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Why do we have a White House Christmas tree?

104 posts in this topic

Yes, that is what I am talking about. What my OP and posts was meant to convey. How much longer for our Nation's Christmas Tree lit by a President at the White House?

The best thing in my opinion is to let every faith have their festivals... and let Christmas remain as it it, continue as Americans putting up the tree in the Whitehouse and keep with tradition. If it changes, there will be resentment on all sides, you don't want that as it opens the door for conflict.

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If it was a national nativity seen then I would say no, but a tree means many things to many people all different. Being that is what we are, it is something to enjoy by all. My JW neighbor would say it is the devils work and that makes me love it all the more.

It used to have Nativity scenes with live animals, but the ACLU had them moved farther away. There is or was a National Menorah too.

Edited by QuiteContrary

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The best thing in my opinion is to let every faith have their festivals... and let Christmas remain as it it, continue as Americans putting up the tree in the Whitehouse and keep with tradition. If it changes, there will be resentment on all sides, you don't want that as it opens the door for conflict.

I haven't signed any petitions. I won't be cutting it down. I've always liked big lit trees.

But, we are losing certain holiday decorations in public places all across our country. So some groups (it isn't my crusade) are offended and I see our Tree (which represents a Nation) as following suit one day.

I see an 'all inclusiveness' winning battles all over the U.S. For me, the Obamas stand for that, and I APPLAUD it wholeheartedly. And for me, unlike those who first posted, a Christmas Tree (pine with lights and a star and singing and live animals) has the connotation of a Christian holiday with a Christian name lit by Christian Presidents.

So I got to thinking will it end too? Would a Jewish President light the National Tree or the National Menorah or both? Why?

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation is one of my all time favorite movies! Do it up Clarks of the World! (though try to use solar power and turn them off by 10pm)

Edited by QuiteContrary

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Actually Clark's display was a bit (quite a bit) overdone for my taste. Still a great movie. The elderly lady was the voice of Olive Oyl.

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I haven't signed any petitions. I won't be cutting it down. I've always liked big lit trees.

But, we are losing certain holiday decorations in public places all across our country. So some groups (it isn't my crusade) are offended and I see our Tree (which represents a Nation) as following suit one day.

I see an 'all inclusiveness' winning battles all over the U.S. For me, the Obamas stand for that, and I APPLAUD it wholeheartedly. And for me, unlike those who first posted, a Christmas Tree (pine with lights and a star and singing and live animals) has the connotation of a Christian holiday with a Christian name lit by Christian Presidents.

So I got to thinking will it end too? Would a Jewish President light the National Tree or the National Menorah or both? Why?

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation is one of my all time favorite movies! Do it up Clark! (though try to use solar power)

Hi Quite Contrary,

It's good to have everybody catered for with regards to faith. It's just dangerous to start picking out one faith and trying to minimise it in order to please a minority when in all reality there is no need to, as all faiths here in the UK get their festivals. Britain bends over backwards in this regard and it's unhealthy and not fair. For us all to get along together we have to give and take :tu:

I love the film National Lampoons Christmas vacation! :clap:

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Give it up. Christmas is an amazing, wonderful and awesomely beautiful thing to see in the dead of winter.

or the height of summer as some may hve it.

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No where did I say we should do away with the lights and sounds and decorations at christmas time. Not one mention of it.

My only question I had in this whole thread is the participation of our Presidents' in a National Christmas Tree lighting which has had Judeo/Christian religious accompaniment and connotations.

Decorate every tree from shore to shore! It is pretty and colorful and warming in winter.

I love it too. Though we do without the shopping and gift giving to everyone we've ever met.

I have no agenda against holiday decorations. And never said I did.

There is a gingerbread house on my counter (daughter and hubby made it) and the house smells like cinnamon and apples.

We will bake cookies and a traditional eastern European bread my grandma made every November and December.

No lights though, my husband has had too many back surgeries and is having another next month.

We enjoy our neighbors' lights and always drive around to look at them.

And every household lets off the big fireworks here, like you would see at a city display. It's amazing.

No campaign against holiday decorations. Never even thought of ending them.

OK, fair enough regarding household and business decorations.

You know, you could participate in the tradition of "gift-giving" without being offensive to anyone.

Might I suggest you engage in this by you sending me a gift.

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OK, fair enough regarding household and business decorations.

You know, you could participate in the tradition of "gift-giving" without being offensive to anyone.

Might I suggest you engage in this by you sending me a gift.

Thank you, Palladin. It has taken Star of the Sea's posts to calm me down. I know what I want to get across, it makes perfect sense in my head, but usually falls apart while posting. I am sorry.

Oh, we don't give gifts to not offend. We can't afford it. And I am about as creative and talented as a brick.

My husband's siblings are far better off than we are with lots of kids. It got ridiculous. We couldn't compete and they were not into drawing names. Plus, our teen kids thought the crowds and shopping was silly. So we stopped.

Our kids get money at christmas, and they do get birthday gifts. And sometimes I bake for extended family gifts.

