White House Christmas decorations honor front line workers as thousands lose jobs over vaccine mandates

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

First Lady Jill Biden unveiled the White House decorations for Christmas 2021. The theme honors front-line workers who worked throughout the coronavirus pandemic. That’s nice. Much ado is being made about a return to a more traditional style of holiday decorating as was chosen by Jill. She, like her husband, is determined to be the anti-Trumps and her supporters are thrilled with the results.


I’ll get to the Melania versus Jill thing in a minute. First, look at the photos that Jill shared on her Twitter account. The Blue Room looks beautiful.

These choices were revealed, too.

I am not a fan at all of the big red boxes decorating the entrance to the East Wing. It looks cheap and amateurish, in my humble opinion. I’m also not a fan of the names of the Biden grandkids on the Christmas stockings in the State Dining Room. Do that personal family kind of thing in the family residence. The White House belongs to the American people, not just the Biden family. YMMV. The room’s theme is family and has two trees decorated with framed Biden family photos as well as with those of former first families. I’m guessing there aren’t Trump family photos.

Mrs. Biden thanked the volunteers who did all the work. Jill did as other first ladies do, she settled on a theme and the worker bees got busy and carried it all out. Traditionally, volunteers come from states across the country to help with the decorating but because of the pandemic, only volunteers in the area were allowed to participate.


Nurses, doctors, teachers, grocery store workers and others are recognized in this year’s gigantic Gingerbread White House, which was made into a 350-pound (158.76 kilograms) gingerbread village with the addition of a school and police, fire and gas stations as well as a hospital, a post office, a grocery store and a warehouse to honor workers who stayed on the job.

Fewer people are likely to see the decked-out mansion in person this year, with public tours still suspended because of the continuing threat from COVID-19. But videos, photos and other details are available at WhiteHouse.gov/Holidays.

“Gifts from the Heart” is the theme.

In remarks thanking volunteers for decorating, the first lady explained the vision behind her theme, speaking of unity and her view that everyone comes together around faith, family and friendship, gratitude and service, and love for one’s community.

“For all of our differences, we are united by what really matters,” she said. “Like points on a star, we come together at the heart. That is what I wanted to reflect in our White House this year. In each room, we tell a story of gifts from the heart.”

The whole unity schtick gets old with this administration, given that Republicans and conservatives are criticized at every turn. That aside, the theme was chosen months ago but since then, the battles over COVID-19 vaccine mandates have penetrated workplaces across the country, resulting in the loss of jobs for thousands of frontline workers. I ponder how the newly unemployed workers feel about this choice of theme now. Health care workers who continued to do their jobs throughout the pandemic were the first to feel the pinch of the mandates. The mandates have spurred workers to go ahead and get vaccinated if their jobs are threatened but some hold out for reasons that may or may not qualify for exemptions. Most employers give exemptions to those workers claiming religious or medical reasons to not get vaccinated but some simply don’t trust the vaccines. Those workers find themselves looking for other employment.


Some medical professionals are not in favor of vaccine mandates, including a former FDA commissioner. Court rulings continue to come down, including one just yesterday. Biden lost that one. A group of United Airlines employees, including a pilot, are seeking relief after a district judge declined to intervene in the airline’s vaccine policy of unpaid leave for those who are unvaccinated and without exemptions. Biden made a sweeping declaration that all government employees and companies with more than 100 employees would have to succumb to the vaccine mandate before OSHA even had the policy in writing or before anyone even knew if the mandate will really be enforced.

Most frontline workers in other fields, like retail and manufacturing, are feeling the pressure to comply. We can all relate to thanking them for working throughout a time when most of us relied on their services as we were locked down at home.

Frontline workers are also represented in the iridescent doves and shooting stars that illuminate the East Colonnade hallway, “representing the peace and light brought to us by all the front-line workers and first responders during the pandemic,” the guidebook says.

I wonder if anyone in the White House made the connection between the vaccine mandate wars and the holiday theme this year. Maybe not. This White House is pretty tone-deaf.

The press and Biden supporters were pleased with Jill’s decorating choices, mostly because it means that Melania is no longer in the White House. Jill and Melania are two very different women so this isn’t a surprise. The Melania bashing was all too predictable. Jill Biden’s decorating style contrasts with Melania’s because Jill wants a more traditional style that doesn’t show any particular distinguishing feature. We’ve seen it all before. We see most of it in our own homes, on a smaller scale. What many Melania supporters appreciated about her choices was that it put a twist on traditional decorations. She included plenty of tradition but her more flamboyant vision of holiday decorating didn’t sit well with her critics. It wouldn’t have mattered what she did, they would criticize so she just went with what she wanted. I thought the Trump White House holiday decorations were beautiful – even the red “murder trees”. It’s funny – the left usually celebrates artistic interpretation in art yet when some of that crept into the White House during a Republican administration, the left lost its mind. If Jill was a more creative person… oh, never mind.


Jill Biden hosted some Maryland second graders at the White House during the unveiling. From photos on social media, it looks like she read to them and they were all masked. She was not in the photos I saw. You can see that in the photo under the headline of this post.

I’ll just leave this here.

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John Stossel 12:00 AM | June 21, 2024