Chase: Another Tree Going Up

By Barbara Schwarz and Emily Trube for 1080 KRLD

SOUTHLAKE (KRLD) – The famous tale of Dr. Seuss’ “The Grinch” had even more meaning to a local Southlake businessman after the Christmas tree he donated to a local Chase branch was ordered to be removed by Corporate officials at JPMorgan Chase.

From a big Christmas tree all decked out in blue and silver ornaments to a smaller one and of course lots of garland everywhere Antonio Morales walks around his Bellagio Day Spa ready for the holidays.  “Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year,” says Morales.

He decorates a number of trees a year and donates a few to some of the businesses around town.

Morales, 50, donated and decorated a 9-foot-tall tree in the lobby of the Chase branch on E. Southlake Blvd. The cost of the tree was estimated at around $3,000. He did this as a goodwill gesture to the customers, branch and it’s employees.

The tree arrived on November 22nd and was fully decorated, the cost of which came from Morales’ own pocket. It was ordered to be removed on November 30th because according to Chase, some people were offended by it.

The bank’s policy is to use only decorations supplied by the company according to Gregg Hassell, a JB Morgan Chase spokesperson. “We appreciate the thoughtful gesture. Unfortunately, we’re unable to keep it on display for the remainder of the holiday season.”

Emily Trube spoke with Gregg Hassell of JP Morgan Chase on 1080 KRLD

“A Christmas Tree…they could call it a Hannukah bush, a holiday tree or anything. There was not one cross or anything that symbolizes Christianity on that tree” said Morales.

Barbara Schwarz spoke with Antonio Morales on 1080 KRLD

Late Friday afternoon Chase announced they will be putting the tree back up.  “We have a policy of not accepting gifts from customers, but we are applying common sense here and putting the tree back up at our own expense.  We are thankful for Mr. Morales nice gesture,” Hassell told CBS 11.

Morales walked around his Southlake spa Friday afternoon, pointing out all the Christmas decorations, including a tree that looked like the one he gave to the bank.  “I wanted them to have a beautiful tree because it came from my heart.

Morales says he will not give the tree back to Chase.  “It has been through the war zone, because so much topic on my little tree that i worked so hard to put it up.”

He adds he’s now looking for a new bank.  “I will not put that tree back I now know how they feel about the Christmas season.”

Comments

One Comment

  1. Floyd Irwin Self says:

    The people who do not believer in GOD are talking the Rights from THE BELIEVERS.
    I wonder what the United States will be like in 5 years!!

    1. Pat says:

      Hopefully, you will understand at some point, that you are getting what you voted for. In order to get something different, you need to vote those locally, state wide and in the federal government who support such actions out of office and replace them with real Americans who are thoughtful of others feelings but do not put the minority ahead of the majority.

      1. G says:

        “Getting what you voted for”? Chase is a private business and that they are within their rights to prohibit Christmas trees in their buildings. Your comment is totally irrelevant.

    2. AmFirst says:

      Too little, too late, Chase. That tree looks as though it’s growing fur or intensely dense gray mold. All it needs is 2 eyes, a nose, and a mouth and it could be the star in a Creature Feature. It looks as though it was literally thrown together. The greater issue is: Do you want to entrust your money and investments to executive financial officers who are so wishy-washy, so easily influenced, and who make such dumb decisions ?

  2. forty says:

    This is just another reason that I am a former customer of JP Morgan Chase. I will never do business with them again.

  3. Molly says:

    First the Anit God advertisments on City buses and now this. Where have we gone wrong? Stop the insanity!!!!!!!!! Boycott Chase banks NOW!!!!!!

  4. Dallas says:

    Another example of tolerance by intolerance. How can a decorated tree be offensive?

  5. mskat says:

    This is just sad. One day they will remember that GOD is the only answer. What they can’t see what man is doing. Keep beliving in the man and you will go straight to hell with a broke back

  6. Jz says:

    Chase bank ___ a great American example of Political Correctness gone amok!!

    What a Joke that Bank is and who ever made that decision is an Idiot!!!

    Maybe it was their V.P. of Community Relations…none other than Mr.
    E.SCROOGE!!!

    It’s sad that the employees of the Bank must suffer and lose a beautiful Christmas
    Tress because some Corporate idiot!!!

    Maybe Chase need to send Mr. E. Scrooge to help our Toops fight than we will
    See how Political correct he is….

  7. rh says:

    chase is evil in many other ways too.

  8. rt says:

    I will be closing my account with Chase as soon as I can make other arrangements. I’m tired of busineses discriminating agains Christians and our beliefs.

