Everyone knows Christmas at the White House is always a merry occasion. This season, first lady Jill Biden is spending her first round of holidays at the White House, and we all know what that means: she also got her first chance to show off her decorating skills. Jill Biden’s decorations aren’t just gorgeous — they have so much meaning behind them, and people all over the internet know it. These tweets about Jill Biden’s 2021 White House Christmas decorations all make the same comparison, and it’s honestly refreshing.
Biden revealed this year’s holiday theme, “Gifts From the Heart,” in a Nov. 29 tweet. “Inspired by the acts of kindness and experiences that lifted our spirits this year, decorated rooms in the White House reflect the Gifts from the Heart that unite us all: Faith, family, friendship, the arts, learning, nature, gratitude, service, community, peace, and unity,” she captioned alongside photos of this year’s Christmas decorations at the White House.
The decorations themselves are radiant: framed photos of past first families line the pair of trees in the State Dining room; stockings with the Biden grandkids’ names line the fireplace; and the official Christmas tree is scattered with iridescent peace doves to symbolize the “gift of peace and unity,” per the White House.
According to the first lady’s communications director, Elizabeth Alexander, Biden was apparently “very involved” in planning this year’s holiday decorations — and honestly, it shows. Every room has a different theme, and each is filled with personalized details from the Biden family, like photos and knitted stockings. Biden even added her own special touch by helping the White House pastry team create gingerbread buildings honoring front line workers and first responders. The buildings, made of “55 sheets of baked gingerbread, 120 pounds of pastillage, 35 pounds of chocolate, and 25 pounds of royal icing,” include a “grocery store, school, post office, warehouse, hospital, fire station, police station, and gas station,” per the White House. The intent was to highlight the frontline workers and first responders who had worked so hard to get Americans through the past year and a half.
While people all over Twitter are definitely appreciating the heartfelt details, many can’t help but compare this year’s White House decorations to former first lady Melania Trump’s. For several years running, Trump was criticized for her, er, unique tastes in modernist holiday decor. In 2017, her hallway full of barren white branches was mocked as possibly full of Dementors, while in 2018, her choice of pure-red evergreen trees were immediately christened “blood trees.”
While some people loved the new 2021 style, others found they missed the pure, chaotic-neutral vibes of the former FLOTUS’ designs. What a time it was to be alive.
But hey, you can’t please everyone. Particularly not at the holidays.
Many Twitter users are just happy to feel a sense of normalcy return to the White House after an objectively difficult 2020 holiday season, which wouldn’t have been possible without all the frontline workers keeping communities afloat during lockdown — workers who were honored in the White House Christmas card. The Bidens’ 2021 card featured a drawing of a candle with a message of remembrance and “recognition of essential and frontline workers, first responders, and our service members and their families.” While every holiday season at the White House is merry occasion, the Biden family’s Christmas decorations make this year’s so much more special.