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November  30

Be There or Be A Grinch

The Chanukah tree, Christmas bush holiday tree lighting in Montclair takes place this Friday, at 6 pm, at the corner of Church Street and Bloomfield Ave. Come see Santa and hear holiday music performed by the Montclair Community Band. Church Street gets closed to cars starting at 5 pm.

The Glen Ridge tree lighting and sing-along is Sunday Dec. 4 at 4:30 pm. Bloomfield's holiday tree lighting will be Monday Dec. 5 in front of town hall at 7 pm.  The big one at Rockefeller Center is, of course, tonight.

November 30, 2005 in Happenings | Permalink


Good to know that for the tree lighting Church Street will closed to cars starting at 5 pm.

What a holiday gift if the township turned Church Street into a pedestrian mall and barred cars forever!

Perhaps if we all wished hard enough this dream will come true.

Merry Holidays to ALL


PEACE on Earth

Posted by: Franklin | Nov 30, 2005 9:34:46 AM

It is a Christmas Tree, unless you can find legitimate references in modern history where non-Christian faiths celebrate a decorated tree as a religious symbol. As far as I know there is no such religion as "Holiday," so how could it be called a Holiday Tree?

It is a Christmas tree and people of other faiths - or no faith at all - are welcome to recognize and enjoy it as such, or not, as they please, just as Christians are welcome to respect and celebrate symbols of other faiths.

My warped mind envisions a "holiday tree" as something that the Secret Politically Correct Police can dance around and laugh about how uncomfortable they have made us feel, for that seems to be their primary goal.

Celebrate as ye may. Just don't forget the presents.

Posted by: Conan the Grammarian | Nov 30, 2005 9:56:45 AM

It can be called a holiday tree because we say so!

Though celebrating with evergreen trees is associated with Christmas, it was the pre-Christian pagans who brought greens into their homes to brighten their spirits during the long, cold, dark days of winter.

Call it a Christmas tree at your house if you want.

Posted by: Black Irish | Nov 30, 2005 11:08:16 AM

There is in fact a very old tradition in Germany concerning a decorated "holiday tree" honored by the pagans (lower case as opposed to my fave MC) there prior to the arrival of St.Boniface in the early 8th century to convert them. The tree was called the "irmenseul" and was considered the "tree of life." There is even a representation of this tree carved into the rocks of the megalithic site at Externsteine in Germany which famously shows the irmenseul bending down to allow those taking Christ down from the cross to use it as a step.

In legend, St, Boniface is also said to have cut down Thor's sacred oak, which was supposedly also decorated by its worshipping heathens, by way of making a religious point to the Germans about idol worship.

O tannenbaum, o tannenbaum indeed, in other words, Conan. (Dare I presume I can provide this heathenish info as a more-or-less Papist?)

Posted by: cathar | Nov 30, 2005 11:14:10 AM

The evergreen symbolizes life and rebirth through the darkness of winter. We celebrate the birth of Jesus at this time since those who are Christians (self included) believe that Jesus was the light of the world.

We do know that Jesus' real birthday was not December 25th. That's actually the birth of a pagan sun god, Mithras. The church decided to put the word of in between those two to celebrate the Son OF God.

While I don't dispute what Black Irish is saying, the concept of the Christmas Tree was first introduced by German Monks.

It is interesting since all religions celebrate a festival of lights. Christmas is our festival of light, the Jews of course have the Feast of the Tabernacles, or Chanukah, the Hindus have Diwali, the Muslims have Eid-El Fitr.

They are all pretty much the same holiday that happens around the same time, yet we fight like Hell over who's holiday is the most significant.

Posted by: MyManMisterC | Nov 30, 2005 11:19:16 AM

Nice Cathar, we are on the same line today. I forgot it was St. Boniface.

Posted by: MyManMisterC | Nov 30, 2005 11:20:36 AM

Thanks for eloquently expressing what I couldn't seem to put into words last week.

"...and to all a good night"

Posted by: The Iceman | Nov 30, 2005 11:21:36 AM

Cathar, welcome back!

