- The Washington Times - Monday, December 2, 2019

No sooner had the White House released its Christmas decorations video Sunday than first lady Melania Trump was hit with a blizzard of gleeful media criticism.

The Daily Beast reported that Mrs. Trump’s “joyless Christmas decorations are back to haunt your dreams,” while Mother Jones declared she “displays virtually no enthusiasm for anything other than periodically straightening something that the lazy servants apparently didn’t get quite right.”

Not even her clothes were off limits. The Washington Post gave a thumbs-down to the wintry white coat draped on the first lady’s shoulders, calling it “ridiculous.”

“But more than a silly fashion folly, the coat is a distraction,” said Post fashion critic Robin Givhan. “It’s a discomforting affectation taken to a ludicrous extreme. In a video that is intended to celebrate the warmth and welcoming spirit of the holiday season, that simple flourish exudes cold, dismissive aloofness.”

Mocking Mrs. Trump’s holiday decorating has become an annual media tradition. In 2017, her white underlit bushes were deemed “hell on Earth” by Mashable, while in 2018, The New York Times and others sneered at her “blood-red trees,” prompting her to respond that “everyone has different taste.”

The theme for this year’s display is “The Spirit of America,” which The Daily Beast’s Alaina Demopoulos called “state-sponsored jingoism” and “the most sterile of her three attempts at holiday decorating.”

Instead of being lined with foliage, the East Colonnade was adorned with hanging silver stars, which failed to halt the jibes.

“It appears that the first lady might have taken design control in the East Colonnade, where silver stars, their points sharpened to a glinting razor’s edge, float menacingly above lit glass panels. Looks dangerous! I like it!” said Refinery29’s Leah Carroll.

Mrs. Trump’s supporters on social media rushed to her defense, insisting that her coat looked “stunning” and her decorations were “beautiful.”

“My gosh, if she was married to a Dem, she’d grace the cover of a different magazine every week,” tweeted former Colorado state Sen. Greg Brophy. “And you guys write this #fakenews.”

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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