An eastern Massachusetts town’s library is being accused of depriving patrons of holiday cheer after it decided to skip its annual Christmas tree decoration, with one staffer claiming the display was nixed because it was making some residents “uncomfortable.”
The Endicott Branch of the Dedham Public Library in Dedham has angered some residents with its decision to not install a public Christmas tree this year, Fox News’ Jesse Watters reported Thursday.
“Instead of spreading holiday cheer, [the library is] going to keep the star in the box and leave the tree in storage, ending a tradition that’s been going on for decades,” Watters lamented, explaining that library director Amber Maroney allegedly said that patrons were offended by the display.
Library supervisor Lisa Desmond said she had been told that the decision was made because some patrons didn’t approve of the display.
“I was told that when people…walked in that room, it made them uncomfortable,” Desmond told WBZ Radio.
“Town Hall has a menorah out. I say let’s celebrate every tradition, religion— whatever it is that sparks joy for you and your family.”
While it is not clear if the library is currently decorated for other upcoming religious holidays, such as Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, a festive wreath is hanging on the front door, CBS News reported.
Several Dedham residents said they were disappointed about the tradition being canceled.
“[It’s] sad that I won’t see the decorated tree in the library,” one woman said.
“The library celebrates so many things: Pride Week, 4th of July, Thanksgiving, Kwanzaa, the Jewish holidays.”
“It’s not fair that a few town employees who didn’t feel comfortable were able to effect this change in this town that is supposed to be inclusive, and I feel that this is a very exclusive maneuver that they’ve made for those who appreciate the holiday of Christmas.”
Another resident argued that the tree should not be offensive just because it does not stand for every holiday.
“I think it’s just the thought of Christmas and the spirit of Christmas,” the woman reasoned.
“I’ve been coming here for 30 years, even when my son was little, and just like most buildings at Christmastime, especially places where there are children, you expect to see Christmas trees,” a third resident said.
Desmond claimed she’s received backlash for speaking out and was forced to contact police after receiving hateful feedback from commenters blasting her “Christian privilege.”
“I was actually put into a category with murderers— that was probably the lowest point I’ve ever had,” she said of the messages.
She has encouraged other frustrated residents to attend a town hall meeting on the issue on Dec. 13.
“It’s about community, love, and unity. Not to exclude anybody. The decision was made instead of maybe putting heads together— we can call it a ‘seasonal tree,’ we can call it whatever you want,” Desmond explained to WBZ.
The Dedham Public Library did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.