Originally Posted by CarrieMF
I am Pagan and I have never associated a Xmas tree in a house as it being a Christian family, nor does anyone I know associate it with Christianity.
I agree. If they do, they are misguided and uninformed. Having an evergreen tree in the home at Yule reflects a northern culture's desire to bring life into a season where everything seems to be dead.
As I see it (correct me if I am wrong), Jews desire a connection to their middle eastern roots, where there is no need for this particular kind of seasonal tradition. I agree, Sukkot (a harvest festival, right?) is a more important seasonal reflection for people from a warmer climate. If that is more meaningful to you (along with Channukah) than an identification with the northern climate you actually live in, go with that. Of course, if one is a very "liberal" Jew (Reform?), you may have a more easygoing attitude? Again, correct me if I am wrong. This is what I have picked up from Jewish friends and those married to pagans or atheists or otherwise.
|An Xmas tree is more part of the commercialism that the season is than belonging to any religion anymore.
I disagree. IMO, a tree is a way for many, Christian, Pagan or atheist (as my parents were and are) to celebrate the change of season and bring light and life to a dark, hard and frozen landscape. They smell delicious, they look beautiful and the traditional ritual of bringing out the boxes of heirloom decorations are important for family unity and identity.
Even the frustration with burnt out and tangled strings of lights is part of the tradition, like it or not! LOL
The idea that the tree is Xtian is just a reflection of the church's insidiously clever desire and ability to syncretize to spread the religion to other cultures.
IME, few people hate their tree. Some neatniks, like my Scroogy sister, like to get it down as soon as possible, but kids love the tree, and the parents love it for their sake!
Meowee quoted this, which I provide in an updated translation (the use of the word "heathen" seemed incongruous to me):
Jer 10:2 ...Do not learn the way of the nations, nor be dismayed at the signs of the heavens, because the nations are dismayed at them,
Jer 10:3 for the customs of the peoples are false. A tree from the forest is cut down, and worked with an axe by the hands of a craftsman.
Jer 10:4 Men deck it with silver and gold; they fasten it with hammer and nails so that it cannot move.
These verses refer to a carved image of a god/dess and not to an evergreen tree. Obvious, as it goes on to say:
Jer 10:5 Their idols are like scarecrows in a cucumber field, and they cannot speak; they have to be carried, for they cannot walk. Be not afraid of them, for they cannot do evil, neither is it in them to do good.
Jer 10:8 They are both stupid and foolish; the instruction of idols is but wood!
Jer 10:9 Beaten silver is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz. They are the work of the craftsman and of the hands of the goldsmith; their clothing is violet and purple; they are all the work of skilled men.
[OT: It bugs me when the prophets imply that those abominable goyim are worshipping a hunk of wood.
Oh well, everyone is entitled to their opinion. The sacred scripture of every culture is ethnocentric, with few exceptions.]