Two Bloggers and One Tree

It’s “writing” time when the phone rings--the noise interrupts feverish keyboard clicking and sends Olga up from her chair with surprise. “Must be Valerie”, she thinks, and hits the speaker button without looking at the display.

V: How’s the post coming?

O: Fabulous, just wish more people would read this stuff.

V: There is always the option of writing about sex.

O: We are a parenting blog, remember?

V: I know, I know. By the way, have you been following all this Christmas Tree controversy?

O: Let’s not go there! You know I hate politics.

V: Oh, you’ll like this one. You know how we’re always reminiscing about having the tree for New Year’s when we were kids in Ukraine? And how much we loved it? And how it was a totally secular experience for us?

O: Of course I do, I've just written a post about it, remember? Oh, and let me remind you, it is, in fact, secular!

V: Right! But obviously to many people it’s not.

O: We've digressed... so what’s the story?

V: Well, there’s this delicate situation unraveling in Belgium. Apparently they are trying to replace the traditional pine tree with this abstract cube thing--take a look.

Valerie hits “send” and they both spend an unbearably long second waiting for the article to appear on Olga’s Gmail screen. This is what Olga opens:

http://rendezvous.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/01/christmas-tree-controversy-fires-multicultural-belgium/

Olga’s design-sensitive eye examines the article’s thumbnail for a few moments. She then falls off the chair in fits of hysterical laughter.

O: You know... I can’t even read the rest of it, the picture says it all!

V: Exactly! And do you remember that story here, in the States, about the governor in Rhode Island? He called the State House tree a “Holiday” tree and there was a big backlash because people thought he was trying to secularize Christmas.

O: Just found the article, is this what you’re talking about?

Silence. Valerie’s turn to frantically refresh Gmail. This is what she opens:

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/health/wellness/story/2011-12-07/Christmas-tree-controv

V: Yep! Can you believe they actually scheduled a competing Christmas tree lighting a block from the State House?

O: I think they should also have a competing Menorah lighting event. Or is it only in New York that it gets added to all the ceremonies?

V: By the way, getting back to that bit about the tree being secular--it was actually seen as a pagan symbol by many Americans well into the mid-19th century.

O: Someone read Wikipedia this morning!

V: The History Channel, actually. It was Queen Victoria who publicized putting up a tree at her court and then the tradition was picked up here on the East Coast.

O: Speaking of the East Coast--The Rockefeller Center tree has only been there since 1931, and even that wasn't very planned. Some workers just put one up at the center of the construction site.

Several “hmm’s” and “I-know’s” are exchanged and the air between New York and St. Louis grows dense with the brewing of a new thesis.

V: So...who do you think owns the tree? Only those who celebrate Christmas or can others have it too?

O: I don’t know...as far as i’m concerned everybody can have the tree! Let's say I go into a forest and hang a necklace on a tree. Does that make it a Christmas tree with a garland on it?

They laugh. Readers can laugh too.

V: It doesn't. You have a point, why can’t we all just share the tree? But if it’s everybody’s tree, then what do we call it?

O: I think we just say it’s a {BLANK} tree and call it a day.

They laugh again.

Without further discussion yet with much further giggles Valerie and Olga decide, as they usually do, that they won’t be able to resolve this controversy today, after all.

Wishing everybody whatever tree their heart desires!

More Like This

Recent Posts by uponreflection

Comments

In order to comment on BlogHer.com, you'll need to be logged in. You'll be given the option to log in or create an account when you publish your comment. If you do not log in or create an account, your comment will not be displayed.