My Turn: The battle between 'holiday tree' and 'Christmas tree' - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

My Turn: The battle between 'holiday tree' and 'Christmas tree'

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This time of year is all about traditions.  But the Wilmington tree lighting tradition seems to have lit up more than just the lights on the tree.   It's lighting up my inbox as well. 

The use of the word "holiday" instead of "Christmas" really has people fired up.  Several people got mad at us and accused us of taking political correctness too far.  And sad to say some weren't very Christian in their defense of Christianity.  

Let me make one thing perfectly clear.  Holiday Tree is what the city calls it, not us.  We asked them for their reasoning and a city spokeswoman said they did this about five years ago in an unofficial decision to make sure they balanced the feelings of everyone.

Just judging from my email, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that didn't work too well.  But I wish you people would put the heat on them instead of our anchors, reporters and me. 

The fact is the tree is a symbol of the Christmas season.  It's not a symbol of Thanksgiving, New Year's Eve, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or anything else.

I'm fine with the use of the word holidays when we are actually referring to the holidays.  And the Holiday Parade is a good example of that.  But when it comes to that tree, let's call it what it is.  It's a Christmas tree.

That's my turn.  Now it's your turn. To comment on this segment, or anything else, email me at

Emailed comments from viewers:

I was dismayed this morning to read that the City of Wilmington has caved into the scare tactic of legal threats regarding the use of the word "Christmas" in it's seasonal greetings.  I will keep this simple as I could go on and on with the subject.  Here is the bottom line, if government agencies and schools refuse to allow the use of the word "Christmas", then I demand they all be open for business and fully staffed on December 25th.  You cannot have it both ways.  Either you honor the day and call it what it is or you don't.  We don't tiptoe around the word "Easter", which also happens to be a religious holiday, so Christmas is no different.  Let's be real here and stop with the childishness!


AMEN  to your editorial, it really made me mad as hell when they called a Holliday Tree, it is and always has been and always should be a CHRISTMAS TREE. To those who want to call it a holliday tree are welcome to move to another area of the country or maybe just out of the country all together.


Here we go again with the politically correct society rearing its ugly head on the Christmas tree, oh I mean holiday tree.  Sorry if I offended you, but now the city says that it is going to erect a Menorah also near the tree but it is not for religious reasons.  Menorah not for religious reasons?  Come on, I don't care if they put one down there but don't tell me a Menorah is not religious.   A menorah is a ceremonial candle holder used in Jewish celebrations.  If we are going to change the name of the Christmas tree to "holiday tree" then why aren't we calling a Menorah a "candelabra" instead?  What I'm trying to say is, quit with the I don't want to offend anyone stuff.  It's impossible to do or say anything this day in time without offending someone.  Lighten up people, we are a diverse country so let's celebrate everyone's meaning of this time of year and quit changing the names to protect the whiners.


I watched your segment this morning about the Christmas tree battle and can't help but think this is relatively simple. The City does not have a trademark right on calling it a Holiday tree no more than you made the choice to not call it a Christmas tree. I am sure you don't get a mandatory talking points bulletin from Melissa Talbert. The tree represents Christmas and not any other holiday…it is idiotic to then think one would call a Menorah a Holiday candle set.

When your viewers see your camera pan the water front and the tree, you are beholden to no one to call it anything other that what it I has been traditionally known as. Anything less is pandering to a minority few and insulting the majority (with money) who may change the channel.


If i even hear someone say holiday tree i'm gonna want to smack them in the head !! Forgive me lord !


I have often stifled  my desire to reply in criticism  to several of the General Manager's  on air editorial comments . Perhaps his most ridiculous comment was his vociferous denouncement of COMPRIMISE as a legitimate and historically effective tool of legislative advancement. 

The General Manager has been given the "Bully Pulpit" of comment that in the public mind represents the opinion of WECT. 

That opinion was not only inconsistent with the  historical nature of our political history , but it was ignorant and destructive.  Compromise has been the essence of republican government and was institutionalized by the framers.

That is not however, the motivating thought behind my current criticism  of his objection to the City's decision to call the downtown tree  ," the Holiday Tree."  I have no opinion as to whether the tree should be referred to as the Christmas tree or the Holiday tree.

