Much has been made in recent years about the ‘sad beige parenting’ trend – parents who favor Scandinavian minimalism and aesthetics, decorating their homes in muted beige and white tones and only giving their children toys that adhere to this aesthetic. Everyone is entitled to decorate their homes as they like, of course, but depriving children of bright colors seems unnecessarily harsh, particularly during the festive season which we usually associate with bright colors and bright lights.

@nattiejopo Let’s give my toddler’s Step 2 my first christmas tree a DIY makeover What do you think?? #DIY #step2christmas #myfirstchristmastree #diyproject #toddlerchristmastree #step2toys #toddlermom #diymom #toddlerchristmas #momsoftiktok ♬ Christmas Is Coming - DM Production

One such sad beige parent has gone viral online for a TikTok video in which she redecorates a toy Christmas tree to better match her home’s aesthetic. She takes the toy Christmas tree, which is bright green and has colorful ornaments and a bright yellow star on top, and spray paints everything so that the tree is a darker green, the star is brown, and the ornaments are brown and gray and look like they’re made out of mud.

Comments across both TikTok and Twitter were scathing. One person compared the end result to the decorations featured in an episode of The Office in which Dwight is responsible for decorating the conference room before a birthday party for Kelly and he uses tiny brown and gray balloons as well as a sign that reads, “It is your birthday.”

Over on Tiktok, the comments weren’t much better. One user wrote, “I am a sad beige mom at heart but still try my best to mix colors with my aesthetic because this is too far ” while another said, “Yes! Gorgeous! Stunt your child’s development by turning anything colorful into a sad beige!!!”

@nattiejopo Replying to @Emily today we’re making some DIY ornaments for my toddler’s infamous Step 2 my first christmas tree!! Tried to make them a little more toddler proof & they might just have a little color too #DIY #step2christmas #myfirstchristmastree #diyproject #diyornaments #toddlerchristmastree #step2toys #toddlermom #diymom #toddlerchristmas #MomsofTikTok ♬ Christmas Is Coming - DM Production

The sad beige mom, Nattie, made a follow-up video in which she made ‘toddler-safe’ ornaments since that wasn’t a consideration in the previous video and opted for pink and purple paint this time. The colorful ornaments are an improvement, but commenters still felt like Nattie was missing the point of people’s critiques, which was that children need color for their development.

@theokayrunner Im sorry for my opinions #rainbowornaments #fyp #christmas ♬ Sad Music - Max-Music

The science on this isn’t as definitive as some commenters would believe; according to a report in Wired in which they spoke to developmental color scientist Alice Skelton, while beige nurseries aren’t ‘optimized’ for babies, it’s “probably OK,” as babies will “still be exposed to plenty of colors out in the world”, but, she concludes, “it’s just a bit of a shame.”