Senior Citizens Protest Banning of Christmas Tree by Retirement Home

| by Michael Allen

Elderly residents at the Willows senior apartment building in Newhall, California are protesting an order from management to remove their Christmas tree from the community room because it's a religious symbol.

The owner of the Willows,  JB Partners Group Inc., sent a memo to the staff of Willows demanding they take down Christmas trees and menorahs in communal areas, reports Daily News.

Two dozen residents gathered in the lobby on Wednesday with a green sign that read: "Please Save Our Tree."

Resident Fern Scheel told the Daily News: "We're all angry. We want that tree. Where's our freedom? This is ridiculous."

The Willows staff and JB Property supervisor Wethanie Law declined to comment.

Resident Frances Schaeffer, who is Jewish, said: "This tree is a symbol of reverence that we can all enjoy regardless of our religious beliefs."

Resident Max Greenis added: "I've got grandkids and they come here and now they'll ask, `Grandpa, where's the Christmas tree?' Then I'll have to explain that someone said we couldn't have one. What kind of message is that sending to the kids?"

Resident Robert Troudeau said: "For some folks this is the only Christmas tree they'll have all season. There are people overseas fighting for our freedoms and dying and we're here fighting over things like this. It's a shame."