Holiday tree – Not in my house

Published 6:49 pm Monday, December 5, 2005

By By Janet Little Cooper
The holiday season is in full swing with the completion of Atmore's city streets being decked with Christmas lights, Santa's arrival to town and the annual Christmas parade.
Fortunately, our quaint little town has not succumbed to the pressures of the world and has stayed true to tradition by lighting the town Christmas tree, instead of a 'Holiday Tree'.
Recently, the term 'holiday tree' has been used throughout the United States to reflect the winter holiday season and not target any specific holiday season like uh, say, Christmas.
Renaming the tree is believed to be the more respectful thing to do in order to not offend anyone who doesn't believe in Christmas or celebrates the holiday in a different way.
Some major retailers are giving into the pressure by not only displaying 'holiday trees', but by wishing their customers a 'Happy Holiday' instead of a 'Merry Christmas.'
The commercialization of Christmas has grown steadily each year, trying to compromise the true meaning of the day, but as of late the attack has seem to become more fierce. We need not worry about the Grinch stealing Christmas anymore; our ungodly society is taking care of that.
I personally love this time of the year. It is one of my favorites. And yes, I love Christmas decorations and Christmas trees. I currently have 17 Christmas trees in my house.
Offensive? Maybe, but no more offensive than me being in a public place and being subjected to inappropriate behavior among couples, cursing, body piercings, and tattoos that contain sexually explicit materials being displayed for my children to see.
Are my rights being violated? Certainly, but no one is going to protest those types of things. All of those are considered a freedom of expression and speech.
Christmas is my freedom of expression and speech that I feel is only challenged due to its relation with Christianity.
While Christmas is certainly besieged with a secular side, most everyone knows the true meaning of the day. I grew up believing in Santa and always left something extra for his reindeer, but I also grew up being told and believing the story of Christmas – the immaculate birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
As a child, my family made banners wishing Jesus a Happy Birthday and we always had a birthday cake to celebrate His birth as well. Many churches host a birthday party for Jesus each December in honor of His birth.
I agree that too much emphasis is being placed on the secular side and that people tend to lose sight of the true meaning. But to take the name away and do away with Christmas and replace it with Holiday or Season would also take the entire meaning away. It would be just another ordinary day.
My Christmas trees are a constant reminder to me of the Christ's birth. As I sit alone at night gazing at the white lights sparkling against the ornaments and the needles of the Christmas tree, it gives me time for quite thought, devotion and reflection.
My heart ponders on times past, present and future. I certainly am not thinking of Santa or his reindeer at that point and time, my eyes are looking heavenward.
To those who may be offended by the word Christmas tree or Merry Christmas – I am sorry. You don't know what you are missing. It may be that you have never been acquainted with the real meaning of the day and instead only know of the secular side. Christmas will always be Christmas regardless of any one-organization efforts to squash it. Christmas will prevail!
Janet Little Cooper is lifestyles reporter for the Atmore Advance. Her column appears weekly.

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