Melania Trump welcomes White House Christmas tree for the last time

Melania Trump welcomed the White House Christmas Tree on Monday as the Trumps prepare to kick off their final holiday season at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  

Winston and Ben – two Clydesdales – trotted up the north driveway with a wagon in tow to deliver the tree to the first lady.

Melania, wearing a black and white checked Balenciaga coat, black gloves and black high-heeled boots, walked around the wagon to examine the tree. 

She, smiled, waved and said ‘Merry Christmas’ after she finished her walk about. She did not wear a face mask during the short, outdoor event. 

OH CHRISTMAS TREE: Melania Trump welcomes the White House Christmas Tree to the executive mansion, which kicks off the holiday season

OH CHRISTMAS TREE: Melania Trump welcomes the White House Christmas Tree to the executive mansion, which kicks off the holiday season

This Christmas will be the last one at the White House for the Trump family

This Christmas will be the last one at the White House for the Trump family

Winston and Ben - two Clydesdales - trotted up the north driveway to deliver the tree

Winston and Ben – two Clydesdales – trotted up the north driveway to deliver the tree

Marine escort: Melania Trump walked down the steps of the North Portico on a serviceman's arm

Marine escort: Melania Trump walked down the steps of the North Portico on a serviceman’s arm

Greeting: Melania Trump - wearing gloves but no mask - shook hands with one of the workers bringing the tree to the White House

Greeting: Melania Trump – wearing gloves but no mask – shook hands with one of the workers bringing the tree to the White House

Final Christmas: Melania Trump is getting ready for the last chance to decorate the White House for Christmas

Final Christmas: Melania Trump is getting ready for the last chance to decorate the White House for Christmas

I really do care: Melania Trump was taped by her former friend and assistant Stephanie Winston Walkoff saying: 'Who gives a f*** about Christmas stuff?' but appeared in front of the White House to welcome its tree

I really do care: Melania Trump was taped by her former friend and assistant Stephanie Winston Walkoff saying: ‘Who gives a f*** about Christmas stuff?’ but appeared in front of the White House to welcome its tree

Marine escort: Melania Trump once again took the arm of a Marine assigned to guard the White House as she walked down the north portico's stairs

Marine escort: Melania Trump once again took the arm of a Marine assigned to guard the White House as she walked down the north portico’s stairs

Traditional entrance: The Douglas fir was brought to the White House on a horse-drawn cart

Traditional entrance: The Douglas fir was brought to the White House on a horse-drawn cart 

Inspecting the greenery: First Lady Melania Trump casts an eye over the White House Christmas tree

Inspecting the greenery: First Lady Melania Trump casts an eye over the White House Christmas tree

Happy about the holidays: A smiling Melania Trump greets the official White House tree

Happy about the holidays: A smiling Melania Trump greets the official White House tree 

The White House Christmas tree is an 18 and 1/2 foot tall Fraser fir and is from Dan and Bryan Trees in West Virginia.

The White House Christmas tree is an 18 and 1/2 foot tall Fraser fir and is from Dan and Bryan Trees in West Virginia.

The White House Christmas tree is an 18 and 1/2 foot tall Fraser fir and is from Dan and Bryan Trees in West Virginia. 

It will sit in the Blue Room of the White House as the center of the holiday decorations and its height is specifically chosen to fit that room.

The atmosphere was festive was a brass section of the Marine Corps Band playing Christmas carols, including ‘Oh Christmas Tree.’ 

The first lady’s office will soon unveil the White House Christmas decorations and theme, which will be Melania Trump’s last major act as first lady.

It comes after a recording released by her former friend and employee Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, displays Melania complaining ‘who gives a f*** about Christmas stuff’ while discussing the traditional first lady task of decorating the executive mansion for the holiday.  

The tapes were released when Wolkoff appeared on CNN on October 1, hours before it was announced Melania and Donald Trump tested positive for Covid-19. Wolkoff was promoting her memoir, ‘Melania & Me,’ which portrays the first lady in an unflattering light. 