May I be the first to wish you a Merry Christmas? :-)

Posted by: Miss Martta | Nov 30, 2005 11:47:33 AM

Hey cathar, glad to see you back! Hope all is well and your absence was of your own choosing.

Posted by: State Street Pete | Nov 30, 2005 12:07:11 PM

Ah, that's the spirit! That's more like the old Baristaville. Give 'em hell hell, Harry (or Cathar)! I specified "modern history" on purpose. I am aware of the pagan rituals -- they also use to sacrifice animals, people, whatever got in their way -- by hanging them on these trees, but that just didn't sound ... Chistmas-y ... to me. And yes, you can call your tree anything you want, but the tradition is Christmas Tree. Now, where did you put the presents....

Posted by: Conan the Grammarian | Nov 30, 2005 12:22:06 PM

"they also use to sacrifice animals, people, whatever got in their way -- by hanging them on these trees..."

Hence we have ornaments.

Posted by: Miss Martta | Nov 30, 2005 12:35:28 PM

Christmas is a religious celebration.

However, the Christmas Tree has resulted in the commercialization of the commemoration of the birth of Christ.

Isn't it time to put CHRIST back into Christmas?

Posted by: Franklin | Nov 30, 2005 12:35:42 PM

Amen Franklin,

In the lobby of our office is a 8 ft tree.

It is silver with red and silver disco ball ornaments.

It sickens me.

Posted by: MyManMisterC | Nov 30, 2005 12:41:22 PM


Posted by: Chris | Nov 30, 2005 12:45:59 PM

LMAO, Martta! I never knew the significance of hanging balls on a tree, but somehow it now becomes apparent!

So, how do we factor in the increasing popularity of upside-down Christmas trees? That ought to start something...

Posted by: Conan the Grammarian | Nov 30, 2005 12:55:50 PM

Actually, that's not a new idea, either, Conan. It was a 12th-century tradition in Central Europe. I think they look pretty and they offer up more floor space, esp. if the room is small.

Posted by: Miss Martta | Nov 30, 2005 1:01:15 PM

i'm going to turn 21 that day. perhaps i will go there and drink some drinks legally later on.

Posted by: katie | Nov 30, 2005 1:38:19 PM

Happy pre-Birthday and enjoy your first legal adult beverages...responsibly

Posted by: The Iceman | Nov 30, 2005 1:58:07 PM

Are upside-down Xmas trees as naughty as upside-down crucifixes? You know, Satan's in the house, or some such thing?

Posted by: Chris | Nov 30, 2005 2:03:11 PM

Cathar-Good to "see you", hope we get to spend the holidays-(does that mean holy days?) with you? I hope so it will be so much more merry.

Posted by: cstarling | Nov 30, 2005 2:24:01 PM

It sure is a surprise to see Cathar back! I'm looking forward to the "spice" he brings to this blog, however annoying that may be. It has been boring around here lately.

Posted by: grme | Nov 30, 2005 3:36:46 PM

Since you specified "modern" religious practice, Conan, I will refer you to the extremely secretive sect of "Samaritans' (yes, as in "the good..."). More than one observer who's spent time with these reclusive, dwindling folk has remarked that they appear to decorate trees round this time of the year that they bring inside their houses.

But then, no one really seems to be quite sure if modern-day Samaritans are Christians, Jews or something else altogether. (Mormons like to claim them, too, based on nothing more than guesswork.)

In any case, to me it is indeed a Christmas tree if it's green, fresh-cut and decorated, whether inside or outside, and to the devil (upper case? help me out here, people) with all who'd prefer to cast it as a "holiday" tree. Thanks for the semi-kind rewelcoming remarks, too.

Posted by: cathar | Nov 30, 2005 4:06:23 PM

Welcome back cathar.

Do the Samaritans spend their lives shrinking in secret? Please elaborate.

Posted by: crank | Nov 30, 2005 4:21:59 PM

who was the other trouble maker (along with Cathar) that went MIA on this site?

Posted by: MyManMisterC | Nov 30, 2005 5:38:26 PM


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