The Controversial Christmas Tree

When did Christmas become so controversial? I’m baffled by it. Y’all know that I don’t engage in controversy here at Discovering Franklin. I try to keep things light and share all that’s happening…share interesting stories about massively creative and inspiring people…show you the beauty of our sweet Franklin and never get into politics. I’m sticking to the NEVER of the politics thing.

But something has me really, really troubled and it’s the controversy over the Christmas tree in Downtown Franklin. Mainly it has to do with the lights! Lights are causing controversy.

So here’s the story that prompted this post. I hopped onto Facebook as I do every day and my news feed was flooded with remarks about the tree. One innocent woman had the courage to post that she preferred the lights in 2014 vs. the lights this year. Imagine the gaul of her to put her opinion out there!

Little did she know she was opening herself up to a whole lot of insults from other Franklin residents. As I read through the comments I was amazed at the words people are willing to write on Facebook, but would, hopefully, never say to someone’s face. There was talk about how “all the transplants that have moved in, taken over and attempted to turn Franklin into their own personal version of a Norman Rockwell painting,” have messed things up. Someone else told this lady to “start a conversation about what MATTERS!”

Then folks went on to say that we should be concerned about those in the community who have less than. It was brutal and there were hundreds of comments and they’re still coming.

So why would I open myself up to this same type of criticism? I’m not crazy, but I am a one of those transplants and I’d like to take a moment to shed some light on this controversial Christmas tree and being one of those awful transplants.

Photo Credit: Lyndsay Nicole, Franklin resident

First and foremost, to the woman who had the courage to share on social media her opinion – I salute you. But there’s a bigger story here.

One of the reasons I moved to Franklin from Los Angeles was so I could have a better life…a simpler life…one rich with history and community. I fell in love with our sweet city the moment I laid eyes on it. It called my name and I never knew it would change my life in so many ways.

I also didn’t know it would be so difficult to leave everything that is familiar behind and try and make my way. I still have days when I struggle. I did not come here to change one single thing. I wanted only to find my way and make friends. I’ve done both and I’m blessed, but it hasn’t always been easy.

I believe that dialogue, like the one on Facebook about the tree, is messed up in so many ways. I don’t care if you like colored lights or white lights or warm lights or cool lights or pink lights for that matter.

I care about Christmas and where it lives. For me…it lives in my heart and in the gift to ALL of the Baby Jesus.

I absolutely know for sure that you can dislike the color of lights and still have love in your heart and give back to your community and make Christmas real for someone who might not have the same blessings that you have. I also know that once the dust settles – the lights mean nothing, but what lingers is that our world is in a world of trouble and sometimes we feel like we can’t do much about it. But you can, and it begins with having a filter which includes social graces. It begins with treating others exactly as we wish to be treated. We go to church on Sunday and we rip each other apart on Saturday over having an opinion. In my opinion and it’s only my opinion, we can do better.

As for me…I’m doing my level best this year to keep it real…to focus on what truly matters…to hold the love in my heart and to rediscover the true wonder that is the gift of Christmas.

Sending you and your families the blessings of this season.

#DowntownFranklinTN #HistoricDowntownFranklinTN #CindyLaverty #blogsaboutFranklinTN #LightingoftheChristmasTreeinhistoricDowntownFranklin #DiscoveringFranklin #DiscoveringFranklinblog


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