Christmas Tree or Holiday Tree? Ask Bubba

Bubba calls it a Christmas Tree.

I stopped by to visit Bubba the other day and he was hanging lights on the leafless dogwood tree in his front yard.  I looked at it admiringly and asked, “Bubba, just what do you call this creation?”

Bubba backed up and grinned and told me “hit’s a Christmas tree.”

He continued, “during most of the year we call it a dogwood tree, but here about Christmas time we call it our Christmas tree.  And just to make sure it has the true spirit of Christmas, Look right here….”

He pointed to a limb.  “See here, John, here’s a bullet hanging in it.”

I sort of wondered how the bullet made it into a Christmas tree and I could feel my eyebrows rise in a questioning manner.  Bubba laughed,

The tree ain’t got no leaves on it.  Ain’t you ever heard of a Cartridge in a Bare Tree?”

This reminded me of an article I wrote last year about whether to call it a Christmas Tree or a Holiday Tree.  Here’s the article:

Christmas Tree or Holiday Tree?

Every year about this time there is a discussion about whether we should call it a Holiday Tree or a Christmas Tree.  John the Plant Man not only has an opinion but also a defense for that opinion.  Read on…

 

A Frazier fir tree carefully decorated for the Christmas Season

A Frazier fir tree carefully decorated for the Christmas Season

 I guess it doesn’t matter if someone wants to call it a Holiday Tree, but it does make me wonder about their understanding of word meaning and logic. I might even worry about their intelligence, but not to a great extent.. For myself, I choose to refer to it as a “Christmas Tree”.  In this debate, I am however, more concerned about the abuse that we heap on semantics and the English language

For example, you have heard the age old question:  “If a tree falls in the forest, and no one hears it, does it make a sound?”

The answer is different than expected.  It depends on the definition of the word “sound”.  If the definition of the word “sound” requires a sonic disturbance as well as a receiver, then it doesn’t make a sound.  If the definition requires only a sonic disturbance, then it does, indeed, make a sound.

Definitions answer many questions.

 

This is a Frazier Fir tree. If it fell in the forest, would it make a sound?

This is a Frazier Fir tree. If it fell in the forest, would it make a sound?

 It follows, therefore, that the tree decorated for the holiday observed on December 25 every year should be called a “Christmas Tree.”  It’s as simple as that. Of course, it has to be decorated for Christmas to be a Christmas tree.  Otherwise, it would be a fir tree or a pine tree or a plastic tree, etc.

The definition in the Merriam Webster dictionary appears as:

“n  A tree, usually evergreen, decorated at Christmas time”

You have probably heard of a “Yule log”

This is defined as “a large log formerly put on the hearth on Christmas Eve as a foundation for the fire.”

That’s what that particular item is.  It is a yule log.  That is its name by definition. We wouldn’t call it a “holiday log.”   Heck, Mike, a log is a log.

President Lincoln was once talking with a farmer about whether or not to call a territory a state.

Mr. Lincoln asked the farmer:  “Sir, how many legs does the cow have?”

The farmer knew the answer:  “Why, Mr. President, the cow has four legs.”

Mr. Lincoln then asked:  “And if we call the cow’s tail a leg, then how many?”

“Why” answered the farmer:  “Then the cow would have five legs.”

“That, sir is where you’re wrong” replied the president.

“Merely calling the tail a leg doesn’t make it one.”

So, taking all religious arguments out of the question (just to level the playing field):

A tree, usually evergreen, decorated for the Christmas season is defined as a “Christmas tree”

You may call it anything else

For instance,

You may call it a “holiday tree”

But that doesn’t make it one.

Here are the choices:

This would be a Christmas Tree--any other name would be incorrect by definition

This would be a Christmas Tree–any other name would be incorrect by definition

 

This is a Frazier Fir tree. It has a botanical name for exactness.

This is a Frazier Fir tree. It has a botanical name for exactness.

 Now what will you call a tree that is decorated for Christmas?     

   A Christmas tree, a holiday tree, or a

fir tree, or a pine tree, or a plastic tree ?

Join the discussion, leave a comment

 

+++++++++++++++++

 To read about Johntheplantman and the rednecks, 

As usual, I would just love for you click here to go to Amazon and purchase the ebook edition of my wonderful book, Requiem for a Redneck to go on your Kindle. I have also noticed that Amazon now has a free Kindle app for iphones and tablets. Is that cool or what?

If you want a consultation in your yard in N.W. Georgia, send me an email at wherdepony@bellsouth.net

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Bob Hicks
    Dec 02, 2012 @ 11:25:03

    John:

    This is again excellent. I thought last year’s was sufficient but the addition of a Bare tree is a good plus. I am particularly pleased with your discussion of the semantic element in all conversation and communication. Bob

    _____

    From: johntheplantman’s Landscaping Ideas from a Veteran Gardener [mailto:comment-reply@wordpress.com] Sent: Sunday, December 02, 2012 10:54 AM To: remhicks@comcast.net Subject: [New post] Christmas Tree or Holiday Tree? Ask Bubba

    John Schulz posted: “Bubba calls it a Christmas Tree. I stopped by to visit Bubba the other day and he was hanging lights on the leafless dogwood tree in his front yard. I looked at it admiringly and asked, “Bubba, just what do you call this creation?” Bubba backed”

    Reply

  2. Terry Swanson
    Dec 02, 2012 @ 16:07:47

    I would comment but I am intimidated by the intellectual sophistication and erudition of the discussion. I like it anyway. Terry

    Reply

  3. Connie Ray
    Dec 03, 2012 @ 07:26:22

    I had the pleasure of setting up a space at the RCVB Winter Art Market to sell my jewelry. During the slow times I walked aroud to see crafts made by other artist. I stoppedf at to see some beatiful things and then I saw something that made me wonder “what in the world” is this thing. It was a dead looking branch from a tree stuck in a small clay pot. Then I saw a cartridge placed on one of the branches. When I found out that it was a redneck decoration of a “Christmas Tree” I laughed right out loud and just had to buy it for one of my Alabama relatives.

    Thanks John for making my day with your story.

    Reply

  4. John Schulz
    Dec 17, 2014 @ 18:10:14

    Reply

  5. Claudia Kennedy
    Dec 17, 2014 @ 21:33:01

    John Paul, I read your article to my husband. When I got to the “cartridge in a bare tree,” part, he said, “I gotta meet this man.”

    Reply

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