Dear Editor,

I see the powers that be are at it again in London. Who in their right mind authorized the purchase of an $85,000 Christmas tree?

I don’t care if it can play “Come all ye Faithful" in 12 languages. This is beyond outrageous and hits insanity. London, Kentucky is not Dollywood.

I remember Christmas celebrations in London some five decades back when the Fireman’s Club sponsored the parade and it was held in the afternoon with the reasoning being it would be warmer in the day time for small children to enjoy.

As the years past, the parade was moved to the evening hours so that everyone could enjoy the lights, the event was titled “Christmas on Main.” Then a decision was made to name the Christmas parade after one of London’s own, Randy Smith. I went to high school with Randy and in all the years I knew him he was always smiling. His family should be proud and honored that a local event bears his name for services rendered to his community.

But, $85,000 for a Christmas tree? For heaven's sake that is the price of a house! Initially there may be interest but over time the new will wear off.

To my knowledge, I will tell you one thing you will not see where this tree is placed. You will not see a manger scene — the true reason for the holiday. Why, you may ask will you not see a manger scene? Because the property is owned by the city of London and according to federal court rulings the placement of a manger scene would be the endorsement of religion by a governmental entity. I wonder though if any one would have the guts to put up a manger scene on this same property? With the likelihood of someone complaining and winding up in federal court. There is one thing I am certain of $85,000 would not have been spent on a manger scene depicting the true meaning of the holiday.

In a nutshell, this is blatant commercialization of Christmas in the name of tourism.

How much food could have been provided to the poor of Laurel County? How many upgrades to the homeless shelter could have been made? How many school lunches would this have paid for?

London has changed. Those of us that can remember some five decades back hang on to those precious memories and remember the simplicity of a small town’s Christmas celebration.

Sincerely

Darrell W. Peters

London

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