Melania Trump unveiled the White House Christmas decorations this week, and for the second year in a row, both the media and social media users mercilessly mocking the first lady’s ‘scary’ decor — this time claiming the ‘blood red’ trees are reminiscent of The Handmaid’s Tale and The Shining.
The 48-year-old skipped the traditional press preview of the decorations on Monday, and, instead, tweeted a nearly one-minute-long video of herself walking through the rooms, which have since been dubbed everything from ‘creepy’ to a ‘nightmare.’
Melania’s spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, said the first lady decided ‘to let the decorations speak for themselves,’ and while she wasn’t there to explain her design choices, critics were quick to jump in with their own theories and memes ridiculing this year’s theme, ‘American Treasures.’
Mocking: People are taking to Twitter to make fun of Melania Trump’s White House Christmas decorations, which include 40 cranberry-covered trees that line the East Colonnade
Red rum: Critics have compared the decorations to the 1980s horror flick The Shining
Dystopia: Others compared them to the red dresses worn by the women forced into sexual slavery in The Handmaid’s Tale. One person Photoshopped the trees to add white bonnets
The White House stated that the theme ‘honors the unique heritage of America,’ and each room ‘shines with the spirit of patriotism.’
Red plays heavily in the decor, which includes 14,000 crimson ornaments on 29 trees in the Grand Foyer and Cross Hall as well as 40 cranberry-covered trees that line the East Colonnade.
‘The choice of red is an extension of the pales, or stripes, found in the presidential seal designed by our Founding Fathers. It’s a symbol of valor and bravery,’ the White House explained.
However, many people saw the red trees in a different light. They compared them to the red handmaids dresses worn by the women forced into sexual slavery in The Handmaid’s Tale and the blood that flows down the hallway in the 1980 horror film The Shining.
‘So Melania decorated the White House for Christmas – with blood red trees right out of The Shining: Holiday Version. #ThisIsReal,’ Stephen A. Rhodes tweeted.
Jason O. Gilbert imagined a White House aide telling Melania that there is a perception that she doesn’t care about children and her responding: ‘Get me the blood-red nightmare Christmas trees with NO ORNAMENTS OR PRESENTS.’
‘Never one to be wasteful, Melania took the robes of fallen handmaids and turned them into Christmas trees. Praise be!’ Justin Kirkland commented.
Lady Melania: Olivier Willis couldn’t resist stealing the slogan from the first lady’s ‘Be Best’ campaign while imagining her asking an underling to paint the trees with blood
Haunting: The Young Democrats of America account tweeted a Photoshopped image of the twins from The Shining standing between the red trees
Slamming the decor: People shared plenty of memes and tweets mocking the red trees
And Laura Bassett added: ‘The image of Melania walking alone through the bloody handmaid trees seriously made my morning.’
Meanwhile, several media outlets dedicated entire articles to tearing apart the decorations.
‘Melania Trump Is Planning Another Christmas from Hell,’ reads the headline of a Vice article that calls the ‘spooky trees look anything but “joyous.”‘
‘It’s 2018: It’s well-established that we live in hell,’ the writer states. ‘It only makes sense that the first lady’s Christmas decorations would match the bleakness of the Trump era.’
Elle published an equally snarky piece with the headline: ‘The 2018 White House Christmas Theme Is Apparently “The Shining.”‘
‘Another year in the Trump White House, another opportunity to add a touch of holiday magic to the banality of evil!’ reads one line.
The article goes on to joke that the ‘overwhelming feeling of dread was one of the many sources of inspiration for this year’s decorations.’
The Cut’s article, titled ‘Melania Trump Ushers in Another Deeply Haunted Holiday Season,’ takes a look at this year’s ‘American Treasures’ theme.
‘This year, Melania posted a video of herself admiring “America’s Treasures” which are, apparently, ominous-looking red Christmas trees, a soccer ball ornament, and a wreath made out of Be Best pencils,’ the article states.
Seeing red: Melania unveiled the White House Christmas theme Monday, sharing a photo of herself wearing a pair of red leather gloves that matched the gleaming ornaments on the tree
Poking fun: Funny or Die created a spoof video of the unveiling of this year’s decorations, complete with a voiceover of a faux Melania saying: ‘Look at my trees soaked in blood’
The writer also notes that ‘”America’s Treasures” do not appear to include any Hanukkah decorations.’
Unsurprisingly, the decor inspired plenty of memes designed to highlight the creepiness of the red trees.
The Young Democrats of America account tweeted a Photoshopped image of the twins from The Shining standing between the red trees with a speech balloon above them that says, ‘Come play with us?!?’
Another Twitter user added white bonnets to the top of the trees to make them look like handmaids, writing: ‘Here Melania – someone fixed the red trees for you!’
Someone else couldn’t resist sharing side-by-side photos of the red trees and a group of handmaids lined up in their red cloaks in a scene from the Hulu series.
A few people questioned Melania’s ornate taste in general.
‘Why do wealthy people have such bad taste?’ one person asked, while another commented: ‘There is an old term. New money.’
Funny or Die created a spoof video of the unveiling of this year’s decorations, complete with a voiceover of a faux Melania saying: ‘Look at my trees soaked in blood, soaked in sweet blood.’
Melania’s White House holiday decorations faced similar scrutiny last year, as many felt the eerie, twig-lined hallway she designed was downright haunting and better fit for a scene in a horror film.
‘Tunnel of horrors’: Some people compared the 2018 Christmas decorations to last year’s
Poor taste? People also slammed Melania for unveiling the decorations on Twitter on Monday, just one day after children were tear-gassed at the U.S.-Mexico border
Twitter user Amber Sparks shared side-by-side photos of this year’s red trees and last year’s white branches to point out the similarities.
‘Melania Trump’s yearly scream of the empty void where her soul should be is becoming an alarming holiday tradition,’ she wrote.
In addition to the jokes about the decor, people also slammed Melania for unveiling the decorations on Twitter on Monday, just one day after children were tear-gassed at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Migrants who approached the U.S. border from Mexico were enveloped with tear gas as a few tried to breach the fence separating the two countries.
U.S. agents shot the gas, according to an Associated Press reporter on the scene. Children were screaming and coughing in the mayhem.
While photos from the distressing scene caused outrage online, President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Monday morning threaten to close the border permanently.
‘Mexico should move the flag waving Migrants, many of whom are stone cold criminals, back to their countries. Do it by plane, do it by bus, do it anyway you want, but they are NOT coming into the U.S.A. We will close the Border permanently if need be. Congress, fund the WALL!’ he tweeted.
Just a few hours later, Melania posted a video and some photos of the administration’s holiday decor, which some thought was in poor taste.
‘Thanks for the holiday inspo, @FLOTUS! this year, all we want is for your husband to stop tear-gassing kids,’ tweeted Full Frontal, Samantha Bee’s late-night show.
‘What a great way to start the Holiday Season ….. tear gassing young children at the Southern border. #HeartlessAtTheHolidays,’ Alison L. Dunn responded.
Another person called the lavish decorations ‘historically ludicrous,’ noting ‘that money could house four refugee families.’
‘Marie Antoinette anyone?’ someone else asked.