Thursday, December 08, 2005

Purdue gets its Christmas Tree back.

Nation: A union tree was a really bad idea, it made the holiday tree tag look great.

After a vote Tuesday night, the tree in the Purdue Memorial Union's Great Hall is once again named in honor of Christmas. Upon receiving about 15 to 20 complaints between Monday and Tuesday, the Purdue Student Union Board decided to reconsider its original name for the 28-foot Norwegian spruce. By a 12-6 vote among PSUB directors, the "Union Tree" became the "Christmas Tree." Kristin Gohlke, director of traditional events, said the board's original name may have been too politically correct. "If it looks like a Christmas tree, it should be called a Christmas Tree," said the junior in the School of Industrial Engineering. "I guess we just went a little too far with (being politically correct)." For decades, the tree in the Union was called the Christmas Tree. But last year, it was dubbed the "Holiday Tree." This year, the board decided to simply call it the "Union Tree." During debate before the vote, the board considered all three names before deciding on the renaming. Heather Owen, the non-student director of PSUB, said that the calls and e-mails were mainly concerning the different meanings of "union." Other contacts, however, were made in request of the name reflecting Christmas. On Tuesday, the news of the renaming was reported by the Associated Press. Owen even had a friend call her to tell her she heard of the news on Indianapolis radio. "I have been shocked by the coverage," Owen said. "It's almost been upsetting to us in a way."
Couple in Ohio is taking advantage of the Holiday Tree backlash, I wish I had thought of it.
MADIERA, Ohio - A couple has struck a national nerve by offering bracelets that urge: "Just say 'Merry Christmas.'" "It has been so incredible. We've been bowled over by the response," Jennifer Giroux said Thursday. She and her husband, Dan Giroux, operate a small store in this Cincinnati suburb called The Catholic Shop, and sell the green-and-red rubber bracelets there and via the Internet. They began "Operation Just Say Merry Christmas" as a reaction to use of the phrase "happy holidays" instead, which she calls "political correctness run amok." Coverage on national cable TV networks has helped send demand soaring. They've sold nearly all of their first 15,000 bracelets in a little more than two weeks, and say they have preorders for 10,000 of a shipment of 25,000 due in Monday. The couple's nine children, along with nieces and nephews, are helping keep up with the orders, and they've also hired a woman to help, Giroux said. The bracelets sell for $2 each plus shipping, with discounts available for churches and other groups with large orders. They've gotten orders from 43 states and Canada, she said. "There's a national frustration," Giroux said. "Christians have kind of felt empowered to take back Christmas for Christ." Across the country, activists have complained this year about public trees being called "holiday trees" and stores that use "holiday" instead of Christmas in advertising and store signs. Cincinnati attorney Scott Greenwood, of the Ohio American Civil Liberties Union, commented: "The only effort out there is by fundamentalist Christians who are creating boycotts and pressuring private retailers."
The website is here.

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