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Christmas Tree Tax - improve the image and marketing of Christmas trees.

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The "promotion" thing is just to cover up that he's taxing yet another thing he hates....the government taxes things they want to control. Cigarettes...soda pop...Christmas trees...?!

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This is a result of intense lobbying of the National Christmas Tree Association. The association came up with this idea years ago when the sale of real Christmas trees began to decline. They association voted to impose this fee, which required the approval of the USDA, which granted the approval after a lengthy comment period. This is similar to a fee raise by a dairy association years ago to fun their "Got Milk" campaign.

All this is is an industry lobbying to promote itself. It happens all the time.

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Thought this was interesting:

http://biblicalfocus.../Christmas.html



Dear Dr. Arthur Belanger,

I am very interested about the sound biblical position on the celebration of Christmas. We know that Christ was not necessarily born in December (very unlikely that he was). Does the Bible command a remembrance of Christ's birth? God Bless you. C. Isberner, Aruba


Answer: The birth of Christ... or the doctrine of the incarnation is significant and essential to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Should a Christian honor/celebrate the birth of Christ? Lets look at actual moments of people in the Bible who actually celebrated the birth/incarnation of Christ.

#1: There were the angels who joyfully sounded the birth of the Christ (Luke 2:8,15) -
#2: There were the shepherds who witnessed Heaven's delivery of the Son of God and announced to all who would listen (Luke 2:16,20)
#3: There was Simeon and Anna (Luke 2:25,37) -
#4: Of course, there was Mary and Joseph.

The birth/incarnation does not end with the four gospels. The apostle Paul opened his letter to the believers in Rome concerning the incarnation of Christ (Romans 1:3) and admits, the incarnation is the underlying reason for the power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:4). Paul emphasized this conclusion with the church at Galatia (Gal.3:16). And again with Timothy (2 Tim.2:6,9). Note also Hebrews 2:16. The matter of celebrating the birth of Christ is obvious throughout the New Testament by virtue of teaching it's significance.

As to the manner of celebrating the incarnation of Christ depends on one's purpose for living. I think it is plainfuly obvious that a born-again believer can celebrate the birth of Christ without getting caught up with all the pagan influences. Celebrate the birth of Christ with gratitude that God sent His only begotten Son into this world to be born of a virgin. Don't let the devil hi-jack the true meaning of the birth of Christ from your life.

Every Born-again believer should celebrate the incarnation of Christ. For He was the virgin born Son of God. It is His incarnation that makes the Gospel the power of God unto salvation.For if Jesus was not the virgin born Son of God... then no one can be saved. Use this time of the year to instruct others as to why you celebrate and honor the incarnation of Christ for the sake of the Gospel.

Sincerely, Dr. Arthur Belanger


Question #2: What About being separate from the world & the scripture that said be not as the heathen, who chops down a tree and fastens? From Massachusetts...


Answer:
Leaving the true meaning of the birth/incarnation of Christ out of the celebration of this essential moment when Christ was born would be to celebrate Christmas as a heathen. It should be noted that Jeremiah 10:2,4 reflects on the reason for decorating a tree. In this passage, God is condemning their reason/purpose for decorating the tree. Those of us who know Jesus Christ as our personal Savior would never or should never decorate a tree with the same purpose as outlined in Jeremiah. 10:2,4. The heathens purposed to honor themselves. The Christian honors the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians. 10:31).

The tree is really not the issue. The issue is your reason and purpose. If your reason and purpose is to honor yourself, then your Christmas celebration is equal to that of the heathen with or without a tree. Jeremiah 10:2,4 condemns the heathens efforts to establish themselves as gods (Gen 3:5). The heathens approach to Christmas is to gratify themselves. The Christian's approach to observing the birth of Christ is to glorify God. The decoration of a tree is not the issue. It is the declaration of one's purpose for observing the birth of Christ with or without the tree that really matters. Amen.

Sincerely, Dr. Arthur Belanger

Edited by DennisD

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Christmas in the 17th and 18th Centuries

By Donald N. Moran


Editor's Note: This article was reprinted from the December 2001 Edition of the Liberty Tree Newsletter


In 17th and early 18th century Colonial America, a Christmas celebration did not resemble the festivities that we are familiar with today. Christmas was considered the first day in a season of celebration, a season which would last, in some areas, until the end of January. The Christmas Advent season consisted of December 25th, The Nativity of Jesus; December 27th, The Feast of St. John the Apostle and Evangelist (celebrated by the Masons); January 1st, The Circumcision of Jesus; January 6th, The Epiphany of Jesus (The they twelfth day of Christmas); and February 2nd, the Purification of the Virgin. Christmas celebrations varied throughout the colonies, from the Puritans in New England who did not celebrate Christmas at all, to the Southern Anglicans whose revelries most closely match modern Christmas celebrations.

christmasthen-1.jpg


The Puritans of New England outlawed Christmas until the mid-19th century. In the early part of the 16th century, the Puritans in England, under Oliver Cromwell, outlawed the celebration of Christmas, calling it "Popish" (Roman Catholic) and considering the secular celebration a continuation of pagan beliefs. The Puritans in Massachusetts and other parts of New England held on to these beliefs.

