Jill Biden's warm light White House Christmas makeover, inspired by "child-like marvel and awe," has evoked memories of Melania Trump's infamous dystopian themes.
Hundreds of volunteers, including Biden's twin sisters Kim and Kelly, decorated the rooms, foyers, hallways, and wings with an "inner child" theme of "Magic, Wonder, and Joy" in the days after Thanksgiving.
She explained to her staff that she wants for guests to see the décor through the eyes of a child.
“In this season of reflection and goodwill, we hope you will embrace your inner child and delight in simply being present with those you love,” the English professor revealed.
“It is a time for our senses to awaken – for each of us to smell the aroma of favourite family recipes, to hear the warmth of a dear friend's voice, to see the glow of lights and decorations, to taste the sweetness of candies and treats, and to feel the quiet stillness and strength of faith.”
Thousands of families and children will have the opportunity to enjoy Biden's narrative throughout the holidays, bringing a festive vibe to the White House.
“Well, we’re back to someone who actually has taste decorating the White House once again. No more gloom and doom from Melania,” wrote one observer on X (formerly known as Twitter).
Buzzfeed noted the two styles “couldn’t be more different”.
“Like it’s actually funny.”
Melania Trump's interpretation of Christmas in the White House during her four-year reign from 2017 to 2020 split public opinion throughout the world.
On social media, she was dubbed "the Grinch" for not being at one with nature and for using Christmas to convey her displeasure with her husband's contentious border policy with Mexico.
She was even caught on tape criticising Christmas.
In 2017, she installed a corridor of witchy white skeleton trees with twigs, branded "the most terrifying domestic space in America," before being caught going along the East Wing hallway examining 40 undecorated blood-red trees the following year.
This year, the White House was decorated with over 4564 metres of ribbon, 350 candles, 33,892 decorations, and more than 22,100 bells, according to official figures.
There are 98 Christmas trees, a gigantic Gingerbread White House, and over 142,425 holiday lights adorn the trees, garlands, wreaths, and decorations.
The north and south facades are adorned with 72 wreaths.
The Vermeil Room has revolving figures playing trumpets, a Santa's workshop, decorations, narrative books containing sampling of versions of Twas the Night Before Christmas, and huge candy stills dangling from the rafters.
“This looks like a dollar-store discount bin,” said one critic on social media.
“When comparing the Christmas decorations by Melania Trump and Jill Biden, there’s a notable difference in the tone and symbolism, which might reflect their personalities or experiences,” Pav Wasik, from UK firm Uptown Interiors told Bored Panda.
Melania’s 2020 “America the Beautiful” theme “had a more solemn, traditional and perhaps darker tone”.
“This might be seen as a reflection of her more reserved public persona or a response to the unique challenges faced during that year, including the pandemic and political tensions.
“Her choices in previous years, like the line of icy, Balsam fir trees in 2017 or the blood-red trees in 2018, have also sparked discussions about her favouring a more dramatic, unconventional aesthetic, which some interpreted as ‘witchy’.”
Melania's China Room, for example, was red-themed, with a 10-person wood dining table. Biden's is a candy store.
Melania adorned herself with ice queen-style jewels. Biden's trees now have more vibrant greens, reds, golds, and silvers.
Jill decorated her home with an enormous sleigh at the front door, a welcome gigantic Nutcracker, and a mechanical theatre in one of the bedrooms.
“It’s definitely less ‘human sacrifice’ and more ‘holiday joy’,” wrote Buzzfeed.
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