Image: Getty

First came the hallways stacked with bloody tree carcasses lined like impaled prisoners warning off advancing enemies. Now, the darkened branches of the National Christmas Tree droop on the White House lawn with all the disrespect of a Target cashier cursing “happy holidays” at an apoplectic aunt. The battle for Christmas has begun.

On day three of a government shutdown that means a paycheck-less Christmas for thousands of government employees, the National Christmas Tree, whose maintenance falls under the auspices of the National Park Services, will be dark for the holiday.

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On December 23, the Park Service posted the following notice: “During the federal government shutdown, the White House Visitor Center and National Christmas Tree site will be closed.”

The tree remains up until January 1, so it will probably end its run unlit. This is every bit as concerning as a Starbucks cup with no mention of the Christ child, and some brave white man should go on television to yell about it.