Melania Trump has blasted the book as ‘idle gossip.’

The taped conversation appears to have taken place shortly after Melania visited a immigration detention center in McAllen, Texas, back in June 2018. 

She huffed ‘give me a f***ing break’ while complaining about criticism she received for her husband’s policy of splitting up families who illegally crossed the border while at the same time having to decorate the White House for Christmas. The East Wing begins for the holiday season in June. 

‘They say I’m complicit. I’m the same like [President Trump], I support him, I don’t say enough. I don’t do enough,’ Melania says.  

‘Where I am. I put – I’m working like a – my a** off – at Christmas stuff that you know, who gives a f*** about Christmas stuff and decoration? But I need to do it, right?

‘Ok, and then I do it. And I say that I’m working on Christmas planning for the Christmas. And they said, “Oh, what about the children that they were separated?” 

‘Give me a f***ing break. Where they were saying anything when Obama did that?’ she said.  

Melania Trump wore a black and white checked Balenciaga coat for the tree arrival

Melania Trump wore a black and white checked Balenciaga coat for the tree arrival

Christmas will be one of Melania Trump's last official acts as first lady

Christmas will be one of Melania Trump’s last official acts as first lady

Melania Trump were all smiles for the tree arrival

Melania Trump were all smiles for the tree arrival

Last chance: This will be the final chance for Melania Trump to put her touch on the White House at Christmas

Last chance: This will be the final chance for Melania Trump to put her touch on the White House at Christmas

Happy to be here: Melania Trump smiled as she greeted the horses and the workers who had brought the tree

Happy to be here: Melania Trump smiled as she greeted the horses and the workers who had brought the tree

Tricky transport: The 19-foot fir needs to be carefully handled to make it to the White house intact

Tricky transport: The 19-foot fir needs to be carefully handled to make it to the White house intact

Grand setting: The tree will be the centerpiece of the White House Christmas - where parties are going ahead despite the pandemic

Grand setting: The tree will be the centerpiece of the White House Christmas – where parties are going ahead despite the pandemic

Back to the East Wing: Melania Trump once again took an arm of a Marine escort to head back to the White House

Back to the East Wing: Melania Trump once again took an arm of a Marine escort to head back to the White House

Into the White House: Melania Trump gets an escort up the North Portico stairs

Into the White House: Melania Trump gets an escort up the North Portico stairs

But the first lady was all smiles on Monday as she welcomed the tree and posed for photos with the owners of the tree farm from where it came. 

Meanwhile, down the street at the posh Willard InterContinental Hotel, Corn and Cob, two white fluffy turkeys from the state of Iowa, were introduced by the National Turkey Federation ahead of the annual turkey pardon.

President Trump is scheduled to pardon the turkeys Tuesday, a White House spokesman confirmed, despite making infrequent public appearances since the presidential election was called for Democratic rival Joe Biden. 

Trump has refused to concede. 

Americans can go online and choose which turkey, Corn or Cob, will appear alongside President Trump at the ceremony.  

The dual events begin the official kick off to the holiday season at the White House where soon volunteers will begin decorating the state rooms for the holidays. 

Corn (left) and Cob (right) arrived in Washington, D.C. Monday ahead of President Donald Trump's final turkey pardon later this week. They're staying in the glitzy Willard InterContinental Hotel prior to the pardoning

Corn (left) and Cob (right) arrived in Washington, D.C. Monday ahead of President Donald Trump’s final turkey pardon later this week. They’re staying in the glitzy Willard InterContinental Hotel prior to the pardoning 

Corn is a pound fatter than Cob and is chatty, likes sweet corn, college football, high jumping and wants to take a trip to the Iowa State Fair, the White House's website said

Corn is a pound fatter than Cob and is chatty, likes sweet corn, college football, high jumping and wants to take a trip to the Iowa State Fair, the White House’s website said 

Cob wants to bike across Iowa and also visits D.C. monuments. The bird likes boybeans, pickleball, puzzles and has a 'Type A' personality, according to the White House

Cob wants to bike across Iowa and also visits D.C. monuments. The bird likes boybeans, pickleball, puzzles and has a ‘Type A’ personality, according to the White House 

And, in early December, the party season begins although this year’s will be scaled back. 

