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The Christmas Tree Debate: Should Christmas Trees be Called Holiday Trees?

Here at Christmas Tree Market, we think it’s a “Christmas tree” not a “holiday tree” (hey, we don’t want to change our name!) Find out more about the great “Christmas tree debate” here. Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

The “war on Christmas” controversy has been brewing and heating up since the 1980s. In our pluralistic society, there are many groups claiming foul – non-Christian groups claiming the use of Christmas symbols and traditions in the public space violates their rights, Christian groups who feel their religion is being threatened, and conservatives who decry the growing political correctness in society, just to name a few.

So is it “Christmas in America” or “Holidays in America”? The government has been tiptoeing around this issue and going back and forth in support of both sides. The separation of Church and State is sometimes used to justify removing the term“Christmas” and replacing it with “holiday” and as a result, the Christmas tree is often at the heart of this debate.

In 2002, a California State Senate bill was introduced to rename the State Holiday Tree the California State Christmas Tree. When this bill did not pass, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger referred to the tree as a Christmas tree during his speech at the lighting ceremony and used the same term to describe the tree in his press release for the event.

On a national scale, Obama began his first holiday season lighting the White House Christmas Tree and saying "Merry Christmas!" three times. The president has continued referring to the White House tree as a Christmas tree since then, revealing this year a 19-foot Balsam Fir will be this year's Blue Room Christmas Tree.

Retailers are also getting it from both sides. Groups supporting the term “holiday tree” are asking retailers to be politically correct, while groups in support of “Christmas tree” are crying foul on the exclusion of traditional values.

In 2005, Lowe’s, the hardware builder supplier, got stirred into the issue for using the term “holiday tree” instead of “Christmas tree” after claims that it was avoiding the mention of Christmas. Their signs read Holiday trees in English, but their Spanish trees translated to Christmas trees instead.That same year, Wal-Mart, Target, and the Sears Holding Corporation were criticized for avoiding the term “Christmas” in their holiday advertising and received letters threatening to boycott the stores. Even cartoons are getting mixed up in this, with the most recent incident being the pulling out of the term “Christmas” in the cartoon Thomas the Tank Engine. The fact that “the war on Christmas” is being discussed from the White House to your house is testimony to its importance, and how its outcome could potentially influence the American perception of Christmas.

Wherever you stand on the “Christmas tree debate”, we hope you have a warm holiday season and enjoy the trees purchased here at Christmas Tree Market!

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