Keller @ Large: It’s A *Christmas* Tree, Just Call It That

BOSTON (CBS) – Believe me, I didn’t want to do another story this year about timid bureaucrats and their politically-correct insistence on avoiding any mention of the word “Christmas.”

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

But here we go again, with not just one but two state capitals embroiled in completely avoidable seasonal nonsense.

Read: Guide To Finding A Christmas Tree

Let’s start in Providence, Rhode Island, where Gov. Lincoln Chafee is referring to the Christmas tree in front of the State House as a “holiday tree.”

According to the Associated Press, Chafee says this is in line with his state’s tradition as a safe-haven for religious tolerance and separation of church and state.

And he says: “I would encourage all those engaged in this discussion…to use their energy and enthusiasm to make a positive difference in the lives of their fellow Rhode Islanders.”

Gov. Chafee might follow his own advice, and stop wasting his time gratuitously slighting the overwhelming majority of his state’s residents, who do recognize Christmas.

Show me someone who is truly aggrieved by the erection of a Christmas tree at Christmastime in a public place and I’ll show you a crank, the ignoring of whom ought to be a minimal standard of political leadership.

But kudos go out to Boston Mayor Tom Menino, who was appalled when I told him yesterday that his own Parks Department was refusing to identify the Christmas tree in Copley Square as a Christmas tree.

Menino boldly says he “believes in Christmas and believes in Christmas trees,” and promised to lean on the Parks Department to cut it out.

A few hours later he still hadn’t gotten around to it; a department spokeswoman told me: the Copley Square tree is “a public decoration to celebrate the holidays,” which people celebrate “in different ways.”

I have three words for her, Gov. Chaffee, and everyone else who still thinks it’s the right thing to do to pretend a Christmas tree can’t be called by its proper name – please, stop it.

And have a very Merry Christmas.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

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One Comment

  1. matt souza says:

    the tradition of the tree is not in the other holidays it is strictly Christian tradition. The usa has a mix but the main holiday is christmas. the people that selebrate the other religions have to deal with it.we need to remember that it is a christmas tree not holiday tree since it is not for any other religious holiday.

    1. Gordie says:

      Except that the use of evergreen trees as decoration inside homes at this time of year goes MUCH earlier than Christianity. The Christmas Tree, such as it is, is a co-opted solstice symbol.

    2. Ellen says:

      Matt, Right ON.

    3. Mandoberks says:

      Like Gordie states, the so called “christmas tree” is an adapted pagan tradition into christianity, is there a christmas tree mentioned in the bible? This is more of a political stunt than an insult to christianity, In fact if you are a christian and read the bible, you would probably be glad that santa claus and the christmas tree are being disassociated with christ’s birth. trust me this is a recent tradition, christians before during the second century where not celebrating the birth of their savior by putting up a tree.

    4. Ed Turner says:

      I do not press upon those that use the symbolic candle of lights the “Menorah” is wrong like the Christmas tree a it came about later and was not a feature practiced during the origins of the celebratory time. Maybe here in America the brewing pot of ethnics and the brewing pot of political and religious correctness the people here should read Christmas worldwide or Around the World. Why to get a better understanding that Christians and there beliefs are being bullied.

    5. donny says:

      This is the BIGGEST NON-ISSUE out there.

      Call it whatever you want. I’s a free country… quickly filling up with over-sensitive whiners of all race, color and creed. Jeez! Let’s focus only something important other than those among us so easily offended.

  2. Lori_Spencer says:

    We have the tree for Christmas, the Menorah for Haunakah (forgive me if I mispell) and other items for other holidays. If we must be tolerant of other holidays (as we should be) then others must be tolerant of ours. It is what it is and lets call it by such… A CHRISTmas tree!!! You know the old adage… a rose by any other name wouldn’t smell as sweet!!! You cheapen the meaning of the Christmas tree when calling it by another name.

  3. Dave H says:

    What’s next? Censoring Christmas Carols? Calling them Holiday Carols? I’m Dreaming of a White Holiday? Have a Holly Jolly Holiday? We Wish You a Merry Holiday?

    1. Ceecilia says:

      NO Way! Holiday is from Holy day so it is also a racist reactionary term of glorifying oppression, subjugation of people of color. Also it will offen atheists, agnostics. We ought to be using “Celebration tree” in its place.

  4. emom says:

    Even Charlie Brown calls it a Christmas Tree, he even celebrates Christmas and says Merry Christmas. Why is the government trying so darn hard to take away traditions. I will always say Merry Christmas, and call the tree a Christmas tree. Why should I change all that, If you are uncomfortable with my HOLIDAYS then Might I suggest turn your ears off. I would no more tell you to change how you celebrate or even call your holidays , so I ask for the same respect of mine..
    I do not dis your holidays and call your holidays by a different name and tell you that I don’t like them. So don’t tell me I have to call my holidays by any other name.
    A Christmas tree is just that. its adorn with garland and ornaments, lights and tinsel, and at the bottom we place CHRISTMAS PRESENTS. Yes I said it again.. DONT LIKE TOO BAD.
    Christmas is a tradition and should never be changed for anyone, Why can’t people just leave well enough alone. Why is the government trying so hard to DESTROY what so many hold dear to them. This politically correct stuff has become such a hot topic. So many things have changed and if we call if by its original names you get blasted for it.,, MAILMAN delivers the mail,,, Yes women are postal people But mine is a ma Thus a MAILMAN. Are we next to call SANTA by another name, In other countries they do call him By other names But its their name for him, Chris Kringle, Papa Noel, Father Christmas, St Nicholas, Santa Claus, Why should anyone ever change how they celebrate a holiday to please others that NEVER celebrate these holidays, I do not celebrate Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or any other that are out there. I celebrate only the holidays I was brought up with. That is my American traditions and I will continue them for as long as I choice.
    So to the Governor of Rhode Island with all due respect, You sir are out of line and interfering with an American tradition.. If you do not hold in your heart the essence of the Christmas holiday nor feel you have to celebrate it , well by all means DON”T no one is holding you over a barrel to do just that. But as for the rest that Love the holiday and celebrate it the way it has been for centuries, LEAVE US THE HELL ALONE, I love my CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY, I plan on BELIEVING IN THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS , I will call it by its formal name, CHRISTMAS, and I will be decorating the CHRISTMAS TREE as I have done for the past 45 years.
    So if you don’t like MY CHRISTMAS TREE and my CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY, and you do not believe in SANTA CLAUS. Then wrap yourself up in self pity, tie string around your package and mail yourself back to were you feel at home. This is an American tradition and I do not plan on changing for you.

