It’s the most festive day of the year! Melania Trump, First Lady of the United States, lithe Slovenian model, and living human woman who definitely was not created in a futuristic theme park laboratory, has just released the first official photos of this year’s White House Christmas decorations and they are … gorgeous? I, for one, am outraged. After weeks of holding out for Japanese Suicide Forest, Border Camp kitsch, or, at the very least, some really weird topiary, we got a sparking wonderland of golden uplighting and verdant, lustrous swaths of silk, roses, and pine. 

In the past, FLOTUS has given us dystopic nuclear winter, rows of blood red cylindrical cones, and the kind of “White Witch offering you turkish delight” vibes that get me through the stressful holiday season. I’m not alone—Melania’s holiday decorations have become a social media sensation over the last four years. On Twitter and Instagram, we’ve waited, like frenzied sneakerheads, for the White House Christmas sizzle reel to drop. 

In her first two years in office, Melania’s Christmas decorations were so strange, so creepily beautiful, so Soviet Martha Stewart, that they felt like performance art or at least something out of a challenge on RuPaul’s Drag Race. For a certain segment of the American population, 2017 was a demoralizing year that only signaled three demoralizing more years ahead. And then Melania tossed a surreal icicle bomb into our laps and, wow, we were not ready.  

Oh, what fun we had!

 

 

This year, I had especially high hopes for the White House decorations. After all, while her husband was tweeting deranged misinformation about the election preparing for the peaceful transition of the Presidency, Melania was “working her ass off!” Even though, as she remarked to her then-friend and assistant Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, “who give a f*** about Christmas stuff and the decoration?” 

Well, I care, Melania. This is your time to shine, your time to let your ghoulish freak flag fly. Is this gorgeous arrangement of yellow and white roses, shimmering golden lights, tasteful tartan ribbons, and ode to unity and womens’ suffrage really going to be your closing salvo? Melania, it’s the prettiest thing I’ve ever seen and that is NOT WHAT I NEED FROM YOU. 

Next year, though you won’t be in the People’s House, may I suggest something just a bit more sinister and haunting? Maybe the Invisible Tree trend, or the absolutely unholy Upside Down tree? There are so many terrible themes and traditions to consider: Jello salads, the 40 new Hallmark Christmas movies that will air this season, and, of course, navigating the particularly fraught terrain of talking politics with your relatives.

People have tended to impose a kind of victimhood on Melania. But her decorations, no matter how delightfully mind-boggling and strange they’ve been in years past, exemplify how damaging the Trump administration has been to the basic concept of honesty and individuality. Imagine that you are the type of person who gets upset when the Starbucks annual holiday cup isn’t sufficiently “traditional” for your taste. How do you then turn around and defend Melania’s Beetlejuice-dinner-party aesthetic to your Facebook friends? But like with every other paradoxical message from the White House, people found a way. 

In life, like in Disney films, campy villains are the best part of the show. I’m not going to miss this administration, but I will miss the deranged yearly spectacle of Melania Trump gliding through the hallways of the White House, pausing now and then to inspect a pointy ornament like Cruella Deville sizing up a Dalmatian puppy. Or an ICE agent detaining a pregnant woman. 

Dr. Jill Biden has some big, expensive, sexy leather boots to fill, and I’m sorry to say that this 2015 “education-themed” tree isn’t doing it for me. I have a feeling we need to ready ourselves as a nation for four years of boring, meme-free, hopeful, inclusive, and genuine holiday cheer. Ew.