In 1659, a law was enacted in Massachusetts to punish anyone who " . . . is found observing, by abstinence from labor, feasting, or any other way, any such days as Christmas day, shall pay for every such with offense five shillings." The immigration of other religious denominations to the colonies saw this attitude in New England, but weren't able to change it until about 150 years ago.

Although Christmas wasn't outlawed outside of New England, several denominations, mostly found in the middle colonies, were opposed to the celebration. In 1749, a visitor among the Quakers in Philadelphia noted that: "Christmas Day. . . The Quakers did not regard this day any more remarkable than other days. Stores were open. . . There was no more baking of bread for the Christmas festival than for other days; and no Christmas porridge on Christmas Eve!"
At first the Presbyterians did not care much for celebrating Christmas, but when they saw most of their members going to the Anglican Church on that day, they also started to have services. Philip Fithian, a Presbyterian missionary working among the Virginia Scotch-Irish in 1775, remarked that: "Christmas Morning - Not a Gun is heard ­Not a Shout - No company or Cabal assembled - To Day is like other Days every Way calme & temperate."
To the Anglicans, Roman Catholics and Lutherans, the Christmas season was embraced and celebrated mainly by the Church of England and the Roman Catholics, and primarily in the southern colonies. (One exception is the Dutch in New York who celebrated Christmas with religious services.)
The celebration of the Christmas season in the southern colonies consisted of parties, hunts, visiting, feasts and church services. Christmas decorations generally consisted of holly and ivy strung throughout the house, with a sprig of mistletoe prominently displayed. A great effort was made to decorate the churches with laurel, holly, and other garlands.
The traditional feast varied from household to household (depending on how wealthy the family was) but generally, consisted of wines, rum punches, hams, beef, goose, turkey, oysters, mincemeat pies, and various other treats. The season was considered a grown-up celebration, but presents would generally be given to children. Irena Chalmers notes that in 1759, that George Washington gave the following presents to his children: a bird on Bellows; a Cuckoo; a Turnabout Parrot; a Grocers Shop; an Aviary; a Prussian Dragoon; a Man Smoking; a Tunbridge Tea Set; 3 Neat Books, a Tea Chest. A straw parchment box with a glass and a neat dress'd wax baby. Southern families usually supplied rum and presents (often candy) to their slaves on the first of the year.

] Traditional symbols of the American colonial Christmas did not resemble our modern Christmas celebration. The Christmas tree originated in Germany in the 16th century, but did not gain popularity in America until after 1842 when it was introduced in Williamsburg.

christmasthen-2.jpg


Life on the American colonial frontier was, as it would be expected, quite different from the well established east coast.
The frontier at that time was heavily populated with the Scotch-Irish. They organized their lives by the events of the Christian calendar, but differed greatly from the rest of British America. For reasons unknown to us, they seemed to have preserved some of the ancient Christian rituals which had lingered along the border lands between England and Scotland decades after they were abandoned in other regions of the British Isles.
Our frontier people seemed to have kept a day which they called "Old Christmas", on January 6th. On that day, even in the poorest of homes, feasts were common, and they lit bonfires that night. They also celebrated by continual discharging of their muskets. This had been the custom in the British borderlands. On the Southern frontier some of these customs continued to the 20th century. Visitors to Appalachia and the highlands of North Carolina found the practice of "Old Christmas" with bonfires and the firing of guns, along with fireworks still exist.
One visitor noted: "In some parts of this country it is the custom to observe what is known as 'Old Christmas' ". Opinion varies as to the date: Some believe it is the 5th and some the 6th of January. This day is believed by these people who keep it to be the real date of the birth of Jesus. They say the Christmas we observe is a "man­made" Christmas."
The first Christmas card did not appear until about 1846 in England.
Christmas Carols were sung during the holidays, but most of the popular carols of today had not been written before the late 1700's.
The most enduring hymn that was popular in colonial America was Joy to the World, written by Isaac Watts of Virginia during the 1760s.

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