Is it a Holiday Tree or a Christmas Tree?

Katherine - posted on 12/07/2011 ( 61 moms have responded )

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What's the difference? One blogger get's pretty upset. Does it matter what you call it? I personally have always called it a Christmas tree. I guess if someone were to call it a "Holiday" tree it might irk me. After all you put it up at Christmas time not at any other holiday.
So here's the blog: http://blogs.babble.com/strollerderby/20...

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Alessia - posted on 12/07/2011

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I'm an atheist and I say it's a Christmas tree! (And ours is really nice this year!)

Jenni - posted on 12/07/2011

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Also the Germanic people were decorating trees long before they adopted Christianity as their religion. They use to adorn theirs with dried fruit and candles in tribute to their god, Woden... along with mistletoe, holly and a yule log.

Denikka - posted on 12/07/2011

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It's a Yule tree to me (Pagan), but I call them Christmas trees.

I agree with Liz. Calling it a holiday tree just seems to strip away all the special-ness.
To me, there are 2 different kinda of Christmas;
1) the Christian religious holiday that celebrates the birth of Christ (even though it's probably at the wrong time of year XD)
2) the commercialized holiday that most people celebrate and that is advertised pretty much everywhere in the English speaking world, regardless of religion.

I throw the tree in with the second kind of Christmas. At this point in history, the gifts, the food, the spending time with friends and family, I feel it all gets thrown in with the second kind of Christmas.

I'm tired of the PC-ness of the holidays.

Have a satisfactory, wintertime gift giving season to you all :P

Jenni - posted on 12/07/2011

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Actually, the first decorating of an Evergreen tree began with early Pagan Greeks. This occured after broughs were used to decorate even earlier Pagan homes. But the first resembles of a modern "Christmas Tree" would have been the ancient Greeks. It was in tribute to their god, Adonia during their Winter Solactice.



The Pagan Romans also decorated an evergreen tree with bits of metal replications of Bacchus (their fertility god) and 12 candles to represent their Sun god. Their mid-winter celebration was Satarnalia.



So yes, decorating an Evergreen tree during winter holidays most definitely has Pagan roots that well predate Christianity and when the Christians adopted the practice around the 19th century. In fact early Christians as well as Jews were strictly against such practices as it had Pagan roots. It wasn't until *after* the Puritans when the tradition caught on with Christians... at least more acceptably. Prior, Christians who practiced these traditions were criticized for adopting Pagan customs.



The prophet Jeremiah of the Old Testament even condemned such practices:



"Jeremiah 10:2-4: "Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not." (King James Version)."



As we all know the Old Testament predates Christ. And people were obviously practicing cutting down trees before then for Jeremiah to condemn it in the OT. So yeah... CHRISTmas Trees... have nothing to do with CHRIST. They just started calling them that because... hey decorating a tree during the winter is pretty fun. They couldn't do it because it was a Pagan (Heathen) tradition so they stuck CHRIST(mas) to them and voila! Now it's not a Heathen practice.

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I think the blogger makes a good point. True diversity would be inviting different groups to put up their displays at the capital: a Christmas tree, a menorah, a Kwanzaa display, a pagan winter solstice display, a Festivus pole (j/k).



Putting up a Christmas tree but calling it a Holiday tree just makes everything bland, watered down, and legalistic. To me, that's the opposite of beauty.



My family and I were immigrants to America, and I was not raised Christian. Christmas celebrations never bothered me, as long as I wasn't forced to participate.



Christmas has a Christian origin obviously, but it's also just a secular holiday for a lot of people nowadays.



"Holiday tree" has no meaning. It's just... blah. It's not diverse, it's not anything.

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Hacking down a living tree to decorate your home in December is NOT a Pagan custom... I just have to get that out of my system. It's considered destructive of nature.

Pagans decorated their homes with evergreen boughs and living trees. Evergreen trees are celebrated for their ability to survive winter. Killing one to make the house look pretty does not meet with those ideals.

The tradition of the modern day Christmas tree came from Germany in the 16th Century and the Feast of Adam and Eve.

Cassandra - posted on 12/07/2011

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I call if the CHRISTmas tree. We are celebrating the birth of christ. If there were no christ, there would not be a holiday.....

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If the blogger can't stand "intellectual dishonesty", then she probably can't stand the fact that the "Christmas" tree has nothing to do with Christianity. It's a pagan symbol. It isn't in any way related to Christianity. So really, I don't think it's her "pagan and atheist" friends who have a problem with it. It's her.

Jenni - posted on 12/07/2011

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Of all the things people get their panties in twists about... this has to be one of the dumbest, imo of course. ;)



I'm an Atheist and I call it a Christmas tree... why? Because that's what I grew up calling it. I'm not about to change the name now.



I am well aware it has Pagan roots. And calling it a Holiday Tree would be no different for me than calling it a Christmas tree. Holiday derived from the Anglo-Saxon "Holy Day" is about as different as me (an Atheist) calling a shoe a sneaker. I'm not celebrating any Holy Days as I am not religious.



So personally, I don't care what it's called as long as other people understand what I'm referring to.



So I also don't care.... if for politically correct terms they call it a Holiday Tree. It doesn't take away from anyone's Christmas... it just recognizes that not everyone who puts up a tree during the holidays is celebrating Christmas. That doesn't mean *you* (general) can't call it a Christmas tree. It just means businesses use the term to be politically correct as their consumers are not all Christians celebrating Christmas... some are celebrating *other* holidays during the winter (Yule, for example) but still decorate with a tree. After all it was their tree before it was a Christmas tree (well after the Puritans who didn't even celebrate Christmas).



Honestly, who cares what corporations choose to call it for marketing purposes? Everyone can still call it whatever they damn well please. In fact, I think I'll start calling mine "Fire Hazard". As in "Oh, me and the kiddies are going to bake some warm cookies tonight and decorate the 'Fire Hazard'."

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It's a Christmas tree, though I have to say, the tree itself is secular symbol and in no way actually tied in to a Christian observance of Christmas. But, like you said, it's put up at Christmas, so naturally, it's a Christmas tree.

Come to think of it though, it is put up right after Thanksgiving and remains up until New Years... maybe holiday tree is more descriptive of it's symbolism?

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