Over the last few weeks, I’ve been seeing many of my favorite Pagan bloggers post about their Yule trees. Wonderful pictures accompany the posts, to show the brilliance of the tree.
But it makes me question why they have Yule trees in the first place.
It seems to me the Yule tree, as seen in Pagan living rooms across the nation, are really Christmas trees with all the lights, ornaments, and presents littering the floor. Visually I see no difference between the tree sitting in my pseudo-Christan* friend’s living room and the pictures from Pagan living rooms.
I don’t know of any historical celebrations of Yule so maybe it was the Christians who co-opted a Pagan tradition but I’m not sure it should be reclaimed. Maybe it would be better to let them have this particular aspect on a day we, as Pagans, don’t celebrate. After all, cutting down a tree–to watch it die slowly in your living room, trying to keep the cats off it if, keep it from catching on fire or falling over, only to throw it away after two weeks–is a little cruel, don’t you think? As Pagans, how can we justify the raising and slaughter? And for whose sake?
Plastic trees are no better. Instead of growing trees just to cut them down (and only use for two weeks), we put large pieces of plastic in our houses–heat them up with lights and wall heat which allows toxins to be excreted by the plastic for you and yours to inhale and ingest–doesn’t sound like a good time to me either. How can we justify the production of so many plastic pieces of crap, something that will never degrade.
This post didn’t come out the way I wanted it to in the least. I’m angry about something else entirely and it’s coming out in this post, which was to be much more sincere than it appears. I am stopping now so I don’t get myself into more trouble by expressing my opinion. I’ll come back and try to be reasonable when I write this again. At a time when I’m not pissed about something else.
*Deconstructing American Christmas is not my goal here, but this I will say: The gross capitalism with nary a hint of Christianity is revolting. I’ve heard of people wanting to celebrate Christmas a secular day but I don’t agree. I think it sucks off the dark roots of Christianity and leaves the wonderful part of Christianity out in the cold.
Those that celebrate Christmas–and all its gift-giving glory–but don’t acknowledge Christ is just plain awful. I see this happening more and more frequently and I think it’s a shame to co opt someone else’s holiday just to teach your kids how to buy love.