    1. tsal says:

      emom – Christmas isn’t the American tradition – it’s the Christian tradition. America is not a Christian country – it is a melting pot – or that’s what we are supposed to be. As I said below – you are upset (as am I) when someone uses a word in place of Christmas. How do you think people from all other religions feel? We are just getting a taste of what they have faced for far too long and I’d say we are not dealing with it anywhere as well as they did

      1. web says:

        I don’t understand your comment..exactly which other religions feel slighted? People who celebrate Kwanza celebrate Kwanza…not a holiday..Jewis people have Hanukkah, not a holiday. I think it has more to do with the fact that there are more Christians and Christmas is more popular (for lack of a better term). So they feel neglected? I don’t know. But let’s call it Christmas, let’s call it Hannukah, let’s call it Kwanzaa and whatever else there is, the more the merrier!

  5. NikW says:

    I am happy to hear that Mayor Menino calling this a christmas tree

  6. Denise says:

    Why is everyone surprised? Take the pledge of allegance out of school – they want the US to education everyone including the illegal immigrants – but they don’t want to offend anyone so remove the pledge of allegance vs just letting those that don’t want to Pledge their allegence to a country that is supporting them to sit quietly – they’re flying foreign country flags above the US flag at some schools – Anything our forefathers fought to have in this new country has been stomped on by those coming here and wanting to change to “their way”…. IT’S THE USA!!! We have many many many cultures celebrated here – why is it all of a sudden ok to trash the Good Ol USA – but not good to celebrate it and it’s traditions? If the Governments don’t believe in the holidays and their symbols – then maybe the GOVERNMENTS should not be able to celebrate and benefit from the time off that those HOLIDAYS bring? Why are they wasting tax payer dollers to have “HOLIDAY TREES” in the Cities, Towns and Capitals? Why do they decorate the street poles? Again… Waste of tax payer dollars paying those city employees to decorate! The government doesn’t work enough w/ all their vaca time as it its… why should they break for the holidays they don’t support or believe in??? And for all the ahtiests of the world that don’t have anything they believe in either… you should have to work so those of us that do believe can enjoy our holidays in peace!!! For me… I wish all of you Peace, Love and Joy… for the Holidays you celebrate and believe in! And Thanks..CBS for letting us vent about it :-)

  7. Yukon Cornelius says:

    It’s November 30th. The “Christmas” trees started going up before Thanksgiving. “Christmas” music started four weeks ago and “Christmas” sales and promotions started before Halloween. They stopped being Christmas trees when it stopped being about Christmas.

    If you people really cared about Christmas, then what we call the damn tree is the least of your concerns. Otherwise, it’s just more noise from the perpetually persecuted.

  8. Lou Lange says:

    There is a difference between tolerance and kowtowing, and Gov. Chafee (as much as I have admired him over the years) has stepped into kowtowing territory. No one is shoving Christmas down people’s throats. We have taken accommodation to an extreme by using the term “Holiday Tree” instead of “Christmas Tree”.
    To Gov. Chafee – STOP IT! There is no shame in celebrating the Christmas holiday as long, as I mentioned it before, as it not shoved down EVERYONE’S THROAT.
    Kudos to you, Mr. Keller, and as Jimmy Durante said at the end of that traditional TV Christmas Special “Frosty the Snowman”:

    “You have a Merry Christmas too!”

  9. DoverDavid says:

    It’s a Christmas Tree, if you don’t like it being called that, go back to where you came from and leave the rest of us alone to do as we have been doing for over 100 years.

  10. Marilyn R says:

    Call a Christmas tree a Christmas tree and a menorrah a mennorah. Religious freedom and tolerance do not come from using generic terms for well-known symbols. It comes from everyone being able to celebrate their religious tradition in their way. Generic terms only sterililze. Besides, haven’t we got more important things to discuss than what to call a Christmas tree?

  11. Concern says:

    Organized Labor can help Central Falls, RI by using Charity Shopping Websites.

  12. mandoberks says:

    The so called “christmas tree” is an adapted pagan tradition into christianity, is there a christmas tree mentioned in the bible? This is more of a political stunt than an insult to christianity, In fact if you are a christian and read the bible, you would probably be glad that santa claus and the christmas tree are being disassociated with christ’s birth. trust me this is a recent tradition, christians before during the second century where not celebrating the birth of their savior by putting up a tree.

    1. web says:

      why do you keep bringing up the oldest part of history…traditions are fluid and change…so the christmas tree tradition is a recent tradition, but it is still that a tradition…

      1. mandoberks says:

        “Traditions are Fluid and change,” so you state web, if so then why are people protesting about not adapting that christmas is part of the Holiday season now in America, You know there’s Hanukah, Kwanza, even pagans worship some solar movements during this season. If christmas and its customs where subject to change why not the American tradition. You kinda stated an Oxymoron there. And if you truly believe again that “traditions are fluid and change,” then why are you surprised that in the Land of the Free times are changing and now its called Holiday season. A lit of bit of an Identity crisis is something to address here.

