The Proof is in the Pudding, or How a Google Search Proves Just About Anything

I heard a radio interview this morning in which an insurance agent said that there can be an increased risk of fire during the month of December (which, newsflash, hasn’t started yet) from “candles around Christmas trees or holiday trees.”

There is no such thing as a holiday tree.

Let me show you. I performed a Google image search on three phrases:

Exhibit A: Christmas Tree

christmas tree

Exhibit B: Holiday Tree

holiday tree

Google, naturally, figured out what I was doing and helpfully offered Exhibit C: Holiday Tree vs. Christmas Tree

holiday tree vs christmas tree

I understand that people are trying to be politically correct, but talking about “holiday trees” means that we don’t understand a) our own religious traditions, b) that difference is important, or c) that not everyone needs to celebrate Christmas to be happy. People who celebrate Christmas put up Christmas trees. People who don’t celebrate Christmas don’t. It’s as simple as that.

Please, by all means, wish me a “Merry Christmas” in a store. That’s fine. You’re simply saying, “I wish you joy, I’m looking forward to my holiday, and I hope you feel the same.” Feel more comfortable with “Happy Holidays”? That’s fine, too. But please don’t think you’re being considerate by ignoring all of my religious traditions and assuming they must be the same as yours, or that I want them to be.

Political correctness has a time and place, but it should not lump everyone and everything together. Assuming everyone has the same traditions devalues difference. Difference is what made our world, and we need to acknowledge and respect it.


This is a picture that I posted over the summer after coming back from a couple weeks in Israel and a day in Jordan. We went on an ATV tour near the Syrian border and explored this abandoned Soviet hospital from 1952, which I still can’t get out of my head (maybe because this picture is my computer background). I love a few things:

– the Hebrew graffiti
– the “Cuckoo’s Nest”-like hallway
– the starkness of the light
– that the eye really travels through the photo

I’m rather proud of this picture, and amazed at how much has changed in the world since 1952 when the Soviets built and abandoned a hospital in what was once British Palestine.

Photos, travels, musings, and ideas on education by someone trying to make the world a better and more peaceful place