Archive for December 2006

“Oh Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree,….”

December 14, 2006

The Port of Seattle has removed all their Christmas trees from the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, which launches another “War on Christmas”.  I’ve never understood the tie in of the Christmas tree to Christianity.  The history of the Christmas tree has pagan roots. 

The Romans decorated the trees with shiny metals and images of Bacchus with twelve candles honoring the sun god.  The Germanic tribes sacrificied male animals and slaves to suspend them in evergreen trees.  Most references are in regards to the winter solstice or renewal of spring or life.  The conifer trees were forever green during winter as other trees looked dead and barren. 

It was around the 19th century when the Christmas tree became wide spread.  Queen Victoria as a young girl marveled at the decorated trees of lights and sugar ornaments after Christmas Eve dinner.  Prince Albert donated trees to schools and army barracks at Christmas time. 

So why is the Christmas tree embraced so strongly by Christians, which causes a lot of prickliness with other religions?  The only reference in the bible is in the old testament, and it condemns the ornate tree! 

Jeremiah 10:2-4:  “Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.  For the customs of people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workmen, with the axe.  They deck it with silver and with gold; then fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.” 

This is the best definition on the subject that I have ever found.  It’s time to own up to the fact that Christmas has nothing to do with Jesus Christ, religion, or winter solstice.  The truth of the holiday is that it’s meant to drive consumerism and increase the bounty of companies and corporations. The tree is cut, killed, and ornately decorated to show wealth.  The boxes upon boxes piled under the tree have no connection to theology.  How many Hallmark or fast food chain ornaments are hanging from family Christmas trees?  Why not have ornaments that reflect Best Buy, Exxon, Walmart, or even Mattel. 

Let’s just quit kidding ourselves that Christmas has anything to do with reflecting on Jesus Christ’s birth or his teachings.

– Jake Drew

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