The town of Durham, New Hampshire has removed the tree lighting ceremony from its annual holiday season kickoff after complaints that the event marginalizes those non-religious citizens who don’t celebrate Christmas.
“Formerly called the Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony, the newly named Frost Fest will include the absence of a formal tree lighting. Santa will be at the event but he will not arrive in a town firetruck as he has in the past,” the local CBS station reports.
The town has also reportedly nixed the wreaths traditionally placed on its lampposts.
“There was another private citizen that came forward and said that he had always had a problem with the Christmas tree, as he called it,” Town Councilor Sally Tobias explained.
The single complaint from one disgruntled townsperson sparked an entire public committee hearing into the potential “offensive” nature of the tree lighting ceremony, prompting a few others to say they weren’t huge fans.
“There were a couple of people that did express some concerns about how they felt being included,” Tobias went on.
“I will state that trees and Santas and wreaths are not Christian,” she added. “And we would like to hear back from the community. We’d like to hear what they think about it, how they would like to see it evolve a little differently and how we can make it better.”
Here’s a thought: you can “make it better” by not catering to the hissy fits of every Scrooge who wants to ruin the holidays for everyone else just because they’ve got nothing better to do than get upset over a Christmas tree.