  13. Joanne says:

    Kudos to you John Keller. It is a Christmas Tree, has been and always will be. If we have to call a Christmas Tree a Holiday Tree…then shouldn’t we be calling a menorrah a Holiday Candlestick? Enough with the political correctness already. I will continue to merrily sing “Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree…” And those of you who don’t like it, leave the room.

  14. FireGuyFrank says:

    You think this is bad!? Get this. This year my employer is insisting using the term “Holiday Pole” instead of it’s proper name, Festivus Pole!

    I know, it’s outrageous, isn’t it. They want us to air our “discussion points” rather than grievances. We’ll have simply “feats” rather than “feats of strength”. Hey, why do I have to suffer because folks won’t hit the gym?

    We’ve gone round the bend.

  15. Mikey Cyrus says:

    Who cares what they call it? Xmas is more about marketing than religion now anwyay.

    1. Lori_Spencer says:

      I agree that the marketing of Christmas has become a business unto itself. I am not saying it is right but it just is. To all of the Christians though Christmas always has and always will be about one thing and that is the birth of Christ. The Christmas tree is a symbol of the season for us hence the name of that which we celebrate (Christ) is in the wording of the symbol (Christmas Tree).

  16. GRAMMY says:


    1. gramps says:

      Mother, ‘must’ you ‘YELL’!


    2. tsal says:

      Grammy – we didn’t ask any other religions to change the name because we never tolerated the celebration of any other religion’s holy day to begin with. It’s only been a couple of decades that we had menorahs on town commons and then it took some doing. We still can’t wrap our heads around the fact that other religions would like to have a day from work or school to celebrate their holy days. A Christian is quick to say that there are too many religious school holidays yet will never consider that if other religious days are not observed Christmas should not be a holiday either. We can refer to anything we want as Christmas as long as we are recognizing all religious customs and holidays. All or none. It’s that simple.

  17. NewEnglandBob says:

    ” Believe me, I didn’t want to do another story this year about timid bureaucrats and their politically-correct insistence on avoiding any mention of the word “Christmas.””

    But you did it anyway. Real reporters report real news.

  18. Amherst says:

    Amherst, MA features The Merry Maple which shares the town common with a Menorah

    1. Lori_Spencer says:

      If another religion (so long as it is a legitimate religion) wishes to put something on the common for a holiday of theirs then they should be able to do so… and we shouldn’t try to change the name of said decoration!!! Kudos for Amherst for putting the Menorah on the common!!!

  19. Mikey Cyrus says:

    The marketing of Xmas is ridiculous, but just as ridiculous are the people who are brainwashed by it. All I see are people running around trying to go shopping, stressed by the crowds and traffic and parking lots, spending money they dont have on gifts people probably wont really want anyway. Wouldnt it be much better, for giver and receiver, to spend all that shopping time with family instead?

    1. Mikey Cyrus says:

      Meant to reply to Lori’s reply to my original post, sorry. But while I’m back at it :)

      The commercials are insane now too. The car commercials for were the worst for a while. Buy a car for someone for Xmas? But now there is a jeweler commercial that shows a soldier buying jewelry for his other while he is away, presumably at war. Great, now we’ll have guys fighting for our country while their wives at home watch TV and think “See he could still buy me a gift!”

      Anyways, me and my wife have a great system. We don’t buy anything for each other for any holiday, birthday, etc. Instead we put money into our vacation account and use it for a trip when the pot is big enough. The whole family enjoys it more and we are far less stressed out.

  20. tsal says:

    It makes me incredibly angry when I hear someone deliberately use another term for the word Christmas. To change the name of one of the symbols of one of the holiest and most magical day of the year diminishes that symbol.

    However, Christians have only themselves to blame. For centuries Christians have held their holidays and religion higher than all others. They have not tolerated any other religion just as Americans do not tolerate different cultures – not without a fight and even then it is done grudgingly.

    If calling a Christmas tree a holiday tree upsets you, then stop to think how it upsets others when their holiest days and traditions are not honored. And then remember that Christians in this country have only had to deal with this for a decade – not centuries.

    1. FireGuyFrank says:

      Tsal, when you take a close look and listen, all religions they are the one true religion. Jews believe it. Muslims believe — some to the extent that they will kill those who do not believe. Mormons. B’Hai. Buddhists. You name the religion, or even atheism, and you will find those who adhere believe that there’s is the only way.

      Sure, there are those who will be open to other opinions; maybe feel that religion is like a pizza topping that you can change to suit your feelings at the time. But those who truly believe in their religion’s tenets will say all others are false.

      There ought to be religious holidays for ALL or NONE.

      1. tsal says:

        Hi Frank!!! If I understand you correctly, Frank, that’s exactly what I’m saying – either all or none.

        It should be that each person believes his/her religion is the only one – for him/her. My beliefs are what I feel are absolutely the very best – for me. But I do not believe I have any right to force those beliefs on others – even my own children. Religion is a very personal thing and there is no right or wrong.

        And whatever symbol a person chooses to use to honor that religion needs to be accepted and displayed as proudly as the Christmas tree or manger or any other symbol of the Christian religion. But we have never done that and I feel a good deal of the push back Christians are getting now is the voice of those who have not been heard for decades/centuries and have figured out either they scream louder or they will continue to go unnoticed.

  21. Bill T. says:

    Re: your commentary on Christmas trees: I got the biggest smile I’ve had in a long while when I heard you this morning! Yes, the origin of the Christmas tree is hard to trace, but it has become a symbol to millions of people over the years. So has stringing thousand of lights around the house, putting candles in the windows (which does have a religious basis), the exchanging of presents, etc.etc.etc. Why should the millions of people, Christian or otherwise, who celebrate in this way have to change these traditions because some politicians are afraid of offending someone who probably couldn’t care less? I am all for respect and tolerance of other peoples’ beliefs and customs, so why are mine suddenly inappropriate to the season in which they have always been celebrated? Celebrate as you will (or don’t), but freedom of expression, i.e. the right to call a certain time of year an old traditional name should not be as contentious as some paranoid politicians would have it.

