Peace on Earth, Good Will Toward Folks

A 63-foot Sierra white fir from the Stanislaus National Forest in California was lit as the 2011 Capitol Christmas Tree during a ceremony Dec. 6 on the west front lawn of the Capitol. The Christmas tree is adorned with about 3,000 ornaments, all homemade by California residents, and 10,000 energy-efficient lights. (U.S. Forest Service photo)

(The below is from 2011, but I think always a good message)

My wish for you all is the peace, love and joy of this Season.

This quote from Dr. King seems particularly apt as we head into an election year..

Here is the true meaning and value of compassion and nonviolence, when it helps us to see the enemy’s point of view, to hear his questions, to know his assessment of ourselves. For from his view we may indeed see the basic weaknesses of our own condition, and if we are mature, we may learn and grow and profit from the wisdom of the brothers who are called the opposition.

–Martin Luther King, Jr., “Beyond Vietnam”, 4 April 1967, Riverside Church, New York City

I’ll be back Monday.

4 thoughts on “Peace on Earth, Good Will Toward Folks”

  1. Dr. King’s vision and wisdom seem a long way from us these days, with the strange moral flatness that seems to characterize, and perhaps even define, mainstream American culture currently. So, Sharon, it’s all to the good that you offered this thoughtful quotation. Happy Holidays everybody! Ron

  2. Such a white fir would be off-limits for Christmas Tree use, today, if it is over 20″ in diameter. Would that action be eligible for a Categorical Exclusion? *smirk* Maybe a Rider would be a better way to guarantee proper National Christmas Trees?

  3. We’ve had some previous discussions about the total U.S. Forest Service cost and staff time/resources for the Capitol Christmas tree.

    Andy Stahl (December 20, 2012)

    Cost to cut Christmas tree from national forest: $10 (plus fuel/labor).

    Cost to cut Capitol Mall Christmas tree from national forest: $822,156 (incl. fuel/labor)


    Matthew Koehler (December 20, 2012)

    Great stats to offer some perspective here. In 2008, when the Capitol X-mas tree came from the Bitterroot National Forest, the cost was estimated at $400,000. There was much talk locally about just how many USFS employees were on the X-mas Tree detail. Here’s a snip from an article back in 2008:

    “The Montana effort included 18 months of pre-planning, the selection of one subalpine fir from the Sapphire Mountains….a 50 member core planning team headed up by U.S. Forest Service staff, 40 business sponsors and a 4,280-mile one-way trip/tour to deliver the tree to Washington, D.C.”

    • Matthew.. this was in the Post this AM

      How Christmas Won the War on Christmas
      25 Dec 23, 2014 3:20 PM EST
      By Stephen L. Carter

      Not long after some grumpy administrative Grinch at the University of Maine warned employees against the placement of “religious-themed” decorations on campus — including candy canes — NASA announced that Christmas lights have become so bright that they are visible from outer space. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration released satellite imagery, both still and video, to show how much U.S. cities glow during the holidays.

      This sort of brightness is important at moments of national gloom. Part of the secular significance of Christmas is to bring cheer. It’s often as simple as that. Many people who decorate their homes aren’t trying to spread a religious message. They just want to make their neighborhoods brighter. Last year, in the Connecticut town where my wife and I live, it seemed as though the decorations stayed up longer than usual. People didn’t want the cheer to end.


      The federal government shows no such delicacy about Christmas. The White House this year features no fewer than 26 Christmas trees. Displayed around the mansion are the winners of the 3-D Printed Ornament Challenge, a competition among designers to create ornaments that can be reproduced from 3-D printers. This sort of challenge is far more interesting and fun — and, one might say, far more in keeping with the American spirit — than writing silly memos about what’s banned this year.


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