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Saturday, December 03, 2005

Christmas Tree vs. Holiday Tree: Points of Separation

The debate continues on what we should call the tree. You know the one you decorate with lights ornaments and put presents underneath. Some say, like Rev. Jerry Falwell and supporters, that this is a big issue. And I suppose to some in opposite camps it appears to be a big issue also.

To me to vulcanize opinions over this issue, is the real problem. How many ways can we make issues over what separates us? America is composed of many religions, and is also composed of many individuals. Each person is defined by his own thoughts and beliefs. We, as a country, have aspired as one of acceptance, of all regardless of religious affiliation or race. This in the long run has been the reason why our country succeeds. The creed of our country teaches tolerance of others, both in ideas, and religious beliefs.

Traditionally, Christmas is a holiday in our country. And it is a rich holiday with a theme. Most of our holidays in the United States are theme based. Thanksgiving is a day to give thanks. Memorial Day is a day of remembrance. Mother's Day is a day of appreciation. Veterans Day is a day we give thanks to those that have served our country.

The theme of Christmas is one of joy and giving. And the greatest gift that any of us can achieve is to give without expecting a return. There is true joy in giving it makes you feel good.

To argue about what a tree is called seems to me to a trivial issue. There are larger problems that we should be putting our efforts. Aids now affects 30 million people, families are still separated by hurricane Katrinia, drugs are decimating the very nature of people, crime affects each and everyone of us, and the list goes on.

Is the argument of what the Christmas tree is called that important? For Christians it can be a celebration of the birth of Jesus, for others it can be a time of joy. And if I had one gift that I could offer to all sides would be the gift of tolerance. Lets find what brings us together, not what separates us.

Does it matter what the tree is called? What is important as I see things is how we all get along.

And I want to leave you with one thought of a comment made to WSLS in Roanoke:


"I am a Roanoke citizen and I feel that this argument is stupid. It does not matter if a tree is called a Christmas Tree or a Holiday Tree. I was always taught that Christmas is a time of sharing Joy and Peace. This argument is not expressing the Joy and Peace of the season. Our country was founded on religious freedom. We welcome all religions however I don't see individuals from those religions raise a fuss over something that is small compare to other issues that our country faces."
Greg T.

4 Comments:

At 12:10 PM, Blogger Melissa O. Markham said...

Bob,

I understand your point, but I think it is an issue. It is an issue because where does it stop? December 25th is Christmas. It is a Federal and State Holiday. People who don't wish to celebrate it still get the day off and can use it anyway they want to. Will we have to start sending holiday cards? Eating holiday candy? Giving holiday presents? Hanging holiday stockings? This is insane. What will be next, we can't have Easter baskets? No Easter Eggs? No Easter candy and what will we call them? We can't call them holiday baskets because that would confuse it with Christmas..oops I mean 'holiday'.

Perhaps we should do away with Memorial Day for those opposed to war, we could take away President's day for those who think President's don't deserve recognition. Then there could be no Labor Day, no Halloween, no 4th of July...all of these days have the potential to offend someone and we mustn't do that. St. Patrick's Day...St. Valentine's day...those may be offensive to those not Catholic....hmmm... wonder how the stores are going to like it when they can't get shoppers in based on these holidays?

But if we call them all holiday, it would certainly make it easier to buy wrapping paper, cards, etc, cause you can use the same for each.

So I will keep on saying Merry Christmas, decorating my Christmas tree, hanging my Christmas stockings and giving Christmas presents. I will fight for my right to do this and I will express my unhappiness with others who would take this away from me and millions of other Americans who believe we should not forget that Christ is the reason we celebrate Christmas.

People who don't want the word 'Christmas' used are in the minority and because they are the squeaky wheel they seem to be getting the grease. Those of us who want Christmas to remain Christmas need to pool our voices together and 'squeak' louder. The sound would be deafening.

 
At 12:37 PM, Blogger D L Ennis said...

The point is that this is such a petty issue…it is people like Falwell that turn so many people off to Christianity!

D L

 
At 2:22 PM, Blogger Melissa O. Markham said...

But I am not talking about what Falwell is doing. I agree that 'pushy Christians' can be a turn off, but at the same time it tells us in the Bible to share the Good News. We are directed to do that and if we don't, we are not following the word of our God.

I doubt seriously that Jesus cares about us celebrating Christmas. This isn't actually his birthday, he probably doesn't like all the commercialism that goes on. But at the same time, if Christians as a whole wish to celebrate Christmas, why must their beliefs be swept under the rug while other's rights are upheld and touted? We are to respect the rights of gays, lesbians, goths, etc, etc, etc. But yet this seems to say, Christians don't have rights...we have to bury our light under a bushel because it might offend someone.

I don't think anyone cares about the Christmas/Holiday tree issue because of what do we call a Christmas tree, I personally am afraid of what will follow.

 
At 2:49 PM, Blogger B O B said...

Thank you for your comments. And it is good to read the counter points to what I have written. Personally I have no quams either way to how the tree is represented. If some care to call it a Christmas tree that is fine with me as is holiday tree.

I guess I will always call it a Christmas tree, because that is what I have always know it as. If someone wants to call it a holiday tree I don't have a problem with that. What I do have a problem with is that both sides are getting ugly about this. It kind of takes the spirit out of what Christmas is supposed to be about in my mind.

 

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