CNSNews.com is reporting that the 63-foot Sierra White Fir lighted at the U.S. Capitol Grounds on Dec. 6 as the official 2011 Capitol Christmas Tree includes a prominently displayed ornament paying homage to President Barack Obama, but includes no ornament readily visible to a person standing near the tree’s base that uses the word “Christmas,” or includes an image of the Nativity, or bears the name or image of Jesus Christ.
On the north side of the tree–at a height of about 4 feet and easily visible to people standing near it—there is an ornament that says: “I ♥ President Obama.”
When asked whether the tree included any ornaments that mention or depict Christmas or the birth of Jesus, the office of the Architect of the Capitol, which is responsible for the tree, told CNSNews.com that it “does not have a policy nor any restrictions concerning the themes for the ornaments” that go on the tree. The office could not say, however, whether or not this year’s Christmas tree does in fact include even a single ornament that directly references or depicts Christmas or Christ.
The office of the Architect of the Capitol also did not directly respond to the question of whether any other elected official—in addition to President Obama—is mentioned on any ornament hung on the tree.
“There may be ornaments like those you describe near the top of the tree, or they could have been obscured or moved due to wind or weather,” the architect’s office said in a written statement to CNSNews.com.