First Lady Melania Trump Sparks Backlash With White House Christmas Tree

First Lady Melania Trump sparked a bit of backlash on social media Monday after sharing a video of the White House Christmas tree arriving at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. In the clip, Trump opened the holiday season in the nation's capital by accepting the delivery of the official White House Christmas tree.

"Special delivery!" she wrote on Twitter alongside the video, adding that the tree was grown by a family from Pitman, Pennsylvania, and that the tree would be displayed in the Blue Room of the White House.

While the tweet received many of replies commenting on the beauty of the tree, others weren't so happy with it.

"Nothing to celebrate with Trump in office," one user wrote.

"It's still November," said another.

When the tree was delivered on Monday, members of the U.S. Marine Band played "O Christmas Tree" as a pair of horses named Cash and Ben trotted along the White House driveway, pulling a green carriage carrying an 18 1/2-foot Douglas fir. Moments later, the first lady appeared, escorted by a military aide, and smiled while talking to the top-hatted men holding the reins.

She then admired the tree before posing for photos with the Pennsylvania farmer who donated it. The fir was harvested from Mahantongo Valley Farms in Pitman, Pennsylvania, with owner Larry Snyder earning the honor of presenting the White House a tree from his farm after winning an annual contest held by the National Christmas Tree Association.

The White House chief usher and grounds superintendent picked the tree during an October visit to Snyder's farm. A massive chandelier that hangs in the oval-shaped Blue Room was removed to accommodate the large tree, which is trimmed and anchored to the ceiling for safety and stability.

Another holiday ritual is scheduled for Tuesday at the White House, when President Donald Trump will issue a presidential pardon to the National Thanksgiving Turkey before he flies to Florida to spend the holiday at his Palm Beach home. The White House is sponsoring an online contest to help decide which of two turkeys — 45-pound "Bread" or 47-pound "Butter" — should be spared.

Meanwhile, amid the Trumps' absence from the White House, volunteer decorations, florists and others will fly in from around the country after Thanksgiving to help decorate the 132-room mansion for Christmas, and thousands of tourists will tour the building in December.

Last year, Melania defended the 40 crimson trees that lined the halls of the White House, which some likened to something straight out of The Handsmaid's Tale.

"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 an appearance at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.

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 Trump's tendency to write controversial tweets regarding his critics.


Photo credit: NICHOLAS KAMM / Contributor / Getty