What would you like?

I'm good at macrame. :w00t:

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Christmass is no longer just a religious holiday.... Time off work with family, meals, and presents. Even many atheists still have christmass trees in their homes. I'm not Christian, but I love the holidays. I take the time to reflect on the greater attributes of jesuses teachings evin if The story migh be fabricated. For me it's always the thought that counts. Another bit of Christmas wisdom.

I also go to christmass mass with my wife every year. Deep attitudes of joy, forgiveness, giving, and humanity is the only thing I see.

Not being a Christian but sitting in a grand church with every one focused on what they perceive to be a grand innocent life is a sight to see despite personal beliefs and history.

I love christmass. I believe in separation of church and state but I don't mind it a bit to see a chrstmass tree on my white house. For me it's a symbol of reconnection to the spirit and family.... And yes to my wife's dismay every year I refuse to use a cut down tree. Last year it was a bay leaf trea that we planted in our yard. A great addition to our garden and culinary persuits I must say.

The tree has gone through many metamorphosis in meaning. Now it belongs to our holiday season regardless of its origins. The meaning is up to the individual.

Edited by Seeker79
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I think some confusion seems to have originated becuase we seem to be confusing the

http://en.wikipedia...._Christmas_tree

with the

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Christmas_Tree_(United_States). Is it the latter about which we are talking?

Edited by 747400

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I haven't signed any petitions. I won't be cutting it down. I've always liked big lit trees.

But, we are losing certain holiday decorations in public places all across our country. So some groups (it isn't my crusade) are offended and I see our Tree (which represents a Nation) as following suit one day.

All of which groups are very small minorities (the ones who make a big thing of being Offended about it, i mean.) This might change one day, who knows, but until then, is it not rather undemocratic to bow down to what they demand if the great majority of the People do not seem too bothered about it?

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I think some confusion seems to have originated becuase we seem to be confusing the

http://en.wikipedia...._Christmas_tree

with the

http://en.wikipedia...._(United_States). Is it the latter about which we are talking?

Posts #8 and #9 clearly state National Christmas Tree. And I refer to it as the National Christmas Tree repeatedly, thereafter.

Yes, the WH also has several Christmas trees inside. And I spoke of them as well. (Under the Obama's) they (those on public display anyway) are decorated to not be offensive, as well as not decorated with personal ornaments or ones WH offspring might make at a private christian school they attend or church. So there is awareness that a Christmas Tree in the WH has the potential to be offensive to some.

edited to add "on public display"

Edited by QuiteContrary

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All of which groups are very small minorities (the ones who make a big thing of being Offended about it, i mean.) This might change one day, who knows, but until then, is it not rather undemocratic to bow down to what they demand if the great majority of the People do not seem too bothered about it?

Again, it is happening. I'm not in control here. I'm not making up something that doesn't already exist. Laws are being passed, decorations are being removed, no matter how many people might feel certain decorations are benign. Those who are apathetic or content with the status quo, aren't the ones initiating change, yet change still happens.

Minority groups and topics important to less than the majority do bring about change in our country and have since our beginnings.

We, like some other countries are a mix of beliefs and cultures, and this grows annually. What may have been more homogeneous at some point in our history, isn't now. And what may be majority rule one day, in our country every one has a voice.

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I think some confusion seems to have originated becuase we seem to be confusing the

http://en.wikipedia...._Christmas_tree

with the

http://en.wikipedia...._(United_States). Is it the latter about which we are talking?

And I must add What visitor inside the WH would assume the Christmas trees inside are there without the approval of government?

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Again, it is happening. I'm not in control here. I'm not making up something that doesn't already exist. Laws are being passed, decorations are being removed, no matter how many people might feel certain decorations are benign. Those who are apathetic or content with the status quo, aren't the ones initiating change, yet change still happens.

Minority groups and topics important to less than the majority do bring about change in our country and have since our beginnings.

We, like some other countries are a mix of beliefs and cultures, and this grows annually. What may have been more homogeneous at some point in our history, isn't now. And what may be majority rule one day, in our country every one has a voice.

Well, if that really is the case, unless there really is a significant public Outcry against having Religion Rammed down pople's Throats, the organisations and authorities that are doing it are being very undemocratic, not to mention wasting a small but no doubt significant part of their time & resources in messing about with something so trivial. Why are the tiny minorites who might be Offended by it able to have so much of a say? It almost makes me want to wish that mr. Romney had been elected; i bet he'd have told them where to go with all this politically correct nonsense.

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I don't quite understand this topic...maybe it's because I'm in the UK?

So instead I will contribute a pretty smiley - it's what I do best

julrumf.gif

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^Nice one Bling^^ :yes:

Take away all the Christmas trees,nativity scenes,elves,Santa,or whatever,as long as my kids still come over,it will always be Christmas to me.

(haha who am I kidding? My ol' lady has 2 boxes of decorations I'm supposed to put up today)

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^Nice one Bling^^ :yes:

Take away all the Christmas trees,nativity scenes,elves,Santa,or whatever,as long as my kids still come over,it will always be Christmas to me.