My objection is to his arrogance in interjecting his  personal and often biased opinion  on so many things that are not only beyond his wisdom , but beyond the freedom of the pulpit that his managerial position provides him.

His imprimatur  connotes that this is the institutional stance of WECT.

I would much prefer that he restrict his comments to those issues which are of more then casual or passing interest. I doubt that his job description includes a mandate to help fashion public opinion by his constant and seemingly arbitrary   comments on so many social and political issues.

I suggest that he recognizes that he is a broadcasting executive, not an unlimited arbiter of both public opinion and public conscience

I think that , not only is he over opinionated, but that he is offensive in his frequent attempts to fashion public opinion and to be a critic of views that do not square with his own


Thanks for trying to keep the "holiday tree" as a real Christmas tree.


If you are a true Christian, it does not matter what they call it. To me, in my heart and in my home, it is a Christmas tree. 

 My relationship with Christ can not be changed over this. After all, the word "Holiday" means "holy day" so in that way, does it really matter?


I agree 100% with you about the Christmas tree!  At my house it will be Christmas Tree or no tree.  It has always been a Christmas tree and I will never call it a Holiday Tree.  Christmas is about the birth of our Savior, and why can't Christians celebrate Christmas.  If we aren't going to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas, then let us forget about Christmas and be just another day, forget all the gift buying, etc.  If you take CHRIST out of Christmas, there is no Christmas.  If someone doesn't want to celebrate Christmas, it doesn't offend me, just leave me alone and let me celebrate Christmas!


I don't think there is another "group" in the US with a decorated tree – so, if I am wrong, so be it; but my thoughts are it is a CHRISTMAS tree and the Christians have been quiet for way too long.  Long enough to let the "others" take God out of schools and everywhere else!  I have often wondered if those who object to The Christmas tree expect/receive presents…


Thank you so much for your view on this subject. I know a lot of people will probably respond negatively on this subject, as a Christian I honestly appreciate it. It is a shame that a small percentage of Americans that are not of the Christian faith can dictate what the majority of Americans want. 

    Like a story I heard a few years ago about a town that had a man remove his nativity scene from his yard because someone had complained that saying that he was forcing his faith on him by placing the scene in the front yard near the road. Really!!! 


I am responding to you response to the subject of the Christmas tree. I deeply appreciate your comment about the tree. If you would give me the name or names of the people in city I would be willing to send them a complaint. Again thank you very much for your opinion.....


Thanks to the general manager for calling the city tree a christmas tree. and shame on the mayor and all other liberals.


Thank you for being the voice of reason!!!!! It is a Christmas tree and nothing else.


Christmas greetings 

I read you article, would you kindly provide me with whom at the city to re-direct my opinion from WECT please?

If the city is so concerned about being offensive or politically correct, and there is this much comotion over the subect, then why dont they compromise and call it a "Christmas Holiday" tree?


Just read your turn article about the "tree".  It angers me to no end that some people have the nerve to call it a "holiday tree".  I am 69 years old and it has been a Christmas Tree for all 69 years.  I DO NOT INTEND TO CHANGE NOW AND I AM SURE I HAVE PLENTY OF PEOPLE THAT AGREE.  Wilmington will not be one of the cities on my must see list.


#1.  It's a Christmas tree!  Christians are being denied their constitutional right to express their religion when others want to impose their beliefs on us.

#2.  When a person is enjoying the freedoms in this country they should be respectful of our flag.  If I were to visit another country and they played their national anthem, I would respect that anthem or pledge.


Along the lines of the recent Christmas Tree discussion,but not totally; has there ever been discussed ,the planting of a tree in front of the Court House?Specifically a large Live Oak, native to our area that could replace the other ancient Live Oak decorated for generations of Wilmingtonians.This tree would remind us that we are the City of Oaks; would gracefully mature over the yeas to be enjoyed by future generations; and could indeed be called a grand "Holiday Tree."I am sure many would donate to this cause


In regard to the holiday VS CHRISTMAS tree. Why not be fair to everyone and use the words Christmas/holiday tree or parade. Why must the Christian people of the world have to take a back seat to other religions or to the non believers. This country was founded on Christian beliefs and values. When do we put up these trees and have parades with Santa clause? We all know it's Christmas. So why not stand up for what is right and do the right thing? 

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