the ceiling. Sometimes she stops and rearranges a display with a gentleness and care not afforded to actual human beings in Border Patrol custody, but the whole thing still feels distinctly without warmth. It wouldn’t be a Trump Christmas without the vibe that Secret Service members might materialize out of the ether and break the fingers of anyone who so much as thinks about touching a tree ornament.
Speaking of tree ornaments, the camera made sure to zero in on a Scrabble-themed decoration spelling out the name of the first lady’s grammatically challenged and nebulously defined anti-bullying and/or anti-opioid abuse initiative Be Best.
If nothing else, Melania can certainly commit to a bit.