Residents of Massachusetts have expressed their shock and dismay after the administrators of a public library denied requests to display an annual Christmas tree, due to some people’s discomfort with such a tradition. To the dismay of many, Dedham Public Library recently took a sharp turn from traditional festivities by not acknowledging Christmas at all. Instead, they are opting to label their holiday events and gatherings with “the spirit of giving” in an effort to be more inclusive.

Massachusetts conservatives have labeled Dedham Public Library’s decision to nix its annual Christmas tree a “war on Christmas.” To commemorate their appreciation for diversity, this library is honoring Pride Week and Juneteenth. However, due to the contention surrounding the pagan display of a Christmas tree in a liberal Massachusetts town, residents will not be getting one this year.

On December 13, 2022, the Board of Library Trustees assembled to examine if they should reinstate their yearly tradition: putting up a Christmas tree for members of the local community to decorate.

Although the exact number of complaints is unclear, locals in Massachusetts have expressed their concern that children will be disheartened when visiting the library during Christmas due to its lack of a decorated tree.

Lisa Desmond, a library supervisor, expressed her indignation when she was told that the Christmas tree would not be put up this year due to complaints from members of the community.

“‘I have never posted a negative post on Facebook. That is, until now,” Desmond posted. “I found out today that my beautiful library will not have its Christmas tree this year. Zero explanation. When I asked, I was told ‘people’ were made uncomfortable last year looking at it. I’m sorry, WHAT? In my 28 years at the Dedham Public Library, I have never heard a negative comment.”

Desmond comprehends that library administrators hope all individuals to feel welcome in a public library, hence why she believed the Christmas tree was symbolic of togetherness rather than something which would instill exclusion among different communities.

“We have celebrated and included everyone in our community. In fact, I was asked to emcee Juneteenth this year. What an honor. Those who know me and my family know we celebrate Christmas Hanukkah. My Muslim friends and Western Indian friends invite me to their celebrations. What an amazing gift.”

Last year, Desmond took to Facebook with a post featuring an image of her son adorning the public library tree with one of its ornaments.

“Those who know me know I lead with positive intentions. I’m not feeling very positive today. Please bring Christmas back to my beautiful library. And always lead with love in your heart.”

Todd Starnes, a conservative radio host, branded the library’s decision as a “war on Christmas”.

He said, “The Dedham Public Library refused to put up the annual Christmas tree because it made people ‘uncomfortable.’ The library had no issue hosting LGBT-themed events, but a Christmas tree crossed the line. Yank the library’s taxpayer funding.”