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Chafee calls Statehouse spruce a 'Christmas' tree

Chafee calls Statehouse spruce a 'Christmas' tree

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — In an about face, Gov. Lincoln Chafee is calling this year's Statehouse spruce a Christmas tree, saying his past habit of calling it a holiday tree generated too much anger.

The Democratic governor announced Monday that the invitation to this year's tree lighting will call the 17-foot conifer a Christmas tree. Secretary of State Ralph Mollis will preside over a tree lighting ceremony on Thursday.

For the past two years, Chafee called the Statehouse tree a holiday tree in a nod to the state's religious diversity and its founding as a haven of tolerance. Previous governors had used the same term.

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