    1. tsal says:

      Bill I would agree if we actually had freedom of expression in this country – we do not and never have. It’s always been Christian ideals first and the rest ……….well, they just fit in wherever.

  22. this is just plain sillly now says:

    So let me guess this straight,….. we should have “tolerance” for all religions, but anything to do with Christian holidays is not tolerable. Hence, the “Spring Bunny”, “Holiday Trees”, no more Santa at the mall, etc. Ok, so we have to tolerate all but Easter and Christmas, because those are offensive holidays? Just checking in with the PC Police to make sure I have it straight. Heaven forbid I offend anyone…. oops, does “Heaven” offend anyone? My goodness. Oops, did that offend anyone? Drat. Oh, sorry, did that offend anyone? I guess I’ll just say nothing rather than chance offending anyone! Nah…. I will celebrate MY holidays based on my religion, and if someone else is offended TOO DARN BAD!

    1. tsal says:

      no you do not have it straight. It’s simple

      Either we tolerate all or we tolerate none.

      Of course you can celebrate your holidays based on your religion or lack of religion but everyone else should be allowed to do the same – and they are not – never have been.

      Again – and it’s simple too – you are upset because someone wants to change the name of a tree………………….how would you feel if you’d spent your life growing up where your religious views were not honored and barely tolerated? Tree name…………..entire religious belief. easy really

      1. Lori_Spencer says:

        A lot of people are saying “tolerance for ALL religions” and I would not disagree. I am just going to through a though out there because of something thats been in the news (and on TV Reality)….. What about the polygamist Mormons? Should we tolerate their religous views? I am not saying I agree with them but if we tolerate one then we need to tolerate all… right?

      2. tsal says:

        Lori any religious view that does not break a law of the United States of America – because we are in the United States and as such need to abide by its laws – absolutely has to be tolerated.

      3. BostonIrish says:

        Tsal, I respectfully don’t agree with your “christian” remarks.

        It’s Christmas. It’s a Christmas Tree. They’re Christmas Lights hanging outside of my house. I have a Christmas Cactus that’s about to bloom. I send Christmas Cards to family and friends. I celebrate Christmas Eve and Christmas Day because it’s Christmas. Period. No one takes that away from me and I’m insulted that it’s changed for politically correct purposes.

      4. Tsal says:

        Boston Irish. As I said very carefully. I hate when someone uses a name other than Christmas tree. It diminishes the meaning. What I do is understand why this has happened. You don’t want to lose your tree and cactus and all that mean so much to you but for generations we have ignored all that matters to others. No one can deny that. One comment above gave a town kudos for having a menorah (sp) on it’s common. I understand what that person meant and am not criticizing the comment but it is exactly what I mean. It should simply be there.

        Try and take my Christmas traditions away and I hate to think what my reaction would be. So in understand why others have pushed back so hard EVERYONE here has done exactly that. Proof is in the comments right here.

      5. Tsal says:

        BI you can’t deny that its only been a very short time that any other religious celebration or holiday has been recognized in this country. I am a Christian with a very deep faith but I am not blind to the fact that Christians do not have a history of accepting other religions. It took loud voices for that to happen. I honestly do not believe it is PC as much as I believe it is others simply wanting to be equal

      6. tsal says:

        BostonIrish – I hear what you are saying but I’m not sure I’m making what I am saying clear. You know that it has only been a short time since other traditions have been celebrated. I honestly do not think the reasons are for PC – I simply think that others want to be on equal footing. Unfortunately, it takes a lot of noise for most to hear when a minority speaks —– we have a deep history of that as well. I know you don’t want your Christmas taken away – I sure as heck don’t want mine taken away either – but everyone – no matter what religion – feels the same way.

      7. BostonIrish says:

        Tsal, I haven’t ignored anyone. I have been living my life as a free citizen of the U.S.. I have the right to celebrate my holidays, and everyone else has the right to celebrate theirs. I wasn’t denying anyone else’s rights. Leave my Christmas as it is to me, Christmas. I don’t oppose anyone else who has their own beliefs. Don’t opress mine. And I feel no need to go out of my way to object to others’ differences of celebration.

      8. Tsal says:

        I think you know that is not what i mean I have not personally ignored anyone either however As a country BI you know minorities and anyone perceived as different has been ignored for lack of a better word.

      9. Stanley11 says:

        Tsal – what has been ignored, and how has it been made to said religions that they could not honor their traditions? You are older than I am, so maybe your experiences when you were younger differ from mine, but from where I stand, I think your Christian “bashing” (harsher term than I intend, but I can’t think of a better word) is really baseless and is really counterproductive to the point you are trying to make. 2 wrongs don’t make a right.

      10. tsal says:

        Stanley11 – please see my comment below.

        I take offense to Christian bashing since I am Christian and very proud of it. Because the Christian religion dominates many aspects of our culture does not mean it is wrong. It simply means there have to be doors opened wide for all other religions/cultures and you’ll see from my comments below that it took a great deal of push for it to happen at all.

        Am I American bashing to say we – as Americans – tolerated racism? And that it took very loud voices to end the racism?

      11. Enough says:

        Well, if we tolerate all, WHY does a Christmas Tree have to be renamed a Holiday Tree? We are NOT tolerating ALL if we have to do away with the word Christmas because it might offend someone! I have never asked my Jewish friends to call the Menorah something else, why would I? So why is ANYONE saying that the word Christmas has to be changed? this is just plain silly now is right, I’ve just said the word Christmas several times in this post, my gosh did I offend anyone?

