This time last year, while thousands of Americans were dying every day from Covid-19, the Trump administration pressed ahead with dozens of festive events, including a Hanukkah party and a Congressional Ball, each attended by hundreds of guests. “Well, they’re Christmas parties”, explained Donald Trump, whose devotion to festive cheer apparently knows bounds.
On Friday 3 December, a lucky few will get to revisit the last days of the (first?) Trump presidency at what will surely be recognised as the festive season’s fanciest superspreading event: the Naples Winter Christmas (in Naples, Florida, which is 100 per cent the best Naples).
For just $10,000 a seat, guests are offered a speech by Donald Trump (perhaps he can incite you to some festive violence!) plus one photo with him. And that appears to be it, although Trump’s reputation as a gourmand – his favourite dinner reportedly includes not one but two Big Macs – leads the Chatterer to imagine that guests will have the choice of a selection of car-compatible sandwiches, washed down with Diet Coke or a glass of Trump’s own famously horrible wine.
Surprise guests are similarly unconfirmed, and there is no suggestion they will include:
It’s also not clear if Melania Trump will be there. The former first lady once memorably asked: “who gives a fuck about the Christmas stuff?” while complaining that the media coverage of her husband’s policy of forcing child refugee to live in cages distracted from her efforts on the White House Christmas decorations. For $10,000, the Chatterer would hope that she’d revisit her 2018 tour de force, in which she replaced the White House Christmas trees with what appeared to be mounds of dried blood.
It’s worth noting that the Naples Winter Christmas is being run by Whip Fundraising, which specialises in “maximising donations” and “driving residual revenue”, so don’t expect the cost to be limited to just $10,000. But whether Trump’s fundraising for 2024 is a real campaign or, as Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen described it, “the greatest grift in history”, it sounds like a chance to be part of something unique.