Thursday, December 01, 2005

What would we do without "controversy?"...

Vanessa here...

Okay, so the whole city of Boston, including our Mumbling Mayor, has gone completely postal over the fact that the city's Christmas tree -- donated each year by our sister city, Halifax, Nova Scotia -- is being called a "holiday tree."

Here's what The Globe had to say about it.

Everyone's gone pazzo about this. Oh, they're taking Christmas out of Christmas. I get home and all of the local-make-mountains-out-of-mole-hills "news" channels are talking about "the controversy swirling around Boston."

I've got three words for all of you: Get. Over. It.

Let me start by saying that I am a Christian. I celebrate Christmas. I appreciate the day for what it's supposed to be about, not just the commercialization of the day. All that being said, everyone needs to calm the hell down.

First of all, the decoration of a tree traces back to Pagan times to celebrate the winter solstice. Later in the 7th century, a tree was thought to have a triangular shape representing the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. But people...Christmas trees have nothing to do with the celebration of Jesus' birthday...therefore...calm down about it being called a "holiday tree."

This is the 21st century where -- believe it or not -- Christianity is not the world's top religion. The United States -- and particularly our beloved Boston -- is a melting pot of many cultures, customs, religions and backgrounds. We all have come together in this great experiment called America that was founded on religious freedoms for all. So, in saying "Happy Holidays" and "Oh, look at the holiday tree," it's merely an attempt to include everyone in the festivities and loveliness of the season where there should be peace, harmony, love and appreciation for all we have.

There...I've said my peace. And if I saw Mayor Mumbles tonight out in town, I'd tell him the same thing. And shame on the newspapers and news outlets for propagating this. Everyone needs to just get over it. Call the damn tree anything you's pretty. Look at it. Appreciate it. Let the love the season flow through you.

I'll climb off my soap box now.

On a happier note, Emily, the Wisconsin kitty who accidentally stowed away in an airplane and ended up in Paris, France, is coming home thanks to Continental Airlines. Now that's a holiday story for your ass!

Hang loose,
Double Vee


Anonymous j said...

yeah, the news channels here do get all worked up over nothing and making "controversy" out of every day boredom. i agree with you. call the damn tree anything you like, just look at it and enjoy it.

8:24 AM  
Blogger Nikki said...

We heard about that out here in Halifax -- I don't think it helped that the guy who gave up the tree was jumping in with his two cents.

I'm just glad we get to give you the tree each year!!!! We love Boston!!!!

2:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not to get into a debate, but I agree that it should be called a "CHRISTMAS TREE". That is what it is.

Sure, Christianity is not the world's top religion but is it not in the US? I'm not sure how accurate that quote from the Boston Globe but do you not think that 90% of the population is reason enough to be able to call it CHRISTMAS.

How successful do you think you'd be if you travelled to a Muslim country and told them to stop with their "Ramadan" traditions. Not very.

Sure the US is a melting pot but that doesn't mean we should have to change the way we've done things in the past. People new to the country need to ADAPT to our ways and traditions. They move here knowing that this is what's done - they shouldn't be trying to stop it but enjoy it. And, enjoy the fact that they have the right to celebrate their own festivities.

It's not just about the Tree....give it time and we won't even be able to celebrate CHRISTMAS at all. Sad.

6:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

She's not saying that you should do something differently than what you've been doing in the past, but when you put up a decoration in the middle of a city for all to see and enjoy, you've got to involve everyone in that town. Sure, if it's in some middle red state where every looks alike and is related, it can probably be classified as a christmas tree for the town to enjoy, but in a culturally diverse city like Boston or New York or LA or whatever where you put up a tree, you make it generic so everyone can feel the seasonal spirit. What's wrong with that?

11:15 PM  
Anonymous Stan, American living in Canada said...

There's a very old, strong, deep, wide American tradition and it has lots of different names depending on what type of people and that's "shut up and like it" -- whatever it is. Back like in the 20's, 30's and 40's, there was a thing in some communities where you had to get along to go along and it meant you didn't get beat or killed and you could go about your busines and live your life and not be bothered -- and that's what this is. If you just go along with the 90% to go along, then you'll be fine. As long as you adapt to "me," you'll be fine and what's the big deal. It comes down to what kind of country you want to have.

11:22 PM  
Blogger Diana Peterfreund said...

I'd call it a Christmas tree. I don't think we should lose the meaning of the signifier by making the name generic. Hanukah bush? um, no. We've already got a symbol for that holiday, but thanks. It's a Christmas tree. (In another religion, it is/was a Yule tree.) But we don't need it to be applicable to all religions in order to appreciate the fact that pretty glass decorations and lights on an evergreen in a snowy park is a wonderful sight. One can appreciate the beauty of a culture even if it's not one's own.

I go to the Chinese New Year's parade. Pretty fireworks. Pretty dragons. I can totally appreciate that and respect their holiday and their beautiful celebration. Their parade is not an affront to my calendar or beliefs about time counting. It's just different.

11:31 PM  

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