Melania unveils Christmas decorations – after secret recording revealed

Melania Trump has unveiled the White House Christmas decorations for the final time as first lady.

In a departure from previous years, Mrs Trump chose traditional green trees for the 132 rooms at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

This year 125 volunteers helped decorate 62 trees, put up 106 wreaths, more than 1,200ft of garland, over 3,200 strands of lights and 17,000 bows to reflect Mrs Trump’s “America the Beautiful” theme for the festive season.

Monday’s big reveal came just weeks after a secret recording emerged in which the first lady was heard complaining about decorating for the holidays.

White House Cross Hall full of Christmas trees
Image:The White House Cross Hall is decorated with traditional green trees in a departure from previous years
Melania Trump with the White House Christmas tree
Image:Melania Trump with the White House Christmas tree as it arrived last week

The July 2018 conversation was recorded by former White House aide Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, who published a tell-all book about their relationship and was fired this year.

In it, Mrs Trump said: “I’m working… my a** off on the Christmas stuff, that you know, who gives a f*** about the Christmas stuff and decorations? But I need to do it, right?”

This year, frontline workers and first responders are the focus of the Red Room decorations, where the trees have been adorned with handmade ornaments.

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The official White House Christmas tree in the Blue Room – a fir more than 18ft tall – was designed by students, who were asked by the National Park Service to depict what makes their home states beautiful.

White House Red Room decorated for Christmas
Image:Frontline workers are the focus of the Red Room decorations, where the trees have been adorned with handmade ornaments

In the state dining room a Gingerbread White House – made from more than 400lb of dough, gum paste, chocolate and royal icing – features the Rose Garden for the first time after Mrs Trump renovated it this year.

The Rose Garden was where President Donald Trump hosted the so-called “super spreader” event in September that saw Amy Coney Barrett sworn in as a Supreme Court Judge and was linked to several cases of coronavirus among White House staff.

Gingerbread White House displayed in the state dining room
Image:The gingerbread White House displayed in the state dining room features the Rose Garden for the first time

Mr and Mrs Trump tested positive for the virus days later.

This year, a buck and a crane are featured in a three-dimensional art hanging in windows of the Green Room, where American wildlife is the highlight.

Green Room of the White House decorated for Christmas
Image:American wildlife is the focus of the Green Room this year

The East Wing walkway is lined with green foliage from different states.

Trees and other decorations in the East Room feature planes, trains and cars – including models of Air Force One – in a nod to triumphs in innovations and technology.

Christmas trees line the East Room of the White House
Image:The East Room’s theme is innovation and technology with a models of trains and planes including Air Force One

And presents beneath decorated trees lining the Cross Hall bear tags that say “peace,” “love,” “faith” and “joy”.

In previous years, Mrs Trump’s unusual festive choices have included red trees that were likened to Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and bright white foliage instead of the traditional green.

This December is the last the Trumps will spend in the White House, before president-elect Joe Biden is sworn in on 20 January.

Mr Trump continues to falsely insist he won the 3 November election.

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

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