Leesburg Courthouse Christmas Display Moved to Church

Nativity scene spent six decades at Loudoun County Courthouse

Monday, Dec 24, 2012  |  Updated 1:27 PM EDT
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Santa Skeleton Nailed to Cross in Leesburg

Angie Goff reports a santa skeleton nailed to the cross is at the center of a Christmas display controversy in Loudoun County. Tuesday morning, Loudoun county officials will decide whether to ban all Christmas displays on the county courthouse lawn.
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Among the region's most enduring holiday traditions: The White House tree lighting, sparse traffic when the government is closed... and controversy over Christmas displays in Leesburg.

A nativity scene that was front and center at the Loudoun County Courthouse for six decades spent last year's Christmas season out of the spotlight after complaints that a religious display should not be in front of a government building.

This year, the nativity has a new home at  the Leesburg Presbyterian Church, while the courthouse is displaying a smaller version of the manger scene. You'll also find a Christmas tree, a menorah and Santa Claus... although some atheists expressed disapproval.

A few years back, the debate over the courthouse's nativity scene led to big (and often bizarre) changes.

Last year, anyone was allowed to put up a holiday display outside the courthouse as long as they were among the first nine approved. But some -- including the skeleton Santa on a cross -- drew complaints from the public.

This year, no unattended displays from individuals are permitted.

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