Christmas in Tarturus: Melania Trump has been ridiculed this week for decorating the White House to resemble the mythological Greek underworld’s hell. With a glistening, Styx-like passageway lined with foreboding grey-ish brambles that look like if they pricked you, you would sleep for one thousand years, Trump’s holiday White House is a shadowy realm of icy anguish presided over by a prisoner queen.
The creepiest thing about the pictures, of course, is that a woman has a full-time, non-voluntary government job that involves exclusively domestic and presentational activities, and that she was forced to take it because of her marriage and is being paid no money for her work. But the lighting is also very weird.
Nevertheless, many have pointed out that Trump’s decorations would have been heralded as unorthodox and daring by liberals if she was one. And in other images posted by the First Lady to Twitter, the White House looks very different, like Kate Middleton’s wedding dress if it had been designed by Swarovski.
The decorations are up! @WhiteHouse is ready to celebrate! Wishing you a Merry Christmas & joyous holiday season! pic.twitter.com/d6ZuyeFvrw— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) November 27, 2017
Distract yourself from these eerie imagery — and what it may belie — by decorating like Melania for Hanukkah. If you sent your child to NYU and then had her decorate for Hanukkah after one semester of isolation and arts classes, it might look a little something like this:
A Melania Hanukkah:
Like Melania herself, your decorations should look grim but beautiful. Take anything red and green colored in your house and throw it in a trash can (goys will be goys, but let’s not send the wrong message about assimilation).
Take branches of skhakh (pine tree branches) left over from your Sukkah and strew them about your hallway. If they’re moldy, they’re moldy, for from dust we come and to dust we shall return.
Don’t use any fake snow products, as that will remind guests of snowy Jerusalem where Hellenized Jews lived during the Maccabean revolt. Rather, obtain mechanized Halloween ghoul decorations that can pop up unexpectedly, evoking the guerilla war tactics used by the Maccabees.
Dripping blue and white puddles of hot wax throughout your home will lend an austere but authentic Hanukkah spirit to your home.
Pour oil over everything, and you are done. An easy, yet chilling Hanukkah design the whole family can enjoy.
Jenny Singer is a writer for the Forward. You can reach her at Singer@forward.com or on Twitter @jeanvaljenny