My apologies for not including photos in this essay, but I don’t know who owns photographs of the White House Christmas decorations, and, given the litigation-happy nature of this administration, I’d really prefer not to invite Rudy Giuliani’s wrath (or even his presence).
That’s right, children, gather ‘round, for the annual unveiling of the White House holiday decorations, for First Lady/Krampus Melania Knauss’s last “fucking Christmas*” in the White House!
For the past 400 years (it feels like that, anyway), the First Lady of the United States (and possibly undercover Krampus) Melania Trump has insisted on decorating the White House. And, like her, the results have been austere, stark, off-putting, and a little horrifying. One recalls the Tolkien line, “great and terrible to behold.”
There was a forest of blood trees. The creepiest wreath of all time. The horrifically, starkly white and alien-looking recreation of US landmarks. The underlying theme, one must assume, of all previous Christmas decorating-attempts at the White House was, “Christmas in the Uncanny Valley.” Which is a really weird phenomenon, in retrospect; as an alleged New York model would, presumably, have the phone number of someone who could discretely come down and literally spruce the place up tastefully for Christmas. Instead, we’ve gotten visual reminders of who we sort-of voted for in 2016 (in light of America’s political about-face, I’ve been asking my British friends if they can’t just nationally demand another vote on Brexit, now that they’ve sobered up and seen BoJo in the light of day). Again, I have to wonder if Donald’s reelection chances would have improved if he could have gone a week or two without reminding everyone that he was in charge, HIM! Donald J. Trump! Father of Beavis, Butt-head, Javanka, Barron, and Tiffany! Bitter ex-husband of Ivana and Marla! But I digress.
So, for the past month, since we all learned Donald would be the first-ever impeached, one-term president to lose the popular vote twice (say what you will, the man made history), most voters have vaguely wondered what Melania’s last Christmas as First Lady would look like. Perhaps it would entail freshly-butchered orphan cadavers? Trees frosted with DJTJ’s secret Bolivian Blend? Desiccated Kievan Rus’ Viking carcasses? Funhouse Mirror Maze Christmas? Murder Claus, the Merry Serial Killer? What? For all of my unAmerican friends; I assure you, the American people have been as absolutely confounded and upset by the past four years as you have, we just got live at Ground Zero, so we didn’t have that luxury of being able to change the channel and go back to life.
Well, you can imagine my surprise at the White House’s decorations which are all off-puttingly normal and welcoming. Don’t get me wrong, I’m delighted to see that no small children or animals were harmed in this production, but, after four years of political brutality and savagery that inevitably culminated in performative Yuletide festivities, it’s akin to what Wodehouse described as, “Do you ever have that feeling when you step down onto a footstep that isn’t there?”
Earlier today, I discovered that Darth Barr, lead Sith at the Justice Department and consigliere of the Trump Crime Family, announced that he saw no evidence of voter fraud. To me, this was like Göring telling the Wehrmacht to stand down to arriving Allied troops. The end was in sight. And then, I found out that the DOJ was being investigated for a bribery-for-pardons scandal, which seems to be the MO of this administration — admit to the smaller crime in hopes it will distract from the more-urgent legal scandal looming.
So, in that light, delightful though it is to see recognizable Christmas Trees at the White House Christmas rather than some macabre, grotesque recreation of Ted Bundy’s childhood home (you may laugh, but I have no doubt that “Christmas with Stalin” was on the short list of potential themes this year), I have to wonder; what more-horrifying sin does this serve to conceal? Did the Trump Crime Family successfully kidnap the Biden’s dogs and are ransoming them back in exchange for cabinet positions? Are those trees somehow kitten traps? What?
*Not my words, hers. Seriously, she was on tape saying this about Christmas. I will admit that my own feelings about the holidays are somewhat mixed — they’re joyous and wonderful, but also stressful and expensive — but, even at my worst, I’ve never asked a friend, “Who cares about fucking Christmas?!” (yes, that is the full quote).