Among the culture wars President Trump has instigated, the one-man battle over saying “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays” has been highly visible. On the campaign trail and at recent rallies, he has postured as an advocate for the non-inclusive greeting of yore, and perhaps the holiday itself.
Among the litany of ironies, if not outright hypocrisies, currently surrounding the Trump administration: A new report from New York magazine that Trump hates Christmas these days because it isn’t about him.
“Donald Trump hates every minute of it,” writes New York’s Olivia Nuzzi of Christmas season in the White House. “While he is known to enjoy hosting large social events and rallies, current and former White House staffers say he regards presidential Christmas parties with a special loathing and goes out of his way to escape early.”
Adds Nuzzi: “One person close to the White House told me ‘It makes perfect sense’ that Trump hates the entire production surrounding Christmas, ‘because it’s not about him!’ This person added, ‘if it were about him, he’d love it. Christmas is not about him.'”
Since his election, Trump has exhibited disdain for, avoided or behaved controversially at traditional presidential rituals or commemorations because he felt inconvenienced or inadequately showcased, reports have said.
Most recently, Trump skipped a wreath-laying ceremony in France commemorating the centennial of World War I because it was raining, several media outlets reported.
During the week of former President George H.W. Bush’s funeral, the New York Times quoted White House staff as saying that Trump was “miffed” by “so many ceremonial events not related to him.” The Washington Post reported that Trump attended Bush’s funeral only after being assured by the Bush family that he would not be criticized. (Trump was not invited to the late Sen. John McCain’s funeral because he consistently belittled McCain on Twitter, at one point questioning his war heroism because he was a prisoner of war.)
Trump has exhibited impatience at international gatherings of world leaders such as the G20 because, reports said, he hates sharing the stage.
Last Sept. 11, Trump was criticized for greeting supporters with a double fist-pump at a 9/11 memorial, a gesture more often seen at a Trump rally than a remembrance of Americans killed in a terrorist attack.
On the Christmas front, for the second year in a row, first lady Melania Trump’s Christmas decorations have been criticized as discordantly stark for the season. A White House colonnade lined with all-red Christmas trees has been compared to The Shining and The Handmaid’s Tale.