      12. tsal says:

        Enough – of course it is silly and it is annoying to hear someone use Holiday Tree instead of Christmas Tree – I said that from the very start – or didn’t you read – there are a lot of comments here to get through. However, as I also said – it seems to have to go to an extreme in this country before anyone listens and I believe we are seeing the extreme – it certainly has gotten attention – and that it will level off.

        Please tell me a time in history when it hasn’t had to go to the ridiculous to get attention. I don’t get why that is difficult to understand since the history of this country is riddled with the majority having to be literally hit on the head to pay attention.

        I have an uncharacteristic day off and am listening to Christmas music while I wrap Christmas gifts with my grandson for his papa. It doesn’t get better than that. You can call them holiday gifts for all I care because in reality that is not what matters.

      13. tsal says:

        Stanley – I was just talking to my kids about what they remember. My oldest clearly remembers the kids in her class (she is 31) feeling left out at the time of the Christmas concert and she remembers the school finally including Hanukkah songs. My middle who is 27 remembers the continued complaining about calling it a winter concert instead of Christmas and having to sing songs other than Christmas carols. . My youngest doesn’t remember a thing – she is 25 – because by then the Winter concerts were stopped.

        All that had to be done was recognize the fact that in this specific case it should be a winter concert and not Christmas because there are two different religious holidays taking place. All that had to be done was incorporate songs from BOTH. And yet it was fought tooth and nail. And people are asking why it goes to the extreme we see now.

  23. santa claus says:

    Please feel free to call me by any name. It will not change what I stand for. The magic of Christmas lives in your heart.

  24. Ron says:

    Why is it so important what we call a tree when no one seems to be concerned that we have homeless veterans?

    1. petem says:

      Because Ron, people need to be distracted from the difficult things that are hard to think about or are hard to fix.

    2. Stanley11 says:

      Ron, I like to stand up for what I believe in, which is why it bothers me. But I guess that’s only commendable if you live in a tent on city property.

  25. Dylan says:

    who cares? as long as its well-decorated and pretty?

  26. Aunt Timony says:

    I’m an agnostic but am perfectly fine if municipalities want to call it a christmas tree for the christmas holiday.

    Every year this comes up and it is about the least important matter we could possible care about. Call it a christmas tree if you want, call it something else if you want, call it christmas or not.. The entire holiday and symbology were co-opted from pagans anyway, do with it as you wish, and move on. Learn, live, love and enjoy the holiday for what it is to you and your family.

    1. JohnC says:

      I am a bit to the left of agnosticism, but I still call a Christmas tree just that. It doesn’t matter that it was not originally a Christian custom, it is now. I do not call a Manorah a holiday candelabra, and I am not going to use the term “holiday tree”. I also have no objection to a town putting up a nativity scene.

  27. emom says:

    If we are to tolerate other religious holidays then I do not want to call them by their names. after all WHY SHOULD I. For that matter WHY SHOULD ANYONE. I mean if so many do not want to refer to CHRISTMAS as it is, but call it HAPPY HOLIDAYS, and not even say MERRY CHRISTMAS, then I do not like their holiday names. Guilded candelabra, Harvest festival, and any other that I just can not think off. If we are to tolerate their holidays then I feel its a MUST that they tolerate our holidays, CHRISTIAN or not. Its not right , not fair and well IT’S NOT POLITICALLY CORRECT THAT THEY DISS MY HOLIDAYS, so if we are to tolerate theirs they have to tolerate mine, END OF IT OTHERWISE BACK THE HECK OFF AS I PLAN ON WISHING ALL THAT MATTERS IN MY LIFE AND ANYONE I COME ACROSS ……………. A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR…
    and I plan on singing all the classics and I plan to ROCK AROUND THE CHRISTMAS TREE.
    WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS, DECK THE HALLS, AND ALL THE VERY CHRISTMAS SONGS THAT ARE OUT THERE, oh and while I am at it, I think I will write a letter to SANTA CLAUS and tell him his naughty list JUST GOT A WHOLE LOT BIGGER,, How unchristmas some are,,,,
    Oh before I forget, If they want tolerance, then I want their holidays off as well, after all that’s what they are asking right. FAIR IS FAIR RIGHT . YEAH LIKE THAT WILL EVER HAPPEN …………………NOT.

  28. mikey says:

    Politically correct moonbats have destroyed this country – someone hold the handle down and lets get this over with.

    1. Tsal says:

      Mikey you back in state yet? I know what you mean. Those nasty PC people really are annoying. They want things like equal rights. Darn them

      1. massman says:

        It must kill you seeing this nation become PC Mikey. You must miss words like “colored”, “queer”, and “retard” being used freely in society. Or maybe it’s women’s PC that irks you. How dare they ask to be put on an equal footing as men. In the good old days we had “mailmen” and “firemen”. Women stayed in more fitting positions, like “housewife”. PC goes too far at times, but it stems from the lack of tolerance, sensitivity, and equality of many in this nation. It’s hard to sympathize with “Christmas Tree” huggers, when I’m certain many of these same people are just as intolerant when it comes to a town recognizing a Muslim holiday.

  29. emom says:

    I hope you and Mrs Claus are doing well. I have put up my CHRISTMAS TREE, and decorated it with Christmas lights, Christmas ornaments, and at the top is a Christmas Angel. I have strung garlands of popcorn and cranberry’s and tinsel too. I have placed my Christmas gifts at the bottom, and on the fireplace I have hung my CHRISTMAS STOCKING. there is a Christmas wreath on my front door, Christmas candles in my windows. There are Christmas Cards on my mantel and Christmas cookies in the kitchen. In a bowl on the coffee table is Christmas candies. The house is Decorated with Christmas decorations inside and out.
    I am listening to Christmas Carole’s and watching Christmas shows. But the best of it all Will be the Christmas Gift you leave me under the Christmas tree Where I will leave you some milk and Christmas cookies. And on that day I look forward to enjoying a Christmas feast with all my family. CHRISTMAS DAY WILL BE JOYOUS AND WONDERFULL.
    Merry Christmas to you, Mrs Claus and the entire North pole.

