Christmas decorations have transformed into much more than the traditional red and green ornaments. Nowadays, there are countless styles — always evolving and always pushing the envelope.
When you think about a White House Christmas, however, you expect a lot. You crave something new and exciting. The decorations in past administrations have been used to tell a story. Like with clothing, you can say so much without uttering a word through the tiny details of an ornament or type of ribbon used.
And with a new First Family, that excitement builds with the thoughts of ushering in a new Christmas style.
Even if you don’t like the new administration, at the very least there is curiosity regarding how they will style themselves, how they will throw their hat into the ring and be remembered and how they will showcase their personality in the Christmas decorations.
First Lady Jill Biden showcased that she had absolutely no taste at all with the unveiling of the 2021 Christmas decorations in the White House on Monday. Biden titled it, “Gifts from the Heart.”
Inspired by the acts of kindness and experiences that lifted our spirits this year, decorated rooms in the White House reflect the Gifts from the Heart that unite us all: faith, family, friendship, the arts, learning, nature, gratitude, service, community, peace, and unity. pic.twitter.com/fsaYFthIqH
— Jill Biden (@FLOTUS) November 29, 2021
Can I please return said gift?
The East Wing communications director Elizabeth Alexander told CNN that the idea was to showcase “things that unite and heal, and bring us together.”
Each room of the White House represents a branch of that theme. The Library Room holds decorations of butterflies and represents “the gift of learning.” The Vermeil Room is decorated with Christmas wreaths, flowers and paint swatches to represent the “gift of the visual arts,” and the China Room, which holds official china settings of previous administrations, was set up “Nana style,” according to CNN. It’s “a nod to Biden’s favorite family dinners, with centerpieces of candles and flowers.” The trees in the room showcased a “gift of friendship and caring” theme.
While the mainstream media, of course, are praising the “normal Christmas” Biden is bringing forward, I say that this “normal” is boring and bland, making mall decorations look exciting.
BREAKING: Jill Biden brings back a “normal Christmas” by welcoming the official White House Christmas Tree after Melania Trump turned the White House into a “dark, dystopian” landscape & asked, “Who gives a f*ck about Christmas?” RT IF YOU’RE GLAD TO HAVE A REAL FIRST LADY AGAIN!
— Occupy Democrats (@OccupyDemocrats) November 29, 2021
Jill Biden’s Christmas decorations for the entrance to the East Wing pic.twitter.com/pjaQ9yrhxB
— Charlie Spiering (@charliespiering) November 29, 2021
White House Christmas decorations … pic.twitter.com/V3AoKJsO6k
— Howard Mortman (@HowardMortman) November 29, 2021
You can say there is a theme all you want, but I don’t see it. From the color scheme to the decorations to the flowers, it seems like a huge chaotic mess. Like when two newlyweds combine furniture — you just can’t make a bunch of different styles flow.
The China Room is what really did it for me. The purple and yellow flowers throw off the entire aesthetic of the room and remind me more of the beginning of spring, rather than a representation of a family Christmas dinner.
It makes me miss the style and class of the previous First Lady Melania Trump, who brought her own New York flair and took risks when decorating.
She made the White House her canvas and creatively and modernly made it into a piece of Christmas art. In 2017, she infamously decorated the halls with bare white trees, creating a winter wonderland effect. The Christmas trees dazzled in snow and glittering lights, and some were covered in pine cones and ribbon. Her theme tied together with each room, while also allowing each space to stand out on its own. Trump’s knowledge of style helped her succeed when it came to planning these rooms.
She came under fire in 2018 for having red Christmas trees in the hall. While the red trees were certainly a huge surprise to many, it made sense considering Trump is high-fashion. It fit with how she dressed and bent between classic first lady styles and her New York boldness. What made the trees work was that she tied the red color throughout the rest of the decorations. There was a theme.
“Everybody has a different taste,” Trump said at the time regarding the trees, according to The New York Times.
In defense of the choice of red trees, her office responded with, “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,” according to The Washington Post.
Luckily, I wasn’t the only one who found Biden’s decor dull:
Screams … tacky darling pic.twitter.com/Q0tk5oQkNI
— Julie ●●● (@ecJulie) November 29, 2021
I’m sorry but that is hideous.
— Amy (@mom2sassybeau) November 29, 2021
Melania did it so much better… pic.twitter.com/99kpYcBvbi
— brainsprain1 (@BrainSprain1) November 29, 2021
Each box is empty, like Joe's head.
— Frank Tastic (@RawDogFrank) November 29, 2021
While I agree that the current first lady and I have different tastes, this just has the feeling of someone who allowed their young children to help decorate the house for Christmas — not that there’s anything wrong with family decorations. It’s cute and obviously festive, but it is disorganized and disjointed, with an overall lack of theme and cohesiveness. The colors blend in, are awkward and don’t work. A pretty good representation of the administration overall.
For the White House, you expect more. You want more. It is where the president and his family live; thus, it should be grand and fun, filled with new ideas and brilliant execution that make you want to decorate your home in a similar fashion.
Unfortunately, these lackluster, oatmeal Christmas decorations will be forgettable.
One Christmas down, three more to go.
On the bright side, the bar is set so low, it can only go up from here.
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