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It’s Jill Biden’s Christmas, but where have all the aesthetic criticisms gone?


For four years, an annual chorus of unfounded criticism and aesthetic analysis has drummed the Christmas decorations of former First Lady Melania Trump in the White House.

Now it’s First Lady Jill Biden’s turn but where have all the criticisms gone?

Don’t worry, I’m still here and should start by reminding loyal Fashion Notes readers that it was the haters who stereotyped Melania Trump as a cold, joyless Eastern European who secretly hated Christmas frills. They did so by taking over its winter white decor in the east wing in 2017.

Enemies started again a year later when Ms. Trump unveiled beautiful red trees throughout the eastern colonnade of the White House.

It should be noted that Ms. Trump’s Christmas decorations from 2017 to 2020 were a triumph of beauty after nearly two decades of traditional and modernist designs by former first ladies Laura Bush and Michelle Obama.

Christmas decorations are seen in the east wing during a preview of the Christmas decorations at the White House in Washington, DC on November 27, 2017 (SAUL LOEB / AFP via Getty Images)

It’s Jill Biden’s Christmas, but where have all the aesthetic criticisms gone?

The White House Christmas tree is seen in the Blue Room during a preview of Christmas decorations at the White House in Washington, DC on November 27, 2017 (SAUL LOEB / AFP via Getty Images)

It’s Jill Biden’s Christmas, but where have all the aesthetic criticisms gone?

Christmas trees are seen during a preview of Christmas decorations in the Grand Foyer of the White House in Washington, DC on November 27, 2017 (SAUL LOEB / AFP via Getty Images)

It’s Jill Biden’s Christmas, but where have all the aesthetic criticisms gone?

Christmas decorations are seen in the Red Room during a preview of Christmas decorations at the White House in Washington, DC on November 27, 2017 (SAUL LOEB / AFP via Getty Images)

It’s Jill Biden’s Christmas, but where have all the aesthetic criticisms gone?

Christmas decorations are seen in the State Dining Room during a preview of Christmas decorations at the White House in Washington, DC on November 27, 2017 (SAUL LOEB / AFP via Getty Images)

It’s Jill Biden’s Christmas, but where have all the aesthetic criticisms gone?

Christmas decorations are seen in the east wing during a preview of the Christmas decorations at the White House in Washington, DC on November 27, 2017 (SAUL LOEB / AFP via Getty Images)

It’s Jill Biden’s Christmas, but where have all the aesthetic criticisms gone?

Christmas trees are seen during a preview of Christmas decorations in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC on November 27, 2017 (SAUL LOEB / AFP via Getty Images)

It’s Jill Biden’s Christmas, but where have all the aesthetic criticisms gone?

(@FLOTUS)

It’s Jill Biden’s Christmas, but where have all the aesthetic criticisms gone?

Christmas decorations are seen at the White House during a preview of the 2018 holiday decor in Washington, DC on November 26, 2018 (NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP via Getty Images)

It’s Jill Biden’s Christmas, but where have all the aesthetic criticisms gone?

Christmas decorations are seen at the White House during a preview of the 2018 holiday decor in Washington, DC on November 26, 2018 (NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP via Getty Images)

It’s Jill Biden’s Christmas, but where have all the aesthetic criticisms gone?

The official White House 2018 Christmas ornament from the White House Historical Association hangs on a tree in the White House Library on November 26, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)

Perhaps Ms. Trump’s most successful years for White House Christmas decor were 2019 and 2020. For the millions of Americans who won’t see the White House up close, photos are everything.

These two years, with their twinkling lights and emphasis on American architecture, struck the right note between the traditional style of Mrs. Bush (and other former first ladies) and the modernist approach that Mrs. Obama finished. by loving.

It’s Jill Biden’s Christmas, but where have all the aesthetic criticisms gone?

The colonnade is decorated for Christmas at the White House on December 2, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Mark Wilson / Getty Images)

It’s Jill Biden’s Christmas, but where have all the aesthetic criticisms gone?

(@FLOTUS)

It’s Jill Biden’s Christmas, but where have all the aesthetic criticisms gone?

A small decorated Christmas tree stands in the Red Room of the White House December 2, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Mark Wilson / Getty Images)

It’s Jill Biden’s Christmas, but where have all the aesthetic criticisms gone?

Christmas decorations are on display in the East Room of the White House on December 2, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Mark Wilson / Getty Images)

It’s Jill Biden’s Christmas, but where have all the aesthetic criticisms gone?

A small decorated Christmas tree stands in the middle of the Green Room of the White House on December 2, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Mark Wilson / Getty Images)

It’s Jill Biden’s Christmas, but where have all the aesthetic criticisms gone?

Christmas decorations are on display in the Grand Foyer of the White House on December 2, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Mark Wilson / Getty Images)

It’s Jill Biden’s Christmas, but where have all the aesthetic criticisms gone?

At 18 feet tall, the official White House Christmas flourishes with handmade paper flowers that pay homage to the distinctive floral emblem of each state and territory, on display inside the Blue Room of the White House on December 2, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Mark Wilson / Getty Images)

It’s Jill Biden’s Christmas, but where have all the aesthetic criticisms gone?

