By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – First ladies, like their president husbands, have never been exempt from public criticism, however unfair or unkind. And Melania Trump is no exception.

Mrs. Trump is featured in a new video unveiling the White House Christmas decorations, an annual tradition dating back decades. This is usually uncontroversial, but when the video revealed a hallway lines with blood-red Christmas trees, it was red meat for the snarkers on social media, who went to town criticizing the First Lady’s judgement, to the point where she felt compelled to defend herself.

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“We are in 21st century and everybody has a different taste. I think they look fantastic (applause). I hope everybody will come over and visit it. In real life, they look even more beautiful and you are all very welcome to visit the White House, the people’s house,” she said in an interview Wednesday.

Now, you may be one of those who think the red trees are in poor taste, and you’re entitled to your opinion. But consider how Mrs. Trump handled the backlash.

First Lady Melania Trump with the red Christmas trees at the White House. (Image credit: The White House)

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She didn’t lash out at her critics, nor did she back down from her decision. Instead, she turned the rebuke into an opportunity for a gracious invitation, noting – by contrast with some politicians who think narcissism is a way of life – that the White House belongs to all Americans.

The First Lady hasn’t always been able to rise above the fray. Remember last June when she wore a jacket that said “I really don’t care, do you” as a rebuke to critics?

But this time around, she handled the flak with a grace that made her critics look small. Maybe snark should take the rest of the holiday season off.

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Jon Keller