Committee Finalizes Recommendations for Holiday Display
Courthouse holiday display would include mix of religious and secular symbols.
The Loudoun County Courts Grounds and Facilities Committee (CGFC), on May 22, finalized its recommendations for a government-owned holiday display at the courthouse. It would include a Christmas tree, crèche (Christian Nativity scene), Jewish Menorah, Santa Claus with sleigh and reindeer, and green wreaths and garlands.
While not ruling out the use of the crèche that has been displayed on the courthouse grounds for many years, the committee voted to offer an option for display items made of similar materials, with similar colors, so as to provide a more unified holiday display.
The committee also decided to recommend that the display be organized around the front of the courthouse, rather than having the components scattered around the grounds.
Committee chair Clint Good sparked a discussion when he proposed that the display also include a free-standing banner inscribed with the words, “Season’s Greetings – Peace, Love and Happiness to All.”
Charles Houston said that he preferred that the banner include the word “Christmas.”
“We don’t want to shy away from the word ‘Christmas’,” he said.
John Saia was even more emphatic.
“I think we all have hard vertebrae, backbone…” he said. “We should be able to say something about Christmas.”
But when Good polled the committee, a clear majority said that they preferred a banner with a more inclusive message, such as “Happy Holidays” or “Season’s Greetings.”
Jeremiah Lorrig remarked that he was not sold on having a sign or banner at all.
“The problem with a sign, it’s a specific statement,” he said. “We’re either saying we’re calling it Christmas, or we’re not calling it Christmas.”
The committee’s support for a sign or banner then began to dissipate, so that when the time came for them to vote, only Good supported having a banner.
The CGFC is expected to present its recommendations to the Board of Supervisors’ Finance/Government Services and Operations Committee in June.