  9. Jan says:

    This is just one of the reasons I am taking my business somewhere else. Chase sucks. Also we give the freedom to worship as they please and they don’t want to be “offened” by us having the same rights. Wake Up people.

  10. world says:

    i have 3 accounts at chase and they will be closed on monday.

  11. Melissa Mercer says:

    Bryan Fischer, director of issue analysis for the American Family Association, called Chase’s decision absurd.

    “According to Advertising Age, 91 percent of American people celebrate Christmas,” Fischer said. “That means that the single most inoffensive thing you can do at this time of year is wish someone a merry Christmas.” …

    …”This means that Chase is running the risk of offending far more people by disrespecting Christmas than they are by honoring it.”

    Fischer said that companies that have gotten away from acknowledging Christmas claim that they do it because they want to be inclusive.

    “The most inclusive thing you can do is wish someone merry Christmas,” he said.

    Read more: http://www.star-telegram.com/2010/12/02/2676274/jpmorgan-chase-orders-southlake.html#ixzz175azS5ar

  12. Elmer says:

    I wonder if the offended people will reject their Christmas bonuses because they will surely be offended by them.

  13. BB1 says:

    how is it that a few desenting voices can try and ruin it for many? don’t like it move to China or Cuba. Oh and Merry Christmas

  14. Don says:

    I can tell you exactly what happened. A good hearted customer spent $3000 of his own money then corporate orders the tree removed. Then Mr Morales probably inquired about closing his account and corporate realized how much money he has with them and orders the tree back up. Corporate Greed at it’s best……..Merry Christmas everyone!

  15. Smiley Carter says:

    Is there a link to the TV story that included that fact that Mr. Morales is moving his account? Sure would like to see it posted on Drudge.

  16. David Mosby says:

    I lived three years in Bahrain, a country in the Middle East that Islam is the official religion. They allow churches and synagogues in their country.

    The first thing you see after you land and clear customs is a huge Christmas display in one of the shops.

  17. teresa trenton tx says:

    To JP Morgan, chase bank, and all anti christians, I know we all have rights but you people are trien to interfere with our rights we are christians and we choose to CELEBRATE christmas as a christian holiday that is our right, you people are going to wish that you would have change your opinion on christ when it comes to YOUR judgement day when you have to answer for the things in which you tried to take from believers, IF YOU CHOOSE TO LIVE AND BELIEVE THESE NON CHRISTIAN THINGS THEN STAY IN YOUR HOMES AND DON’T LISTEN, WATCH, US AS WE WILL KEEP ON CELEBRATING OUR CHRISTIAN WAYS.. Again MERRY CHRISTMAS make sure you turn in those christmas bonuses in which you will receive.

  18. J D R says:

    Glad to see the bank reconsidered, even though the damage is done. I have had business with Chase for many years, but have decided to start getting things moved elsewhere, which will involve refinancing my mortgage. I’ve decided complaints are just empty words if you are not willing to take action, even if it costs you something. Chase, you have finally “chased me off”!

  19. Ruth Boren says:

    I will be closing my account immediately. I won’t knowingly bank with a non-christian bank.

  20. KelleyD. Killian says:

    Kelley Deno Killian
    I am happy to call Antonio M. my friend. It is hard to understand how Chase Bank can take something given so freely and full of love and turn it in to something so full of hate! This is a sad day for the people that still think about the birth of Christ on Christmas day…so my hat is off to you Antonoi!!!

  21. ANTHONY CARLOS says:

    HERE IS A COPY OF MY EMAIL I SENT TO JPMCHASE. ALSO HAD 50 FRIENDS SEND EMAILS

    JPM,

    You might think you are doing a good thing by removing the Christmas tree from your office. But, rest assured, that many people, including myself think this is a small and petty thing for you to do.

    Christmas is a national holiday symbolized by a Christmas tree. If people do not like Christmas they can refuse to participate in celebrating it.

    I think less of your company and wonder if my accounts and stock holdings should express a loyalty I do not now feel.
    ACC

    From: annmarie.hauser@jpmchase.com

    Thank you for your email. We have a policy of not accepting gifts from customers, but we’re applying common sense here and offering to put the tree back up at our expense. We’re thankful for Mr. Morales’ nice gesture.

    Merry Christmas!