The Surgeon General said Monday that even the White House should follow CDC guidelines when it comes to holiday parties as the Trump administration plans to go forward with festive gatherings in the next few weeks.

‘We want everyone to understand that these holiday celebrations can be super spreader events, so we want them to be smart and we want them to be as small as possible,’ Dr. Jerome Adams said on ABC’s ‘Good Morning America.’

And that applies to the White House, where preparations are underway for the annual Hanukkah and Christmas receptions next month.

‘Go to CDC.gov. Look at those tips for everyone. These apply to the White House, they apply to the American people, they apply to everyone. We want you to stay safe, so we can get to a vaccine,’ Adams said. 

The parties this year will be smaller than they were in the past, a spokesperson for the first lady said.

‘The People’s House will celebrate Christmas and Hanukkah while providing the safest environment possible. This includes smaller guest lists, masks will be required and available, social distancing encouraged while on the White House grounds, and hand sanitizer stations throughout the State Floor,’ said Stephanie Grisham, the chief of staff for Melania Trump.

‘Guests will enjoy food individually plated by chefs at plexiglass-protected food stations. All passed beverages will be covered. All service staff will wear masks and gloves to comply with food safety guidelines. Attending the parties will be a very personal choice. It is a longstanding tradition for people to visit and enjoy the cheer and iconic decor of the annual White House Christmas celebrations,’ she added. 

Surgeon General Jerome Adams said even the White House should obey guidelines for scaled-back holiday events this year

Surgeon General Jerome Adams said even the White House should obey guidelines for scaled-back holiday events this year

The White House Hanukkah reception is scheduled at 3 pm on December 9 and the congressional Christmas party is slated for December 10. 

Both events typically see hundreds of people from across the country gather in the ground floor state rooms at the White House.

And they are just two of the many receptions held in the holiday season. It’s not unusual for there to be an event every night the first few weeks of December as the first couple welcomes staff, supporters, party members and donors into the executive mansion to see the decorations and toast the season. 

The first lady is expected to unveil the holiday decorations in the next few weeks. 

Medical experts are warning against large holiday gatherings this year, asking people not to travel and to see their loved ones virtually.

Shortly before the Thanksgiving holiday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised: ‘Postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others this year.’ 

‘Celebrating virtually or with the people you live with is the safest choice this Thanksgiving,’ the guidelines advise. 

President Trump and first lady Melania Trump are planning to hold several holiday parties at the White House this year - the first couple is seen above in their official Christmas portrait from last year

President Trump and first lady Melania Trump are planning to hold several holiday parties at the White House this year – the first couple is seen above in their official Christmas portrait from last year

The gatherings - such as the 2017 Hanukkah reception in the East Room - typically draw hundreds of people

The gatherings – such as the 2017 Hanukkah reception in the East Room – typically draw hundreds of people

Coronavirus cases are on the rise in the United States as the cold weather sets in: more than 12.3 million people have been infected and there have been more than 257,000 deaths. 

There are at least two ‘super spreader events’ tied to the White House: the first one was the September 26th Rose Garden ceremony where President Trump announced Amy Coney Barrett was his Supreme Court nominee and the second was the president’s election night event in the East Room, after which several staff and a few guests tested positive for COVID. 

The president and first lady have both had COVID – as has their son Barron. Trump’s eldest son Don Jr. tested positive last week.

Several prominent staff members have also tested positive for COVID including Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, adviser Hope Hicks, press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, and more than 100 members of the Secret Service.  

source: dailymail.co.uk

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