Archive for December 10th, 2007


Christmas Tree vs. Holiday Tree

So, I’m sure you have all heard the debate about how it is “politically incorrect” to call that tree in your living room a “Christmas Tree”. Now, most people who support this will be quick to point out that the tradition of decorating trees in the wintertime predates the origin of Christmas. However, the practice as we know it today started in 16th century Germany. It is not know exactly how the tradition stared but it is generally accepted to have been a Christmas decoration. Christmas Tree, as it was called, slowly spread through Europe and eventually into the United States. We did not, however, welcome the Christmas Tree with open arms as you might expect. Christmas trees were considered as a pagan tradition and a mockery of Christmas. The court of Massachusetts even made it illegal to decorate a home with ornaments and Christmas Trees. It was not until 1846 when a sketch of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert with their children in front of a Christmas Tree appeared in Illustrated London News. Pretty soon it was considered fashionable in Great Britain and America to have a Christmas Tree.

So is it wrong to call it a Christmas Tree? Is Holiday Tree a more appropriate term? To answer that question, my friends, you have to think about why it should be called a Holiday Tree. They say it is unfair to the religions that celebrate holidays other than Christmas. But, if they are not celebrating Christmas, then they don’t need a “Holiday Tree”. Do they? Have you ever seen somebody buy a “Holiday Tree” for any holiday other than Christmas? That is about the same as calling Hanukkah Menorah a “Holiday Candle”. It makes no sense.

But I am not saying you should not call it a “Christmas Tree” and, I am not saying you should call it a “Holiday Tree”. It really should not matter what you call it! Shakespeare was right when he wrote that “a rose of any other name would smell as sweet”. It seems kinda petty for men to be arguing about the name of a tree during the season of “Peace on Earth and good will towards men”.

So it real does not matter what kind of a tree you have in your living room. What matters is that you keep the true spirit of Christmas and keep yourself above these petty arguments.

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