December 7, 2005

Giving Tree

We rejoin James’ rant, already in progress.

I guess I have a few more of these “War on Christmas” posts in me. Because there is plenty more idiocy to go around. And I don’t want to be exclusionary.

However, you might see this post as my attempt at “fairness and balance” because it comes from a conservative place in my brain. And it is that, but it’s also that you have ignorant people on one side of an issue making demands, and this wakes up the pot stirrers and the radio buffoons and we have to hear about a full-out assault in the “War on Christmas.”

Here we go:

The kids and their parents decided on a “Giving Tree.” It would have mittens as decorations and the mittens would carry the age and sex of the person getting the present and what they would really like this holiday season.

But the efforts ran afoul of some sensibilities. A parent complained that the tree was a Christian symbol. The principal agreed to remove the tree, but continue the giving effort.

Listen, people. The tree is not a Christian symbol. It is rooted in much older solstice-time traditions, and was really popularized by Americans as part of their Christmas celebration. Like the Thanksgiving turkey, it is much more a product of American celebration than anything related to Christian worship. And its actual religious roots are not even Christian.

In this case, it wasn’t even a tree. And they didn’t call it a Christmas tree; they called it a Giving Tree for Xsake.

The school caved, and now they have a “Giving Counter.”

This accomplishes nothing except blandification. Even a militant anti-Christian or anti-Religionist gains nothing from removing a giving tree. Because it’s not a symbol of worship.

So, a few ignorant people add fuel to the people promoting this “War on Christmas” meme. They share some of the blame for annoying me.

Posted by James at December 7, 2005 11:23 AM
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Yes, the "Christmas" tree was so dubbed in an effort to get the pagans on board, who were merrily celebrating the "winter solstice."

As I said previously, all this pot-stirring (aptly dubbed, James) reminds me of the wholesale "boycotting" of all things French, like "french fries" (not French) and French toast (ditto).

It's stupid, it will run its course, and the morons who've gotten their knickers in a twist over this "war on Christmas" will be lead rather easily into the next non-issue.

This is what happens when you don't adequately fund public education: we raise a nation of naval-gazing idiots.


Posted by: Patti M. at December 7, 2005 4:31 PM

Public education... that reminds me of public broadcasting. It's another issue I've been too busy to blog about.

Last year at this time I was going to have a whole long post about the Christmas tree, because its widespread use really is an American phenomenon, even though its origins are back in the traditions you cite, even though it was used in a localized, limited way at the time.

Anyhow, I have even less time this year for such long and well-researched posts.

Posted by: James at December 7, 2005 5:17 PM

Here's a fairly quick way to take care of that.

Remember Ian Dury & The Blockheads's "Reasons to Be Cheerful"? Just post a similar, only call it "Reasons to Be Angry" or "Reasons to Be Dismayed," and invite visitors to augment your list.

the "War on Christmas" and poor funding of public schools can be added right away. I'll have my own additions (loud cell phone chatters, for one).

Posted by: Patti M. at December 8, 2005 7:56 AM

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