- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Today, when President Bush lights the National Christmas Tree on the Ellipse, it’s worth reciting the real name of America’s other tree — the Capitol Christmas Tree. “A Christmas tree is a Christmas tree, and it is as simple as that,” a spokesman for House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert told The Washington Times this week.

Mr. Hastert — who should go down as this year’s un-Scrooge for his tribute to the Christmas spirit — is restoring the name, proving that the PC “holiday” season crowd does not call all the shots.

As this paper reported Tuesday, the Capitol Christmas Tree was renamed the “Holiday Tree” during the Clinton years. It’s not clear by whom. But what’s clear is that this year’s name change — which might have gone unremarked upon without this week’s story in The Times — proves that the national campaign to sanitize and secularize Christmas can be defeated.

There is ample public support for this. In Boston, a flap followed the use of the words “Holiday Tree” on a city Web site to describe that city’s annual Christmas Tree on Boston Common. “If Boston wants to call it something else, maybe they should just send it back,” Donnie Hatt, the Halifax, Nova Scotia, logger who donated the tree, said to popular approval around town. So much as the suggestion that Boston’s Christmas traditions could be changed led to an outcry — and prompted Mayor Tom Menino’s damage control: “I consider this to be a Christmas tree.” In Encinitas, Calif., Mayor Dan Dalager restored “Christmas” in place of the word “holiday” to bring back an “Encinitas Christmas Parade.” The move follows the rechristening of the city’s “Easter Egg Hunt,” previously the “Spring Egg Hunt.”

The PC crowd will no doubt continue trying to break down traditions they dislike. The rest of us will be pushing to keep traditions that encourage the spirit of the Christmas season.

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