Though she proudly unveiled the “American Treasures”-themed ornamentation on Twitter Monday, the all-red Christmas trees she chose for the East colonnade were the subject of countless memes and jokes online. The most popular and “liked” tweets compared Mrs. Trump’s 40 crimson trees to the red cloaks from Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale and even the sea of blood from the 1980 film The Shining.
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On Wednesday, the first lady, 48, defended her topiary, calling them “fantastic” and “beautiful.”
“We are in 21st Century and everybody has a different taste,” she said at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, on Wednesday, as seen in video obtained by Reuters.
“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 her appearance as part of her Be Best initiative, which focuses on countering opioid addiction and cyberbullying.
The White House previously explained the red motif in a statement. “The choice of red is an extension of the pales, or stripes, found in the presidential seal designed by our Founding Fathers. It’s a symbol of valor and bravery,” the statement, released on Monday, said.
Social media critics also found irony in Mrs. Trump‘s Be Best Christmas ornament.
Many Twitter users called out the ornament because of her husband, President Donald Trump‘s well-known penchant for writing insulting tweets about his critics.
“You ruined it with that ‘Be Best’ ornament. You just had to go there. Is there a ‘I really don’t care! Do you?’ ornament as well? Might as well be stupid all the way,” another person wrote, referencing the first lady’s controversial jacket.
This is the second year in a row that the first family’s White House Christmas decorations have been mocked.
A photo of a dimly-illuminated decoration-lined hallway from 2017’s “Time-Honored Traditions”-themed decor was compared to scenes from films such as Harry Potter, The Chronicles of Narnia and Silent Hill.