AIC Chaplain John DeBonville was interviewed by the Springfield Republican regarding the history of Christmas Tress. The story stemmed from a controversy in Chicopee where the City Council passed a resolution requiring the decorated tree in front of City Hall to be called a Christmas tree.
The resolution, which passed in a 13-0 vote Tuesday, came after City Councilor Gerry Roy took umbrage with the fact the city's annual tree lighting ceremony was called a "Holiday Tree Lighting" this year.
Despite the terminology, the Christmas tree has no roots in religion, said Rev. John DeBonville, an Episcopal priest and campus chaplain at American International College. In fact, the tradition is believed to be more based on an ancient pagan custom of hanging evergreen boughs to ward off witches and evil spirits, DeBonville said.
"There is not a connection between the birth of Christ and the Christmas tree," he said. "We have them in our church and they are pretty, but there is not much of a religious connection."
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