One part of the Christmas decor that has been featured at the White House every year since President Joe Biden took office is conspicuously absent this year: the Christmas stockings hung on the mantel for the Biden grandchildren.
First Lady Jill Biden had hung the stockings for the first family's grandchildren and pets for the past two Christmases, but this year brings more complications to that tradition.
First of all, the Bidens have finally acknowledged their illegitimate grandchild Navy Joan Roberts, who was son Hunter's love child with a stripper who briefly worked for him.
The previous two years, no stocking was hung for Navy Joan, with whom the Bidens do not have regular if any contact.
It's a sticky situation since Hunter Biden and Navy's mom Lundun Roberts have been in court for several years to settle paternity and support for her.
After a protracted child support battle drew public attention, however, the public began to ask why the Bidens weren't acknowledging Navy and they finally had to address it.
“Our son Hunter and Navy’s mother, Lunden, are working together to foster a relationship that is in the best interests of their daughter, preserving her privacy as much as possible going forward," President Biden said in a statement to People magazine.
"This is not a political issue, it’s a family matter," the president added. "Jill and I only want what is best for all of our grandchildren, including Navy.”
The Bidens have also had issues with pets since last Christmas.
Their two-year-old dog Commander was removed from the White House in September or October after a series of biting incidents, particularly involving Secret Service agents.
Understandably, the White House has to be a difficult environment for dogs to navigate and understand. Joe Biden may also not be in the frame of mind to master a challenging dog at his age and with the apparent mental decline he has been suffering.
At any rate, pet stockings may have been as much a sore subject for the family as Navy Joan. It probably just seemed easier to skip all that this year.
A White House spokesperson explained the change by saying that the Bidens would be spending Christmas at Camp David and would hang the stockings there (away from public scrutiny).
The theme for the White House decorations this year is "Magic, Wonder and Joy." It features 98 different Christmas trees along with an homage to the poem "The Night Before Christmas," which was published 200 years ago this year.