Right now, in a hall full of whispers and secrets and blood-colored conifers, visitors are furtively plucking haunted fruit from branches, and squirreling it away in their pockets for later, presumably as mementos, or for spells. Or perhaps they don’t fully understand what draws them to the bewitching berries — something cold, dark. Yes, the holidays rage on at the White House.
According to the Daily Mail, Melania Trump’s blood trees (topiaries covered in cranberries) and the rest of her recently unveiled Christmas decorations — including a soccer ball ornament and a Be Best “pencil wreath” — have been a huge draw, attracting over 20,000 visitors to the White House this holiday season. The ominous trees line the colonnade that connects the East and the West Wings and, as the Mail notes, are some of the only decorations that are “within grabbing distance” of guests; sources say people have been breaking off some of the cranberry-adorned branches.
Despite the fact that they garnered early comparisons to handmaids, and The Shining, and some general bewitched hellscape, the First Lady defended her haunted trees during a recent interview, saying, “We are in the 21st century and everyone has different tastes, but I think they look fantastic. I hope everyone will come over and visit it. In real life, they look even more beautiful.”
And with that, Melania likely resumed her solitary pacing through the red, empty halls of her home prison, whispering to herself “Be best. Be best. Be best.”