Christmas trees: a people’s icon

(Canscene) — I may or may not have been attentive this season, but I haven’t noticed the usual hubbub about Christmas trees which in spite of some misguided do-gooders seem to be in greater evidence than ever in stores and public places.

This is the time of year when celebrations, religious and otherwise are most evident. Eid, Diwali, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Chinese New Year all speak for a season of goodwill and joy in our existence.

It’s true that the Christmas tree seems to predominate the environment but this year I have neither read nor seen a personal or public outcry at the ubiquity of the tree.

I recall one angry lady host on a so called religious station who interviewed me (defending multiculturalism) closing the show with “I dare them to abolish the Christmas Tree.”

Studies show that the tree has its roots in pagan Germany, long before the seasonal tribute  began in Germany in the 1600s whence it came to North America via the considerable waves of German immigration at that time.  It is believed that German immigrants were decorating trees in Canada long before their arrival in England, a country which through Dickens and other sentimental authors captured public attention.

Although an instrument of commerce as well as a home event, the tree has long lost any religious significance But, I say, so be it.   The  Christmas tree is here and here to stay and a growing number of newcomers of diverse religious beliefs are  enjoying its glowing presence.

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