A Massachusetts town library caused an uproar when it reportedly decided to skip the annual installation of a Christmas tree, leading one library staffer and several local residents to speak out to “Jesse Watters Primetime.”
The Endicott Branch of the Dedham Public Library in Massachusetts decided it will not set up its Christmas tree publicly this season, after decades of tradition, host Jesse Watters reported Thursday.
Watters said the recent development in the Bay State constituted the latest skirmish in the war on Christmas.
“Instead of spreading holiday cheer, [the library is] going to keep the star in the box and leave the tree in storage, ending a tradition that’s been going on for decades.”
He reported that library director Amber Maroney had said some people were offended by having a Christmas tree in the library, so the installation was nixed.
He cited one library employee who spoke out to his program, lodging an objection over the lack of a tree.
“I was told that when people… walked in that room, it made them uncomfortable,” said library supervisor Lisa Desmond. “Town Hall has a menorah out. I say let’s celebrate every tradition, religion — whatever it is that sparks joy for you and your family.”
With the library slated to hold a public meeting on the matter next week, Watters said his team reached out for a statement from the location but was not provided a response by airtime.
However, his team did speak with several Dedham residents who said they don’t like the idea of a symbol of Christmas being canceled.
“[It’s] sad that I won’t see the decorated tree in the library,” one woman said.
“The library celebrates so many things: Pride Week, 4th of July, Thanksgiving, Kwanzaa, the Jewish holidays.”
Another woman said there should be no problem with the holiday installation just because the tree by itself doesn’t “resemble” every religion or every religious holiday.
“I think it’s just the thought of Christmas and the spirit of Christmas,” she said, adding that the lack of tree this year could make young children upset or have them wonder why it isn’t there anymore.
A third woman also spoke out to “Jesse Watters Primetime,” saying that Dedham’s “inclusiveness” is somewhat betrayed by the exclusion of one religion’s display of celebration.
“I’ve been coming here for 30 years, even when my son was little, and just like most buildings at Christmastime, especially places where there are children, you expect to see Christmas trees,” she said.
“It’s not fair that a few town employees who didn’t feel comfortable were able to effect this change in this town that is supposed to be inclusive, and I feel that this is a very exclusive maneuver that they’ve made for those who appreciate the holiday of Christmas.”