KENSINGTON, Md. – Santa Claus might as well stay at the North Pole, because the unwelcome mat is out for him in Kensington.
The Montgomery County community has banned the jolly old man from its annual tree lighting ceremony this Sunday.
"Because two families in our town felt that they would be uncomfortable with Santa Claus being a part of our event," Mayor Lynn Raufaste told WJLA-TV Tuesday. So the Town Council showed Santa the door.
The families -- which do not celebrate Christmas -- believe Santa is synonymous with the holiday and they feel excluded.
In years past, Santa would arrive on a fire truck and light the tree with the mayor. But on Sunday, Raufaste will do the honors herself.
"This is a part of the American life, and I just think it's a shame that we can't have one in our town this year," Raufaste said.