    WE NEED TO KEEP RESPONING TO THESE ISSUES

  22. ARNOLD CARL TAPP says:

    ACTION ~ REACTION ~ REVERSE ACTION ! JP MORGAN CHASE MADE A STUPID
    DECISION TO BOW TO THE COMPLAINTS OF A FEW CUSTOMERS , AND THE
    BANK WILL LOSE BUSINESS ANYWAY . I SENT A MESSAGE ABOUT A FRIEND OF MINE WHO WON $ 9.000.000 IN THE LOTTERY , AND HAD PLANNED TO CREATE A TRUST ACCOUNT WITH MOST OF THE MONEY DEPOSITED IN THIS BANK .
    AFTER I SHOWED HIM THE CHRISTMAS TREE INCIDENT, HE CHOSE ANOTHER
    BANK WHICH ALREADY HAD A CHRISTMAS TREE IN THE LOBBY .

  23. ARNOLD CARL TAPP says:

    THE ACTUAL TRUTH OF CHRISTMAS MAY SURPRISE MOST OF YOU .
    THERE IS NO MENTION IN THE BIBLE OF THE DAY OR THE ACTUAL DATE FOR THE BIRTH OF JESHUAH ( JESUS ) . CHRISTMAS WAS CREATED BY EMPEROR
    CONSTANTINE TO COMBINE THE HEBREW FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS , THE
    BIRTH OF JESHUAH , AND PAGAN CELEBRATION . THIS HAPPENED MORE
    THAN 400 YEARS AFTER JESUS ASCENDED TO THE FATHER IN HEAVEN .
    BUT , TODAY MANY PEOPLE CELEBRATE IT AS A CHRISTIAN HOLIDAY,
    AND OTHERS AS A TRADITIONAL DAY . EITHER WAY , THE BANK MADE
    A MAJOR MISTAKE TO TRY AND ELIMINATE IT .

  24. CJ says:

    I don’t do business with JP Morgan Chase now, but I definitely won’t in the future. But, the problem here doesnt lie with them, but the nitwits that “choose” to be offended by a tree!! Seriously, how did these people ever survive without breast milk? Or, is that the root of the problem to begin with?

  25. Cindy says:

    What about company policies which do not allow for the company to take large gifts from it’s customers. In some cases, large gifts have to be declared on taxes. In some cases, they can be looked at as bribes. Companies have to be careful when accepting large gifts and a $3000 tree during economic uncertainy would certainly qualify as a large gift.

  26. AMFirst says:

    So Chase doesn’t take “gifts”. Does that include every cent of bail-out money that may have gotten or will receive in the future ? I assume that if they did receive any taxpayers’ money they will pay back every cent with interest, or that will be a gift.

  27. Anne Repecki says:

    We are customers of Chase and after this Christmas tree incident we are seriously considering going elsewhere. It is amazing in this so called tolerant country that someone is offended because of a Christmas tree. Let them feel offended, they are in the minority. This anti-Christian mentality must be stopped.

  28. lindseymalone says:

    This was a set up by a man who was struggling because of the economy. The liberal media assisted him…Like Rahm Emanuel says never let a crisis go to waste. Boycott Bellagio Day Spa in Southlake. He deserves to make no money after the the beating those poor Christan people in that bank are taking due to misinformation of the media and Mr. Moralas trying to find a story to compete with the Lincoln Tunnel. How lame this attempt was! Terry Evans should be fired. The bank employees deserve an apology for the horrible things that were said to them by so called Christan’s!!! What Would Jesus Do???? Mr. Moralas you should be ashamed of yourself! This is not about Chase putting up a Christmas tree they had planned too all along but the media is twisting that as well. This is about the Media trying to find something similar to the NYC Lincoln tunnel. Pretty lame attempt and Mr. Moralas trying to increase his business in this poor economy with all the free press (advertising) given by the unreliable press that no one can believe any longer. I am appalled, disgusted, and just plane fed up! Christan’s don’t call banks and call innocent people Nazi Fascias, Satan, Pigs and the many four letter words that has gone on during Mr. Moralas’ self made DRAMA!

    Please please go into the Star Telegram or Channel 11 or Wells Fargo and try to put up a tree!!! Please you won’t have much success because of polices! Media should not throw rocks when they live in glass houses! Please go try I would love to hear how it works out for you!

    This man is as bad as Balloon Boy! AGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG!

  29. Cara says:

    What you people are all failing to consider is that Chase bank is a PRIVATE business. They can decorate (or NOT) for holiday that they choose. Just like you have a right to take your business elsewhere.

    The main problem here, however, was not that it was a Christmas tree, it was that it was a $3000 gift. By the way, how on earth can you possibly make a Christmas tree cost $3000??? It wouldn’t have mattered if it was a $3000 teddy bear to stick in the lobby, they would have had to refuse it since their policy is to not accept gifts like that from customers.

    Use your heads people.

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