    1. BostonIrish says:

      Emom, Merry Christmas!

      1. emom says:

        BostonIrish, Merry Christmas to you !

  30. massman says:

    Why would anyone care if the word “Holiday” or “Christmas” was used to describe a tree? I’m an atheist. I personally can’t even comprehend how anyone can believe in any religion. Let alone celebrate the birth of a religious character. With that being said, Our family puts up a Christmas tree every year. We celebrate the same way any other family would, just excluding any religious activity or acknowledgement. Christmas is what you make of it. I enjoy the tradition and watching the kids enjoy themselves. So I say both Gov. Chafee, and Mayor Menino have it right. I feel comfortable calling it a Christmas tree. My children may feel more comfortable calling it a Holiday tree at some point. Who cares?

    1. Tsal says:

      Massman ithe name doesn’t matter. Santa above has it right – it’s in the heart I think the outrage is in part because for the first time the group that has always been able to celebrate as it wants is feeling what those who have not had the same privilege feel. Merry Christmas :).

    2. BostonIrish says:

      massman, it would appear you’re a hypocrit. Athiest, yet a tree in your home. Absurd view that people respect and honor a “religious character”, but yet celebrates Christmas. I could understand your remarks if you were agnostic, but athiest? I mean no disrespect, just attempting to understand your logic.

      1. Tsal says:

        Now I’m really confused. I have relatives who married people of different faiths and they celebrate all religious holidays. There are many aspects of Christmas. I celebrate the birth of Christ but I also celebrate the wonder of the season and on Christmas eve I’m out in the yard looking up in the sky for Santa with the rest of those who still hear the bell I suspect if we were to celebrate the religious aspect only it would be at the time of year Christ is really believed to have been born and we would not have Santa. And don’t anyone fry to take Santa out of the equation :)

      2. massman says:

        I view Atheist and Agnostic as the same. I’ve never met an Agnostic that I haven’t convinced is Atheist. They don’t believe to begin with. I really have no problem with you thinking I’m a hypocrite. I fail to see how though. My logic is simple. Christmas is a tradition of celebration at our house. Because I don’t make it about religion, I shouldn’t have a tree and open presents with my children?

      3. BostonIrish says:

        Massman, you celebrating with your children was never my question. If you’re atheist, why at all? Peer pressure to practice mainstream adherances? Do your children understand the seperation of your beliefs to the practices of your celebrations and what you demonstrate to them? If you are not “christian”, then why? I don’t need a response, though I expect I’ll get one. I just don’t understand how people with certain beliefs still cross over to other acceptances but still diss those they don’t agree with.

  31. Tsal says:

    BTW Massman it was a discussion I had with you a couple of years ago that helped me to understand what the push back is all about. I believe calling it PC is a convenient way to not see it for what it is We were discussing the nativity then but the feelings were the same. Until that point I would have said and did say what a lot of others here are saying.

  32. emom says:

    I wonder if it is just a word, then WHY is it so important for the PC police , groups or whom ever try and tear down the beliefs we have held dear to our hearts. I mean if it is simply “JUST WORDS” then why must I or anyone else conform to the NEW WAY of referring to such holidays., If I call it by what it has Been called by for decades, then why should I rephrase how I say it in front of others, If it is just a WORD than why can not others accept how I and anyone else calls it ,, Maybe if they didn’t push so darn hard for so many to rephrase how we speak of these holidays then maybe there would be far less issues. Stop oppressing people and forcing them into something They do not like. If you do not like being oppressed imagine how we feel.

    1. Tsal says:

      Emom really? Stop oppressing? You mean like we did to the native Americans, blacks, women, Jews, Irish and so on back to the pilgrims who came here to escape religious persecution and then persecuted anyone who didn’t believe as they did. If these groups didn’t push hard as you say where do you they’d be today?

      1. massman says:

        Hi TSAL. Merry Christmas. You couldn’t be more correct. Does PC go too far at times? Absolutely. That’s a minor concern of mine. You are right naming the groups that are oppressed. I’m more concerned with the homosexual soldier who is booed on national TV, as our Presidential candidates stand by and say nothing, than the poor Christian who is upset over a Governor using the word Holiday over Christmas.

      2. massman says:

        Hi TSAL -Nicely said. Many of my comments aren’t going through, so I’m just going to say Merry Christmas.

      3. tsal says:

        massman – I don’t know why that happens with comments but it is happening to everyone. You’ll see typing errors in my comments a lot because I tend to post before reading since it is frustrating to type and comment and have it disappear.

      4. Stanley11 says:

        Tsal – who is the “we” you are referring to? I am not part of the “we” as I have never opressed anybody, so why is it OK for my beliefs to be pushed back on?

      5. tsal says:

        Stanley nor have I been part of the We and I believe a lot of people can make the same claim. I was also not part of the racism that existed in our not so distant past, but it did exist nonetheless and we as Americans allowed it.. I should make it very clear that it is entirely possible not one person on this blog has ever deliberately excluded anyone. However, and I include myself in this, when something exists and a person does not speak up that person is part of the problem. And if you do not speak up at least understand that it does exist.

        What you do not seem to understand is that I am not casting any stones. I am simply pointing out that a problem existed and because of that I can understand why there is a push to use holiday instead of Christmas. As I’ve said a million times – it is simple – people just want to make it more complex.

