I am utterly delighted that someone finally came out and admitted that the "National Christmas Tree" on the Ellipse is once again a disappointment {Style, Dec. 21}.

Each year, a friend and I look forward to seeing the tree at the Capitol, and each year my friend says that the real national Christmas tree belongs at the Capitol, the seat of government in the United States, and I agree with him.

Politics aside, the tree at the Capitol will always triumph, if only because of the dozens of handmade ornaments from the nation's schoolchildren that adorn it. Some people may blanch at the knowledge that the tree is also adorned with colored foil ashtrays, but they're weatherproof, reflect light and make a nice rustling sound. If there are any imperfections in the tree on the Ellipse, one would be hard-pressed to notice; it looks like it was designed for a Las Vegas revue. Meanwhile, real birds come and sit among the branches of the Capitol tree. I know of no higher compliment.

I only wish that the addition of children's ornaments were done in some regular fashion. I still have to wonder whether the creators of all those wood cutouts of the state of Montana (with rhinestones to mark the cities) knew how delightful they were to see last year, or if they knew that people were reading their names because you could get close enough to see them.

The spirit of Christmas is alive and well on 60 feet of evergreen on the grounds of the Capitol. It's worth the trip. KAREN L. PETRONIS Washington