Okay, let’s just acknowledge this right up front — things are awful right now, and they’re going to get awfuller before they get better. I’m not any happier about this than you are, but facts is facts and facts don’t change just because we want them to. BUT there IS something to look forward to (wait…something for which we can look forward? No, that sounds wrong as well, so maybe it’s something to…never mind, you get my point). We can look forward to another White House Christmas!
Thanksgiving is going to be decidedly awful this year because of the pandemic. The butcher’s bill in the US will top a quarter of a million at some point today, and we’ve still a week and a half to go before the holiday. Earlier today, on the devil Facebook, I wrote that traveling a long distance to eat traditional foods prepared by somebody else, then infecting them with a virus that could very well kill them was actually the origin story of Thanksgiving. We’ve avoided talking about it mostly, but it’s long past time we recognize the fact that the first ‘Thanksgiving’ was a massive error in judgment on the part of the indigenous population of this land. They gave us food, kept us alive, and we repaid them by stealing their land, killing them in truly astonishing numbers, then turning their culture into a cartoon.
So maybe there’d be some poetic justice if we were forced to sit out Thanksgiving in 2020. Of course, a lot of us won’t do that because of ‘freedom’ and all that, so we’ll almost certainly end up killing a lot of our own family members. Which is also a sort of poetic justice.
But Thanksgiving isn’t the only holiday horror we’re facing. Melania Trump will get one more shot at a White House Christmas. She takes a huge amount of shit over this, but I really don’t blame her. In fact, I actually respect that she has a very distinctive and thoughtful aesthetic vision. I respect that she’s been consistent in applying it. I admit I don’t share her aesthetic; it’s sort of like Tim-Burton-meets-Eraserhead-without-the-humor. But it’s rare for a First Lady to dip so deeply into the avant garde. So I sort of applaud her for that.
In 2017, she gave us a monochromatic House Stark Winter is Coming Christmas, which she followed up with the classic monochromatic Red Wedding Christmas in 2018. Last year Melania offered up a more toned down traditional monochromatic Christmas (you’ve probably never faced the difficulty of toning down something monochromatic — but then you’re not Melania Trump). This was almost certainly in response to the waves of criticism of her previous adventures in decoration. I think of it as her I-really-don’t-care-do-u? Christmas.
So this year, while you’re sitting alone in your home or apartment, shopping online while wearing the pyjama pants you haven’t washed in a week, you can amuse yourself by wondering just what fresh hell Melania Trump is going to inflict on the unsuspecting public for her farewell White House Christmas.
Maybe a traditional Slovenian Christmas with Grandfather Frost and trees decorated with delicate loaves of potica and a freshly slaughtered pig? Or maybe a Salute to the Wall Christmas, with unclimbable trees constructed from steel bollards and topped with tinsel and razor wire (if Mexico will pay for it)? Possibly a Climate Change Christmas of crispy burnt California pines in a bed of unraked leaves? So many possibilities.
It’s something to look forward to.