First Lady Melania Trump Reacts to White House Christmas Decoration Backlash

Melania Trump is defending her White House Christmas décor, which some have likened to something straight out of Gilead, the dystopian society at the center of The Handmaid’s Tale.

Speaking Wednesday during a town hall event at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, the first lady broke her silence on the criticism surrounding the 40 crimson trees lining the halls of the East Colonnade for this year’s White House Christmas decorations.

“We are in 21st century and everybody has a different taste. I think they look fantastic. I hope everybody will come over and visit it. In real life, they look even more beautiful. You are all welcome to visit the White House, the people’s house,” she said during her appearance, which was part of her Be Best initiative.

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(Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

The criticism surrounding the Christmas trees came after Trump posted a video on Twitter Monday, debuting this year’s Christmas decorations, which centered around the theme “American Treasures.” The theme was meant to celebrate patriotism and honor elements of the country’s heritage. According to the White House, the color red was a symbol of valor and bravery, matching the stripes found in the presidential seal.

“The choice of red is an extension of the pales, or stripes, found in the presidential seal designed by our Founding Fathers," the White House explained in a statement Monday. "It's a symbol of valor and bravery."

However, many online still thought the color choice was odd, with some likening the unorthodox red trees to the red cloaks from Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale and even the sea of blood from the 1980 film The Shining.

Another person shared an image of the Grady daughters from The Shining, claiming that the White House’s “blood trees” are appealing to certain children.

The First Lady also faced backlash for her choice to feature “Be Best” ornaments and decorations, which some considered to be ironic due to President Donald Trump’s tendency to write controversial tweets regarding his critics.

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First Lady Melania Trump isn’t entirely new to backlash. Last year, her “Time-Honored Traditions” themed White House Christmas decorations, which featured a dimly-illuminated decoration-lined hallway, were mocked for their resemblance to scenes from films such as Harry Potter, The Chronicles of Narnia, and Silent Hill.

The trees are part of this year's White House theme, "American Treasures," which celebrates patriotism and honors elements of the country's heritage. The color red can be found in other places throughout the decor; 29 additional Christmas trees located in the cross area between the Grand Foyer and Cross Hall in the White House are dressed with more than 14,000 red ornaments.