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'Community Tree' sparks holiday debate in Cary

Posted December 23, 2009
Updated December 24, 2009

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— A holiday-decorated Community Tree inside Cary’s Town Hall has sparked debate among council members and residents.

Councilman Don Frantz wants to call it a Christmas tree and he is not alone.

“I truly feel it should be called a Christmas tree,” Cary resident April Peoples said.

Peoples is among the residents in favor of the name change, but others argue the switch would leave some people out.

“It's a community Christmas tree,” Cary resident Melanie Williams said.

Williams, owner of the Chocolate Smiles Candy Factory, said the holidays should be about involving everyone, not just those who celebrate Christmas.

“We don't want to lose the essence of all the different holidays that we celebrate,” Williams said.

The decoration has been called the Community Tree since it first went up in 2006. It is decorated with ornaments donated by businesses and organizations throughout the community.

The debate over the proposed name change has fueled a flood of angry e-mails to the Town Council and even the mayor.

“I’ll just say they're not in the Christmas spirit yet,” Mayor Harold Weinbrecht said.

Weinbrecht said he would rather see council members and residents focusing on more pressing issues, like recently delayed projects. “That's a lot more pressing than the naming of a tree,” he said.

For now, the tree's name will not change, but council members plan to discuss a possible name change during its next council meeting on Jan. 14.


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  • tpiacp Dec 25, 2009

    good grief. wonder what jesus would say? I sincerely doubt He would be the least bit concerned about what a tree is called.... but much more concerned about how we are treating one another! hmm?
    Merry Christmas, Happy Yule, whatever. Makes little difference really now does it?

  • Made In USA Dec 24, 2009

    As the world turns: Jesus Christ' birthday will always be the real meaning for Christmas...even for those in denial.

    It IS a CHRISTmas tree.

  • whatusay Dec 24, 2009

    No such thing as a holiday tree. It is a Christmas tree, always has been and always will be. To call it anything else is nonsense. Has nothing to do with any other religion except the reason for the season, to celebrate the birth of Jesus. People tip-toeing around trying to not offend someone because of their religion is hypocritical because you are betraying their own religion and insulting neighbors and friends by not accepting their beliefs, if not their own. If you can not call it what it is, stay at home in the closet until after CHRISTMAS.

  • Da Toy Maker Dec 24, 2009


    You actually expect people of faiths will take a step back and look at the whole picture? How many times you heard something like this "we in such a mess because they took the bible out of the classroom", etc. US is still with christian majority. There are a lot of people thinking "Separation of the State & religions (should I say christian)" is a very bad thing. Obviously, I'm non-christian but I don't have any problem saying Merry Christmas to my christian friends. When that same is said to me, I just smile. Never really want to correct people. It is good that people are devoted to their faiths. There is really no way to argue between two different religions. That is the way I see it.

  • delilahk2000 Dec 24, 2009


  • killing_me_softly Dec 24, 2009

    Who cares?????? Seriously.

  • bnice1984 Dec 24, 2009

    who... wait for it..... CARES! happy holidays all

  • chfdcpt Dec 24, 2009

    So that I can be as politically correct as I can be....

    And a very Merry ChristHanukaWanzaMadan (Christmas, Hanuka, Kwanza, Ramadan)to all. My apologies to the Hindu and Oriental faiths, since I am not yet familiar with your religious holidays.

  • oldschooltarheel Dec 24, 2009

    Judging from what types & frequency of crime the hamlet of Cary has experienced in recent years, the town "fathers" may benefit from revisiting the notion of Christmas trees, creches, menorahs, Hoodoo & any other religious pageantry to regain social order.

  • mrbigt032j Dec 24, 2009

    call it a community christmas tree both sides should be happy