When Melania Trump revealed her 2017 holiday decorations, I dubbed her aesthetic "the Christmas from hell," and I'm happy to report that in 2018, the first lady has upped her game, entering a circle Dante never could have dreamed up. This is entirely appropriate, whatever the haters say: Although many consider this the season of cheer, this time of the year requires Americans to see members of their families they try to avoid. Winter means glimmers of sunlight amid the endless dark nights, a deadly flu season, and months of bitter cold despair, and Melania Trump has tapped into that.
On Monday, the Office of the First Lady unveiled the decorations for this year's holiday season. This means a video of Trump strutting through a hallway full of blood-red evergreen trees, looking spooky and dour, clad in all black, glumly observing her subversion of the expected Christmas cheer.
“This is a joyous time of year when we decorate the White House for the Christmas Season,” the first lady said in a statement where she announced that the theme of her decorations this year is “American Treasures," which is meant to pay tribute to the country's “unique heritage [of blood and pain].”
While the spooky trees look anything but "joyous," the theme, perhaps inadvertently, recognizes the US's dark history as a violent imperialist world power that committed genocide against the continent's native peoples and didn't offer many rights to African-Americans until a half-century ago.
In her announcement, the first lady said, "On behalf of my family, we wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,” once again revving up America's bloodiest culture war, the one on Christmas, by failing to wish non-Christian Americans a happy holidays.
Melania's hell-themed Christmas decorations come at a contentious political time—not only are we in the midst of the brutal war on Christmas, but as commenters pointed out in the replies of her tweet, her husband has been busy doing some truly fucked-up shit:
Of course, it is important to note that Melania's penchant for an eerie Christmas is well-established. Not only did she goth it up in 2017, but her pre-White House Christmas tweets suggest that she associates the holidays with portents of evil, like gloomy clouds, evil dolls, and haunted fireplaces:
It's 2018: It's well-established that we live in hell. It only makes sense that the first lady's Christmas decorations would match the bleakness of the Trump era.
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This article originally appeared on VICE US.