Jewish Journal


December 6, 2007

The massive menorah and the ‘Charlie Brown Christmas tree’


I hate rivaling holiday stories. They are about as cliché as religion reporting gets (Don’t get me started on Chrismukkah.) But at least this one from Long Island has references to both “Peanuts” and “Scrooge,” holiday clichés I’m a bit more fond of.

Residents don’t want to have themselves a merry little Christmas tree. They want a big one. When city officials planted a 7-foot-tall Christmas tree next to a 20-foot-tall menorah in the plaza in front of City Hall, some residents barked. They telephoned City Hall, wrote letters and testified at a public hearing that the tiny tree in the shadow of the huge Hanukkah symbol was an insult to the Christian community.

“What’s up with the giant menorah and the Charlie Brown Christmas tree?” resident Rick Hoffman asked.

City Manager Edwin Eaton said he had looked far and wide — all the way to Canada — for a bigger tree but couldn’t find one.

“This year is going to be kind of a ‘bah, humbug,’ Christmas,” Eaton had said.

Not to worry. There was a Christmas miracle, and the town found a 20-foot blue spruce.

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