Monday, December 14, 2009
Christmas trees in public square
Last week, I posted an entry about Christmas music. The premise of the entry was to identify which Christmas songs should only be recorded by a single artist. My example was Burl Ives and Holly Jolly Christmas. Any other recording just isn't up to par. I had a few comments with other suggestions, you're welcome to go back and add your ideas here.
Later in the week, I was listening to some Christmas music and heard a song by Barry Manilow. Now, as much as it embarrasses me to admit this, I like Barry Manilow. But the thought hit me that he's Jewish. Why would a Jewish man sing songs celebrating the birth of the Messiah? The birth of the Christ child?
So I decided to do a little investigation. What other Jewish people sing Christmas songs? Well, the Internet is our friend, I found out I wasn't the first to ask this question (alas, there's nothing new under the sun). I found that Neil Diamond (who sings "Sweet Caroline") is Jewish as well as Barbra Streisand and both have Christmas albums.
Turns out there are a lot of Christmas songs written by those who are Jewish including "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire", "Holly Jolly Christmas" (which I mentioned earlier) and "White Christmas" (reference).
I certainly have nothing against these people singing Christmas songs. In fact, a little more research told me that Ed Asner, who is a frequent speaker at ACLU meetings has played Santa Claus in the 2003 movie Elf (and if memory serves me right, also in the old Mary Tyler Moore series).
So with Christians, Jews and atheists alike, all celebrating & singing about Christmas, it appears that the holiday is no longer a Christian holiday. With that information, why do we prohibit Christmas trees in the public square? Why do we (in government) shy away from calling it a Christmas tree or the Christmas holiday?
So let's put up Christmas trees in the public square. After all, if it isn't a Christian holiday, the government shouldn't have any problems, right?