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First lady Jill Biden unveiled her first go at decorating the White House for the Christmas season on Monday, with the announced theme being “Gifts from the Heart,” an effort to honor frontline workers who persevered during the COVID-19 pandemic.
While some may argue that criticizing the holiday efforts of a sitting first lady has become a sport in America, suffice it to say that Dr. Biden’s endeavor prompted plenty of commentary online, to include the first lady’s holiday efforts leading to longing for former first lady Melania Trump’s tastes when it comes to Christmas trimmings.
The Bidens explained the theme in a commemorative White House Holiday Guide: “The things we hold sacred unite us and transcend distance, time, and even the constraints of a pandemic: faith, family, and friendship; a love of the arts, learning, and nature; gratitude, service, and community; unity and peace. These are the gifts that tie together the heart strings of our lives. These are the Gifts from the Heart,” the Bidens wrote of the theme in a letter for a commemorative White House Holiday Guide.
Today, @FLOTUS unveiled the White House holiday decorations. Learn more about the inspiration at https://t.co/H7m8ZRjaWm. pic.twitter.com/3i7NjeIzRb
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) November 30, 2021
More than 100 volunteers worked for a week to decorate The White House and surrounding grounds with 41 Christmas trees, 6,000 feet of ribbon and over 78,750 holiday lights, and the official White House Tree positioned in the Blue Room, which celebrates “the gift of peace and unity,” left plenty of people asking where’s the color?
“Cascading down the tree, peace doves carry a shimmering banner embossed with the names of each state and territory of the United States, reminding us all of the importance of unity and national harmony,” the White House guide states.
Excited to share that the Official White House Christmas tree is up in the Blue Room! pic.twitter.com/od943V0k5Q
— Jill Biden (@FLOTUS) November 29, 2021
“As we celebrate our first holiday season in the White House, we are inspired by the Americans we have met across the country, time and again reminding us that our differences are precious and our similarities infinite,” the first lady and president said. “We wish you a happy, healthy, and joyous holiday season. As we look to a new year full of possibility, may gifts from the heart light our path forward.”
First Lady Dr. Biden’s White House Christmas Tree ornaments are amazing!!! pic.twitter.com/degitSZlFu
— Andrew (@TheRealAndrew_) November 29, 2021
A gigantic Gingerbread White House, which includes a gingerbread village with a school and police, fire and gas stations as well as a hospital, a post office, a grocery store and a warehouse, was designed with the intent to honor front line workers.
“This year’s gingerbread display is inspired by our gratitude and admiration for our Nation’s frontline workers who kept our country running through the global pandemic, often at great risk to themselves and their families,” the White House guide states.
Christmas at the White House. The Bidens turned the gingerbread White House into a village this year, honoring frontline workers who helped during the pandemic. A gingerbread warehouse, school, grocery store, post office, fire, police and gas stations, and a hospital were added. pic.twitter.com/3avcLkx8Wq
— darlene superville (@dsupervilleap) November 29, 2021
Not very on brand for Joe Biden’s White House to feature a gas station in their Christmas display when it should be an EV station per “Green New Deal” push.
Also, a police station for folks who want to defund the police?
This will not please The Squad! pic.twitter.com/QOjI1bpsxr
— Claudia Tenney (@claudiatenney) November 29, 2021
It’s hard not to miss the irony of honoring healthcare workers among other frontline workers when President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate has left thousands upon thousands without a job in the weeks leading up to Christmas, where gifts under a tree may have to be sacrificed for food on the table. Many of these Americans have made the very same argument, that they kept the country running at great risk to themselves only to be jettisoned a year later courtesy of Biden’s mandates.
CNN White House correspondent Kate Bennet appeared to approve of the chosen decorations:
It’s (officially) holiday time at the White House … pic.twitter.com/u31mKAeNdm
— Kate Bennett (@KateBennett_DC) November 29, 2021
White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked earlier this month if the White House had decided whether it is safe to hold holiday parties because of the pandemic, and she would only say they would be “different.”
“You know, it’s going to look a little bit different, and I don’t have anything to outline for you at this point in time,” she said. “But certainly we expect to celebrate the holiday season. And we’ll have more details, I expect, in the coming weeks on that for you.”
Mrs. Biden read to children in front of one of the White House’s Christmas trees after unveiling this year’s festive decorations, and noted conservative figure Benny Johnson called attention to a peculiarity that stood out in a photo of the occasion:
Jill Biden forces little children to mask and social distance at the White House while she does neither.
This is beyond stupid. This is a cruel and sick abuse to children for a Christmas celebration.
Share this to shame these wicked people. pic.twitter.com/fDLpd3ev6S
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) November 29, 2021
If there was a theme to the criticism of this year’s White House decorations, it may have centered around Melania Trump, as the former first lady’s name came up often.
Here’s a sampling of some of the responses to the story from Twitter:
Bring back Melania Trump, Jill Biden is TERRIBLE! pic.twitter.com/jWYxYcZ7wR
— Brigitte Gabriel (@ACTBrigitte) November 30, 2021
I Miss Our President Trump And First Lady Melania!! ❤️🥰 pic.twitter.com/fH8AIGZpOa
— Tina Pachivas (@TinaPachivas) November 30, 2021
Jill Biden’s Christmas decorations for the entrance to the East Wing pic.twitter.com/8Y7dg2CEQk
— pamela 🇺🇸 #BidenDidntWin #texasNeanderthal (@pamela12632553) November 29, 2021
Melania’s had class
— MaryLouWho (@fishcon58) November 29, 2021
Melania always oversaw beautiful Christmas decorations at the White House. It may not have been her favorite task but they were tasteful & lovely.Critics went out of their way to slam her. This us tasteless crap the $1 store wouldn’t put up. Fake presents/commercial ugly @FLOTUS https://t.co/FTUjMcfvfS
— hybiscus33 (@hybiscus33) November 29, 2021
I kind of miss normal Christmas decorations though. pic.twitter.com/IOAO0PyihN
— theresa blue state girl (@theresapelegano) November 29, 2021
Do the White House orange and blue decorations remind you of Christmas? pic.twitter.com/6BSjnfyD97
— Ben Owen 🌸 (@hrkbenowen) November 30, 2021
Do you remember when the White House Christmas decorations were magically beautiful and took your breath away? pic.twitter.com/1x3WPLtm45
— Trekkie30 (@AnneTrekkie30) November 30, 2021
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