Despite the recession decimating the Christmas season for many Americans, the Obamas continue to party large at the White House:
“By the new year, President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle will have hosted a marathon 17 parties and 11 open houses over three weeks of festivities. With an array of chefs and waiters to prepare mince pies and hot toddies — and a British designer to organise the decoration of their 27 Christmas trees — more than 50,000 guests will be entertained. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article6962848.ece
The few nods to restraint by the Obamas in their décor seem to motivated more by political correctness or rank partisanship rather than belt-tightening:
“this year there is no fake snow or resident Santa Claus. A tree made from cranberries that has been a tradition in the Red Room since Ronald Reagan’s administration has also been scrapped.” (ibid TOL)
And that British designer who helped inject his own peculiar brand of insight into the Obama White House Christmas look? Simon Doonan is a window dresser from Barney’s of New York. For more about his unique style see the article Simon Doonan is an Obese Elf Living in a Palatial Gay Fantasia. http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2009/06/simon_doonan_is_an_obese_elf_l.html
Doonan was provided with ornaments to decorate the Official White House Christmas Tree by Michelle Obama. It was the FLOTUS’s bright idea to send out ornaments used by previous Presidential administrations to be defaced by community groups:
“Our starting point was a very simple idea," she said. "That we include people in as many places, in as many ways as we can. We took about 800 ornaments left over from the previous administrations. We sent them to 60 local community groups throughout the country and asked them to decorate them, paying tribute to a favorite local landmark, and then send them back to us for display here at the White House.
"… in the new year, we all intend to renew this effort and continue this kind of outreach, so that everyone feels like they have a place here at the White House." http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/12/23/white-house-christmas-decor-featuring-mao-zedong-comes/
Apparently she sent at least one ornament to Anita Dunn. http://michellemalkin.com/2009/10/15/anita-dunn-a-corruptocrat-flack-and-a-mao-cheerleader/ As Foxnews reports, one of the ornaments prominently displayed by the increasingly tone-deaf White House features one of Ms. Dunn’s favorite inspirations, Chairman Mao. http://www.foxnews.com/slideshow/politics/2009/12/23/white-house-christmas-tree-ornaments Despite the L.A. Times attempt to suggest the selection is simply an homage to Andy Warhol, http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/culturemonster/2009/12/a-warhol-christmas-at-the-white-house.html another Mao tribute by an administration trying to put the Van Jones/Anita Dunn communist link behind them seems incredibly short-sighted.
Yet another ornament features a signed bauble emblazoned with the image of drag queen, Hedda Lettuce, and a third with Obama’s image affixed to an image of Mount Rushmore.
Is there anyone in the White House in charge of protocol? The lack of respect for American traditions remains a continuous and important theme for this administration.
On a related note, Time magazine celebrates the Obamas decision to dispense with the traditional attendance by the American President at church services for Christmas:
“Church, in fact, has been a surprisingly tough issue for the Obamas….The Obamas have celebrated Christmas in Hawaii, where the President grew up, nearly every year since the girls were born. But while Obama can still visit his favorite shaved ice joint and body-surfing spots, he doesn't have a childhood church home to attend. His mother wasn't a churchgoer, and Obama writes in "Dreams of My Father" that his grandparents took him to church infrequently. http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,1949879,00.html?xid=rss-fullnation-yahoo
So there you have the Obama Christmas in a nutshell: Mao In, Church Attendance Out. Mele Kalikimaka http://www.dltk-holidays.com/Xmas/hawaiian.html