(haha who am I kidding? My ol' lady has 2 boxes of decorations I'm supposed to put up today)

i always insist on waiting till December, at least. Of course, this year I might wait until the 22nd, just to make sure that there'll be any point to putting them up.

:innocent:

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But it is called a "Christmas" tree. It is not a pagan symbol at the White House. Are there angels on the WH tree? A nativity maybe? Christian symbols?

It's called a Christmas tree for the same reason there is an Easter Bunny and a Thanksgiving Day Turkey. It is part of the season/holiday. These days, it is more closely associated with Santa Clause than with Jesus. It doesn't have any more religious significance in general than Christmas presents do. Personally, I don't see a gift of the IPOD 5 as a religious offering.

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I'm surprised Christians aren't complaining about it. Christmas is a Pagan tradition. The Puritans knew this and banned it. It didn't become a tradition in the United States until Victorian times. It's another case of modern Christianity molding itself into whatever is convenient.

African Christians are completely baffled by Christmas when they come to the U.S. The celebration doesn't fit into their religion in any way.

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I'm surprised Christians aren't complaining about it. Christmas is a Pagan tradition. The Puritans knew this and banned it. It didn't become a tradition in the United States until Victorian times. It's another case of modern Christianity molding itself into whatever is convenient.

African Christians are completely baffled by Christmas when they come to the U.S. The celebration doesn't fit into their religion in any way.

Yes, and Kwanzaa traditions became history/art/show and tell lessons in our schools not too long ago. A minority wanted to be heard along with our "American Christmas" and they were listened to. There are those who feel Christmas is specific to a certain group, and not all inclusive.

Edited to add- see post #98

Edited by QuiteContrary

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I don't quite understand this topic...maybe it's because I'm in the UK?

So instead I will contribute a pretty smiley - it's what I do best

julrumf.gif

UK posters have said certain decorations have been taken down to not offend where they live too.

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Yes "Holiday Tree," No Menorah or Kwanzaa Decorations, at City Hall This Year

Published Dec 9, 2009, 12:00pm

By Erica C. Barnett

For years, City Hall has displayed a Hanukkah menorah and a Kwanzaa kinara (a seven-candle candleabra) alongside the traditional Christmas (ahem, "holiday") tree. This year, however, the kinara and menorah are nowhere to be found.

Brenda Bauer, director of the city's department of fleets and facilities (which oversees City Hall decorations), says she made the decision not to display the Hanukkah and Kwanzaa decorations because "there are a lot of emotions around [religious displays] and this has a very tough year at the city. With all the furloughs and layoffs, we need to stay focused on our priorities rather than creating a controversy."

"Religious displays have created a great deal of controversy" in recent years, Bauer notes. For example, in 2008, atheists sparked a statewide controversy when they displayed an anti-religion sign alongside a holiday tree and a Christian nativity in the state capitol. In 2006, Sea-Tac Airport decided to take down its Christmas trees when a local rabbi demanded that the airport also display an 8-foot-high menorah, and has not displayed holiday trees since.

But what about the 15-foot-high tree, decked with ornaments including lifelike doves, that currently anchors the first floor of City Hall?

"It's not a Christmas tree. It's a holiday tree," Bauer says. "There are a variety of decorations around City Hall, [including] poinsettias and greenery ... They are seasonal decorations that are peaceful."

Doug Honig, spokesman for the state ACLU, says that whereas a menorah "clearly is a religious symbol," holiday trees have "been so secularized that they're not seen as religious symbols." He says the ACLU has not taken a position on City Hall's holiday decorations.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Underscoring mine

Who says Holiday Tree? Not one poster has mentioned it. That is why I asked early in the thread if anyone thought our National Christmas Tree would be renamed?

This is not some new grassroots campaign (or fight) I dreamed up yesterday. And I need to hear how crazy and ridiculous I am or the thread is and what a scrooge I am.

It is real and spreading and effecting Christmas decorations. And I never lifted a finger to help them.

Edited by QuiteContrary

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Yes "Holiday Tree," No Menorah or Kwanzaa Decorations, at City Hall This Year

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Underscoring mine

Who says Holiday Tree? Not one poster has mentioned it. That is why I asked early in the thread if anyone thought our National Christmas Tree would be renamed?

This is not some new grassroots campaign (or fight) I dreamed up yesterday. And I need to hear how crazy and ridiculous I am or the thread is and what a scrooge I am.

It is real and spreading and effecting Christmas decorations. And I never lifted a finger to help them.

does that really surprise anyone? Local Politicians have always got far too much time on their hands, or perhaps I should say they can always find the time for pointless gimmicks like this rather than, say, doing something that might be useful.

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does that really surprise anyone? Local Politicians have always got far too much time on their hands, or perhaps I should say they can always find the time for pointless gimmicks like this rather than, say, doing something that might be useful.

It isn't just politicians. Most politicians wouldn't care unless their constituents did. It is vocal public groups wanting them removed, as the article also stated.

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