Tags: rhode | island | christmas | tree

'Christmas' Is Back in Rhode Island State House

Image: 'Christmas' Is Back in Rhode Island State House

Tuesday, 03 Dec 2013 01:20 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee has returned to calling the tree outside the State House a "Christmas tree" after two years of referring to it as a "holiday tree."

The words "Christmas tree" are used on Chafee's invitation to the annual tree lighting at the Ocean State's capitol building on Dec. 5, The Providence Journal reports.

The governor was criticized when, in 2011 and 2012, the invitation referred to a "holiday tree."

In a statement, Chafee said that in 2011, his "first year celebrating December in the State House, I gave a simple six-word instruction to the planners of the annual tree lighting: 'Do what they did last year.'"

"This presumably happy event became a focal point for too much anger. Strangely, lost in the brouhaha was any intellectual discussion of the liberties pioneered here in Rhode Island 350 years ago in our Charter," the governor said.

"Because I do not think how we address the State House tree affects our 'lively experiment,' this year's invitation calls the tree a Christmas tree."

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