By NCSL's Public Affairs Staff
NCSL has its own tradition of collecting photos from legislative staff across the country that feature the capitol building or legislative building decorated for the holiday season.
You can watch the entire slideshow on NCSL's Flickr account. But there are other holiday traditions celebrated across the country. From Wisconsin to Georgia, state lawmakers are winding down their legislative sessions and ushering in the New Year with petting zoos, tree lightings, choir singers, and other holiday traditions.
In California, the State Capitol Museum is welcoming visitors to enjoy daily musical performances in the Capitol Rotunda, including the Salvation Army brass quintet and Cal-Trans, a choir comprised of a "spirited" group of state employees.
On December 10, families visiting the state capitol in Washington were treated to free pictures with Santa, a petting zoo, pony rides, and a hayride through Olympia's historic South Capitol neighborhood.
The Capitol Museum Guild of Arizona decorated the Capitol Rotunda at the annual holiday tree trimming on December 1, the last trimming before Arizona celebrates its statehood centennial. Arizona achieved statehood on February 14, 1912.
In North Carolina, the state capitol is honoring its Tar Heel heritage with a tree from Ashe County. Delivered on November 28 by the family-owned Peaks Farms, the 24-foot Fraser Fir was installed in the capitol's south plaza. Governor Bev Perdue and the First Gentleman lit the tree on December 8.
The tree lighting in Atlanta went off without a hitch, as Governor Nathan Deal and the First Lady participated in the annual event on Dec. 8. Festivities included live entertainment courtesy of the Atlanta Boys Choir.
In Wisconsin and Rhode Island, however, Christmas wars soured the holiday cheer.
Christmas wars also rang out in Rhode Island after Governor Lincoln Chaffee went in the opposite direction, changing the name of the capitol tree from “Christmas” to “holiday.” This led Representative Doreen Costa to hold a competing Christmas tree-lighting ceremony outside her legislative office. Costa sponsored a symbolic resolution earlier in the year to insist that the tree residing in the Rhode Island statehouse be referred to as a "Christmas tree," not a "holiday tree."
While the politics of Christmas trees is becoming a holiday tradition in some capitols, most states are managing to do just fine with tree trimming and choir singing.