I don’t know about you, but I get really tired of hearing about the lighting of “holiday” trees. They’re Christmas trees. There, I said it.
I’d like to ask all those city/county/state/federal officials who can’t get themselves to say the word “Christmas” to explain to me what holiday is actually being celebrated with a decorated illuminated tree.
I wanted to figure out why some people have an aversion to calling something what it is – a Christmas tree – so I looked at my calendar to see if I missed any “holiday” in December that uses trees in its observance.
There’s, of course, National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day on the 7th signifying the attack on Pearl Harbor. I found nothing that says tall green trees with lights and ornaments are used to honor our dead patriots on December 7th.
There’s the Jewish festival of Chanukah, celebrated this year from the 20th through the 28th. At the heart of the festival is the nightly menorah lighting: a single flame on the first night, two on the second evening, and so forth until all eight lights are kindled. While doing my research, I found nothing that says a tree with glass ornaments and candles was part of the Jewish celebration of Chanukah.
Ronald McKinley Everett aka Maulana Karenga, black convicted felon and professor of Africana studies, created Kwanzaa, a week long celebration held in the United States honoring universal African-American heritage and culture, observed from December 26 to January 1 each year. According to the official website, not one of the symbols of Kwanzaa is a tree with garland, tinsel and a star on the top.
Then, there’s the winter solstice celebrated this year on the 22nd of December. The December solstice occurs when the sun reaches its most southerly declination of -23.5 degrees. In other words, it’s when the North Pole is tilted 23.5 degrees away from the sun. It’s celebrated worldwide and the festivities vary from culture to culture, but I didn’t read anything that included decorated evergreens with angels on the top
So, now we come to December 25th – Christmas – celebrating the birth of Jesus, who is either the son of God or merely a historical figure – depending upon your belief/non-belief system. Part of the tradition of Christmas dating back to the 15th Century in Livonia and the 16th Century in Northern Germany, is the use of decorated and illuminated trees. They’ve been decorated with tinsel, garlands, popcorn, candy canes, glass ornaments in all shapes and sizes and lights and usually have a star or angel on the top representing the host of angels or the Star of Bethlehem from the Nativity.
So, after reading about all the “holidays” in the month of December, I ask all those folks who light “holiday” trees, what “holiday” are you celebrating? The answer is simple. “Christmas!” So, call it what it is – it’s a Christmas tree!
I don’t get it, but if you do, God bless you.