(@FLOTUS)

It’s Jill Biden’s Christmas, but where have all the aesthetic criticisms gone?

Christmas decorations are on display in the Cross Hall of the White House on November 30, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Drew Angerer / Getty Images)

It’s Jill Biden’s Christmas, but where have all the aesthetic criticisms gone?

A White House gingerbread house is on display in the White House State Dining Room November 30, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Drew Angerer / Getty Images)

It’s Jill Biden’s Christmas, but where have all the aesthetic criticisms gone?

Christmas decorations are on display in the East Room of the White House on November 30, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Drew Angerer / Getty Images)

It’s Jill Biden’s Christmas, but where have all the aesthetic criticisms gone?

(@FLOTUS)

It’s Jill Biden’s Christmas, but where have all the aesthetic criticisms gone?

A Christmas tree and decorations are on display in the Red Room of the White House November 30, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Drew Angerer / Getty Images)

It’s Jill Biden’s Christmas, but where have all the aesthetic criticisms gone?

Christmas decorations are on display in the East Room of the White House on November 30, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Drew Angerer / Getty Images)

It’s Jill Biden’s Christmas, but where have all the aesthetic criticisms gone?

(@FLOTUS)

That brings us to Jill Biden’s Christmas decorations which she unveiled this week and detailed in a speech Tuesday. The biggest disappointment so far is that Ms Biden hasn’t taken photos or released video footage of herself putting the finishing touches on the decor.

Every year, Ms. Trump posted a video, and then, later, photos of herself walking the halls of the White House, admiring what the residence’s design team had achieved. Impeccably dressed First Lady standing next to her vision should become a tradition although Ms. Biden has already thwarted it.

Ms. Biden’s most surprising decorations can be found in the east colonnade and at the entrance to the west wing. They are blatantly cartoonish and appear to have been conceived by a child. The sophistication of the White House seems out of place with the golden stars and blue dots hanging across the hallway.

The stars, according to Ms. Biden, represent “frontline workers” or something like that. We are in the second year of the Chinese coronavirus pandemic, can we leave COVID-19 out of the picture? It’s exhausting. The blue dots look like a giant solar system school project while the wreaths on the doors in front of them are entirely out of touch with the color scheme.

Then, at the entrance to the East Wing, oversized Christmas presents from Dr. Seuss (haven’t they canceled?) Are stacked to create an arch around the doors. The garish shade of red stands out against all the other shades of red throughout the White House decor, and the giant arch atop the arch is crumpled.

Wasn’t President Biden’s big campaign message “Build better?” How about a Christmas theme that aligns more with her husband’s overall theme for the year? “Gifts from the Heart” seems out of place.

It’s Jill Biden’s Christmas, but where have all the aesthetic criticisms gone?

Decorations are seen in the East Colonnade of the White House during a press preview of the White House Holiday Decorations in Washington, DC on November 29, 2021. (ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP via Getty Images)

It’s Jill Biden’s Christmas, but where have all the aesthetic criticisms gone?

A White House military band plays Christmas music at the entrance to the East Wing of the White House during a press preview of the White House Holiday Decorations in Washington, DC on November 29, 2021. (ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP via Getty Images)

Christmas is hard to spoil. Most of everything that revolves around the holidays is glitzy, glittering, rich and grand, especially when the White House is the backdrop. That’s why even when a few pieces of Christmas decorations come close, other pieces look stunning.

Take, for example, Ms. Biden’s hallway in the White House and the State Dining Room theme. In the hallway, the polished arches are filled with greenery with traditional accents of red berries and soft lights.

The State Dining Room is the best of the bunch. Ms Biden says the trees on either side of the fireplace have been effectively transformed into photo albums as they are adorned with ornaments that showcase the ancient early families who resided in the White House.

In the center of the trees, on the mantle, are hung striped stockings. It is the traditional / contemporary picturesque balance, which is particularly lacking in many other rooms, that makes this exhibition the best of all.

It’s Jill Biden’s Christmas, but where have all the aesthetic criticisms gone?

A White House Army social worker stands at attention in a hallway of the White House during a press preview of the White House holiday decorations in Washington, DC on November 29, 2021. (ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP via Getty Images)

It’s Jill Biden’s Christmas, but where have all the aesthetic criticisms gone?

A Christmas tree is seen in the Red Room during a press preview of the White House’s holiday decorations in Washington, DC on November 29, 2021. (ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP via Getty Images)

It’s Jill Biden’s Christmas, but where have all the aesthetic criticisms gone?

A White House gingerbread is seen in the State Dining Room during a press preview of the White House Holiday Decorations in Washington, DC on November 29, 2021. (ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP via Getty Images)

It’s Jill Biden’s Christmas, but where have all the aesthetic criticisms gone?

Christmas trees are seen in the State Dining Room during a press preview of the White House’s holiday decorations in Washington, DC on November 29, 2021. (ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP via Getty Images)

It’s Jill Biden’s Christmas, but where have all the aesthetic criticisms gone?

A White House Army social worker walks through the Cross Hall of the White House during a press preview of the White House Holiday Decorations in Washington, DC on November 29, 2021. (ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP via Getty Images)

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at jbinder@breitbart.com. Follow him on twitter here.



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