‘Christmas’ 2, ‘holiday’ 0 in tree-terminology test

Thursday, November 5, 2009

State and local officials in two states have taken an early stand in the annual tug-of-war between 'Christmas' and 'holiday' trees in government-sponsored seasonal displays.


A spokeswoman for Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear says the governor is calling the tree on the Capitol's front lawn a “Christmas” tree this holiday season.


And in Colorado, the Larimer County Sheriff's Department plans to decorate a Christmas tree again this year in a slap at what it calls “politically correct” holiday celebrations.


In Kentucky, a statement from Beshear’s administration last week sparked Christmas consternation by referring to the yet-to-be-chosen evergreen as a “holiday” tree. Some Christians were perturbed by the terminology.


Spokeswoman Kerri Richardson said the administration received a steady stream of e-mails and phone calls about the “holiday” tree. She says it's always been a Christmas tree to the governor, and it will be this year, too.


The governor is inviting critics of the “Christmas” tree to a lighting ceremony Nov. 30.


Meanwhile in Colorado, the Larimer County Sheriff’s Department tradition of calling its tree a Christmas tree started in 2007 after Sheriff Jim Alderden criticized Fort Collins city officials for debating whether city Christmas displays should be more secular.


The Sheriff's Department said yesterday that this year's display on its county-owned site would include a Nativity scene and a menorah. A tree-decorating ceremony is scheduled for Dec. 5.


The department says it also will sell shirts that say “Lighten Up. Just say 'Merry Christmas'” and “Wishing you a loud and politically incorrect 'Merry Christmas.'” The department says profits will go to its volunteer posse.

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