      6. Stanley11 says:

        tsal – thanks for the response. I have a better understanding of what you meant. I am 100% in favor of being all inclusive, but it seems some are taking it a step or two further trying to change Christmas traditions. That’s what bothers me. My basic stance on everything is that I am in favor of equal rights, but I am not in favor of special rights.

        As for your post above, I am 36, so your kids and I are relatively close in age. I had a classmate in the 6th grade that was Jewish. He celebrated the Christmas traditions with us, but on top of that, we were asking him about traditions of Hannukah (sic) because we were 12, all Catholic, and knew very little about it. He taught us all about it and we celebrated with him. Maybe it’s a product of where I grew up, but I never saw anyone force those of other religions to do what the rest of us did. If there are those that feel “left out” during Christmas, I don’t think that is a correlation of Christians neglecting other traditions. I think it’s more of a product of the magnitude of the holiday itself.

        This could go on all day, and branch into too many other topics, so I’ll leave it here.

      7. Tsal says:

        Stanley. Thanks for your response and having talked to my kids I also understand more where your comments come from. I also didn’t intend it to mean anyone was forced. There was just never a choice and I always felt badly that there wasn’t one. I’m going back to grade school and that was in the 50s but also as I said saw it in the town I’m in now in the 80s. I think people do not see it if there is not a large Jewish population which there happens to be in both tones I’ve lived in.

        I really enjoyed reading yout reply. Thank you for your perspective. I agree it goes too far but think it may have to to be heard aqnd then will hopefully level off. Nice talking too you. I wish you and yours a very special Christmas

  33. emom says:

    So that means we must continue Oppressing peoples beliefs. When will it end. They push we push, they push more we push harder. If it is JUST a word then Why can not all accept that many hold it dear and near to them, Why must it be that we have to conform to their ways. I for one Have Been sick of it. I do not like how its changed all because some are offended by it, I have never been offended by their holidays or beliefs, Just do not force it upon me . I feel its becoming more of the past and thus creating animosity amongst others. If it is JUST a word than why do folks that are so offended by it want us to CHANGE How we say it. I think that needs to change,, Leave us what we call it and stop MAKING us change to what YOU want.

  34. massman says:

    BostonIrish – Since I was a child, there has been a set vacation period, allotted to children in this country during the Christmas through New Years holidays. Both my wife and I grew up in homes that put up trees and Christmas decorations during this time. We both Exchanged gifts and celebrated with family. And we both did it with no religious involvement. I don’t think my family’s way of celebrating is all that uncommon. Another thing you need to understand, is the word “beliefs”. I don’t have “beliefs”. You either believe in whatever your religion espouses, or you don’t. But that’s for another conversation. As far as my children are concerned, they know very little about religion. When they are older, I will better explain to them about various religions and “beliefs”. No need for their minds to be cluttered with that at an early age. But they understand a lot about science. Which makes me proud.

  35. Ed Turner says:

    I’m tired of my beliefs infringed upon through outside religious factions in order to be “Politically Correct” in the religious sect of celebrating Christmas. Christmas for me has always been just that. Not “Happy Holidays, or we are having a Holiday Party”. I maintain I go with my inner feelings and thoughts when I am approached of this concern and I tell it like it is. My replies to others about Christmas is Merry Christmas and yes I having or going to the Christmas Party. I feel we have gone way past politically correct to become politically correct in reverse. I never heard any outside religious beliefs complain about taking Christmas off and being paid for the day. In fact I have had many tell me why they get to celebrate Christmas twice to my once as they also recognize their Religious celebratory. So who is being overly deprived? I say it is the others like myself who have been pushed about, forced to change, bullied and descended in my right to be as we are. I take the whole issue as I’m suffering and infringed on for my belief. I do not believe that it is legal to have had this done to me or others.

    1. tsal says:

      Ed I am not sure how old you are and not asking. That may be why you do not remember. The movement away from the school “Christmas” concert started when my kids were in grade school – the 1980s. We live in a town that has a high Jewish population. I also grew up in a town a few miles of Boston with a high Jewish population where, in school, we celebrated Christmas, had pageants, plays, etc – all centered around Christmas. The Jewish children had to participate which is fine but in turn nothing was done to honor and include their Hanukkah celebration.

      When my kids were little the Jewish parents in our town began to be heard. They wanted Hanukkah songs included in the concert held every December 24 at school. They insisted it be called the winter concert and not Christmas concert. Christian parents were furious and refused to change. In order to make the change, the Jewish parents had to push harder – just to have a few traditional Hanukkah songs included with the Christmas songs. That’s all they wanted. I hope people here can see the foolishness of that. They were forced to go to extremes – literally – because no one wanted to include a song other than a Christmas carol.

      Now for one minute put yourself or your child in that position where something you hold dear is refused acknowledgement. The sad part is that because it became such a sore topic that the concerts were eventually stopped altogether – JUST BECAUSE the parents didn’t want anything but Christmas songs.

      I want to be very clear that I am not in any way finding fault with the Christian or the Jewish religions here – they were simply the groups involved. Having grown up in an atmosphere where I saw kids left out but loving Christmas as much as I do I guess I learned to see both sides.

      BTW I think this is about a whole lot more than Christmas – I think Christmas is involved because, as you can see from all of the comments here, it gets immediate attention –

  36. Ed Turner says:

    I do not press upon those that use the symbolic candle of lights the “Menorah” is wrong like the Christmas tree a it came about later and was not a feature practiced during the origins of the celebratory time. Maybe here in America the brewing pot of ethnics and the brewing pot of political and religious correctness the people here should read Christmas worldwide or Around the World. Why to get a better understanding that Christians and there beliefs are being bullied.

