Christmas tree or holiday tree? There’s a battle of words erupting in a NJ town

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

ROSELLE PARK, NJ – If you’re Charlie Brown, you’re used to getting not-so-good grief about your Christmas tree.

There’s a town in New Jersey, Roselle Park, by name, that’s seeing more than a fair share of grief over what to call the pine tree with colored lights and decorations that goes up in the town square in December.

Some call it a war on Christmas.

“People are being offended because we are using the word Christmas. Well, I feel offended when you tell me holiday,” said Mayor Carl Hokanson.

“I disagree strongly,” said Councilwoman Charlene Story. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen anybody say that you can’t say Merry Christmas.”

Storey and Hokanson cannot agree on what to call the tree.

“It’s been the holiday tree for 20 years,” Storey pointed out.

“I decided to change it to a Christmas tree,” said the mayor.

The borough council voted to rename the annual holiday tree lighting ceremony to a Christmas tree lighting. So Storey submitted her resignation, citing separation of church and state and an increasingly diverse community.

But Storey, who was raised a Catholic and now calls herself a non-believer, withdrew her resignation and agreed to chair a new diversity committee.

Meantime, Roselle Park residents like Hailey Otis, are a bit confused. “It looks exactly like a Christmas tree but I guess you can call it whatever you want.”

Storey won’t attend the Christmas tree lighting because she still doesn’t believe it’s a Christmas tree.

Other than that, she apparently doesn’t have a problem with the tree.



Don't Miss