Christmas Tree Controversy: three trees, one night

Crowds of protesters gathered at the State House during Tuesday's lighting ceremony, caroling against the governor and his holiday tree.     

It was one of three demonstrations fueled by several days of what has turned into a national controversy.

The Christmas tree fight brought hundreds out, not only to the State House, but to a catholic church just a few blocks away.

Protesters sang carols like “O Christmas Tree” at the State House, as the governor's Holiday Tree was lit for the first time.

They also shouted in anger when the governor stepped out, the lights were lit without a countdown, and then he disappeared.

“Let's report how disrespectful the governor is, he left,” said one protester.

But that didn't stop the show. The children's chorus sang as usual at the center of the State House.

And so did some others after the ceremony. Dozens gathered in the hall for a second lighting. Representative Doreen Costa's.

“To make a point to keep Christ in Christmas,” said Costa, “And to call a Christmas Tree a Christmas Tree again. I mean it's what it is. Why call it a holiday tree?”

“When Costa put her Christmas Tree up in response to the governor's Holiday Tree, the national media took notice.

“It's a little overwhelming, but I don't remember the number,” said Costa, “I think 80 percent of the country agree with me. That's a large percentage.”

Another group that agrees with Costa, Saint Patrick's Parish. They had their own Christmas Tree lighting during the governor's event, just blocks from the State House.

“It's so ironic because the whole point of Christmas is that Jesus was born so that God could be present among us, and now some of our leaders are saying we don't want God,” said Bishop Thomas J. Tobin.

Our crews at the State House couldn't find anyone for the governor's holiday tree. We also posted to our Facebook site about it, and in a half hour we got sixty comments, only one was “for” calling it the Holiday Tree.