    1. tsal says:

      Ed that”s a great link – thank you. We celebrate both Swedish and Italian Christmas traditions in our home along with traditional American traditions – both religious and magical. My husband grew up in many different countries (with Sweden and Italy being where he lived the longest), celebrating many different customs. We have tried to pass different traditions to our children. We also take part in many of the Jewish religious celebrations which I find incredibly moving. We’ve always felt it is important for our children – and for us – to understand and honor all beliefs.

  37. emom says:

    I still can understand WHO is so upset with how Americans have celebrated their holidays, I mean They shout it infringes their beliefs, HOW, Has my holiday that has been celebrated for hundreds of years some how trampled you, I mean so the stores sell stuff for it, they also sell other decorations for other holidays, How ever I don’t always see a lot of decorations for such holidays. Maybe because they do not use as much decorations. But yet there also seems to be a group of some sort out their that screams so loud and wants their days recognized. OK they are recognized and you celebrate them NOW WHAT, is it not enough, what else do they want. a float in a parade, well seen that to, OK What else do they want, a play then do it stop complaining, Some have done it. Most don’t, But now it seems that when children want to have a celebration or a play they must first get permission form the others in order to have such activities, Its the same thing at the workplace,
    Lets see, for decades it was celebrated in private, Most of the Jewish holidays were celebrated within the families, and I knew many of them growing up, It was a sacred time for them and they stayed behind closes doors, Not because it was to be hidden , because it was a private time in their lives, I totally respected that since I could not play with my friend during this time..
    Now it seems some have the need to branch out and now say if I they cant celebrate their days then the rest can not celebrate their days either, SINCE WHEN, its always been you do your thing I do mine. I never excluded you from mine but you excluded us from yours and said it was a private thing outsiders where not allowed, so be it, But I never told you , that you couldn’t celebrate your thing. Why now is it we can not do the same or for that matter CALL IT LIKE IT IS,,,, I have not told any one that they can not call their holiday or their decorations by what they call it , I don’t call it a gold gilded candle stick, but you want me to refer to mine as a holiday tree,. NEVER. Unless you want me to do the same to you. Once again I say, Why after all this time decades of saying and doing we have to change , Have we come so far in knowledge that we are now going backwards , instead of forward. Our past should stay OUR PAST, Have we not learned anything from it, Our ancestors mad huge mistakes, we acknowledge that, But Why are people of today being punished for what they did . Honestly I was not born during that time and had no control over what they said and did. it was their thing, but now these PC people and groups are acting much like our ancestors , BULLYING us into submissive ways, And then telling us its not fair to them. How fair are they being to us now, Stop blaming people of today for what people dcades ago have done, What control would we have had over what they had done.

  38. emom says:

    We as Americans ALLOWED IT, REALLY “WE” did. I was merely a child when this so called “WE” groups existed, Growing up I saw these “WE” groups prance around looking for equal rights, I saw how out of control these “WE” groups acted , like a bunch of spoil brats. My family was never part of these “WE” groups we condemned them ,, as I still do to this day.
    Just because it was part of our past still does not make it right and it is not right for this. We never shunned someone because of who they were or what they were or what they did, If they wanted to celebrate their holidays they did we never cared, And the they did the same and didn’t care about us… Back in my days which seems like forever, people cared enough to respect others.
    I think this so called “WE” group was out for their own agenda,,, something I was never part off.. I never agreed with the “WE” group and I never part take in their foolishness.
    And these “PC” “WE” groups are not much different from where I sit, they are doing to us now because it happened to them ., they are continuing the issue instead of healing the past., THE PAST IS JUST THAT THE PAST, a part of our society many do not like and want nothing from it. These “WE” groups are looking for their 15 minutes of glory and to make a point, to take away what many of us that were CHILDREN OR BABIES hold near and dear to our heart..
    Oh and don’t forget the reindeer, leave them a little CHRISTMAS something they need the energy to pull the sleigh with all those CHRISTMAS PRESENTS & SANTA.
    On Christmas day after you open your CHRISTMAS PRESENTS, sit back and enjoy the smiles ans joy on the children’s faces, and then rejoice at the dinning table to enjoy the CHRISTMAS FEAST. Sit and talk about CHRISTMAS PAST, CHRISTMAS PRESENT AND CHRISTMAS FUTURE. enjoy the season of CHRISTMAS wonder and if anyone tells you other repeat it once again ,,

  39. emom says:

    Oh side note,,,, do not include me in this “WE” group,,, I resent that. Thats including me in a group I had nothing to do with , Oh and neither did my family.

    1. tsal says:

      emom – really? let me explain – I am referring to we is as a nation – not you and me – does that help – This nation condoned segregation – this nation has supported for years the Christian traditions above all others We as a nation have a history right from the discovery for religious freedom (which wasn’t free). If you took the time to read massman’s post or if you saw it on television as I did – we had every single GOP presidential candidate stand by on national TV while a serviceman was booed because he is gay. This is a man who risked his life for you and me – and yet no one – NO ONE – did a thing and people are still supporting those who stood and let it happen. That is the current generation of WE. This isn’t when you were a child – it is NOW. Did you call those candidates and tell them you were appalled? You are outspoken as am I am I would not be surprised if you did. And if you did, I commend you.

      Perhaps that helps. If it doesn’t then I suggest we agree to disagree and stop posting to each other on this subject.

  40. Santa Claus says:

    Just a reminder that the label doesn’t matter I have many myself given to me by children and adults around the world. Remember to wish all you meet a Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays or Seasons Greeting They all have the same message All i ask is you are very sure its a message from your heart

    Father Christmas
    Kris Kringle
    Pere Noel
    Saint Nicholas
    Baba Chaghaloo

  41. The Owl says:

    It’s a joy to watch the politically correct politician try to avoid being politically incorrect.

    They become such laughable fools.

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