(Slate) -- Melania Trump unveiled this year’s White House Christmas decorations on Monday morning, offering Americans their annual glimpse inside the psyche of the reticent, reluctant first lady. Those who worried she couldn’t top 2017’s icy wonderland of lifeless foliage can breathe easily now that we’ve been graced with the image of Trump fondling ornaments with arms characteristically unmoored from her sleeves:
ast year, Trump marked her first Christmas in Washington with dancers performing a piece from The Nutcracker, a ballet in which a creepy entertainer grows to a terrifying size, relies on white women to win him a major battle, and orchestrates a rather xenophobic display of the world’s cultures. The internet quickly seized on one of the White House’s holiday spectacles—a dimly lit hallway packed with vases full of dead branches painted white, casting menacing shadows on the ceiling and walls—as a metaphor for Trump’s own lack of warmth and lack of interest in leading the country in any productive direction.
She must have taken that criticism to heart, because that same hallway is now full of light. However, it is also lined with towering blood-red cones, a macabre take on “trees” that taints what might have been a bounty of winter fruit with the flavor of death. Dwarfing any human that dares tread their unholy ground, the installations resemble piles of human entrails, or perhaps cranberry boughs. Either way, they reek of the threat of execution, recalling both a row of handmaids lined up for a hanging and a rose garden painted red for the pleasure of a bitter queen. Merry Christmas!
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