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Tree strikes, you’re out


A few days back, I drew attention to Amazon’s promotional campaign “The Twelve Days Of Holiday”, since renamed “The Twelve Days Of Christmas”. However, if you’re worried that the C-word is disappearing from the public square, fear not. Here it is, all over the big news story:

With the economy tanking, it may not be a surprise that nuisance crimes like petty theft and vandalism are on the rise. But even police departments are scratching their heads over the latest hot loot: Christmas trees…

In Portland, Ore., police nabbed a man last week dragging a stolen tree down the street around 3 a.m. Officials in Hillsborough County, Fla., are investigating a Christmas tree crime spree, with more than 20 stolen from one lot owner alone…

To some degree, law enforcement officials say, Christmas tree thieves come out every year, usually motivated by simple mischief-making..

Where did this phrase “Christmas tree” come from? I thought it was “holiday tree”, or (in Michael Graham’s Massachusetts) “official tree”. Is the assumption that only fanatical practising Christianists are stealing these trees while secular observers of more generalized festivities are still plunking down hard cash? Whatever happened to separation of church and heist? 


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