Paul  Kengor

‘Tis the season…. That is, to not refer to the Christmas Season as the “Christmas Season.”

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Of course, that’s old news. But what’s new news, or recent news, is the bewildering refusal in some quarters to call a “Christmas tree” a Christmas tree. Unfortunately, this isn’t new to those of us from the Pittsburgh area. On that, I’d like to enlighten folks around the country, hopefully providing some exposure to something that merits national ridicule.

Each year, the City of Pittsburgh kicks off the “Holiday Season” with its “Light Up Night.” The crowning touch (for almost a half century) is the lighting of the Christmas tree. This wonderful tradition connects Pittsburghers to the roots of their parents and grandparents.

For me, however, as a native Pittsburgher and a Christian, the moment has been spoiled: the Christmas tree is no longer called “the Christmas Tree.” No, it is called “the Unity Tree.”

Seriously, I’m not making this up. Outsiders will recoil or laugh hysterically at the thought, but it’s true—and has been for quite a while now. (Click here.)

There’s a curious thing about the Unity Tree, which always baffles me: It only comes out at Christmas time. Why is that?

Well, we know the unspoken reason—the same reason that’s the reason for the season: Because the Unity Tree is a Christmas tree. And what could be more offensive to Christians than some anonymous power renaming their tree, and expecting them to accept this politically correct delusion in silent acquiescence?

I would never, for instance, dare insult my Jewish friends by refusing to call a Menorah anything but a Menorah, or demand a public renaming. I respect them, their faith, and the symbols of their faith.

Actually, I can even see the rationale in calling the “Christmas Season” the “Holiday Season,” given that other faiths indeed share the season, and, further, given that the season generally encompasses holidays beyond Christmas, such as Thanksgiving and New Year’s. I don’t like it, but I can see it.

But how can you call a Christmas tree anything but a Christmas tree?