This year, it would appear as though the First Family is fighting the War on Christmas from behind enemy lines, attempting to take down the Yuletide holiday from the inside. Deep inside…
"We have 37 Christmas trees here at the White House — 37!" Michelle Obama excitedly told a recent group of visitors. "That's a lot, right? Yes, that's a lot of trees. And we also have a 400-pound White House gingerbread house."
Okay, okay, we get it. You like Christmas. You clearly like Christmas soooooo much. But 37 trees and a 400-pound gingerbread White House? Really? You don't think that maybe looks a tad desperate? Like, Nobody who has 37 trees and a gingerbread house that could comfortably sleep a family of circus folk could possibly be a secret Muslim! Hahahahahaha! Christmas!!!
Of course, I'm not the only to take note of this seeming excessiveness. Believe it or not, conservative columnist Andrew Malcolm has an opinion about this…
"The extravagance of 2011's decorations… are striking given the widespread joblessness, pale economic growth, home foreclosures and grim outlook for 2012, not to mention the incumbent president's historically low approval rating heading into his reelection bid.
"How simple, politically astute, symbolically helpful and cost-effective it would have been for the Obamas this year to say that in sympathy with so many struggling countrymen, they were curtailing holiday decorations to match the sacrifices of others."
Haha. Nice try, conservative columnist Andrew Malcolm, but we all know what your column would have looked like had they "curtail[ed] holiday decorations to match the sacrifices of others"…
"Only 19 Christmas trees and a meager 200-pound gingerbread White House? Have you ever seen such utter contempt for this fine Christian American tradition? Also, poor people can suck it."
Or something like that.
The problem that the Obama family is coming up against is that it's really hard to come up with the proper number of Christmas trees with which to decorate your house. It's a bell curve just like anything else: Way over on one side, you have one tree — that clearly denotes a despisement for the holiday and everything it represents to average Americans. Way over on the other side, you have 37 trees — that's haughty and elitist and gross and anti-capitalism somehow.
So, what's the correct number of trees for a decent patriotic Christian family to keep in their home? As a general rule of thumb, it's four trees per parent, three per non-parental adult (such as a grandparent or uncle) who lives in the home, six per child of the age of reason, two per toddler or infant, and one per pet (dogs and cats only; gerbils and rats get a third of a three of a tree, not to be counted until a full tree is attained).
So, where does that leave the Obamas? Let's see: two parents, one grandparent, two pre-teens and one dog. That comes out to 24 trees, which is waaaaaay more reasonable and austere than 37. (In my home, it's just me and my wife, plus two dogs, so we keep our two-bedroom apartment stocked with ten trees during the holiday season: four in the living room, two in the dining room, one in each bedroom and two in the kitchen. If my mother-in-law comes to visit, we shove three more trees into the bathroom.)
Christmas is a very simple holiday. The president and his family needn't make it so complicated.
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Barack Obama, Christmas, Economy, Michelle Obama, White House