Example: [Collected by e-mail, November 2007]
In an effort to avoid the use of the term "Christmas tree," Lowe's has renamed their Christmas trees and are now calling them "Family trees."
In their Holiday 2007 catalog, containing 56 pages of Christmas gifts, Lowe's advertises hundreds of gift items, including scores of "Family trees." In fact, the word "Christmas" only appears two times in the entire holiday catalog. The ads mentioning "Christmas cover only
Lowe's even has one of their Family trees turned upside down on a stand. We are not sure what the significance of that is.
Lowe's evidently did not want to offend any non-Christians, therefore they replaced "Christmas tree" with "Family tree." Of course, if Christians are offended that is evidently ok.
An on-line search of Lowe's does reference some "Christmas" items. In fact, a word search of their Web site gives the exact same number 174 of the word "Christmas" as it does the word "holiday." Most of the items mentioning Christmas appear to use the promotional line given by the manufacturer.
Their Holiday 2007 catalog features scores of products, including lights, wreaths, trees, and yard decorations. Most people would associate these items with Christmas, but not Lowe's! Except for two obscure references, they refer to everything in their catalog as "holiday."
Origins: In recent years
In 2007, the Lowe's chain of home improvement stores took this approach to a curious extreme by issuing a holiday catalog that advertised neither Christmas trees nor generic holiday trees, but instead offered decorated artificial trees oddly identified as "family trees":
Why did Lowe's choose this unusual nomenclature? Were they trying to expand decorated tree sales by encouraging a year-round (artificial) arboreal presence in American homes, or were they attempting to tie Christmas trees to genealogical research products?
Lowe's has said that the reference to "family trees" in their Holiday 2007 catalog was a printing mistake that was not caught in the proofreading stage, and that their 2007 holiday season television commercials, print ads, and advertising flyers do indeed identify their decorated artificial tree products as "Christmas trees":
Lowe's is committed to selling Christmas trees, as we have done for more than 60 years. And, we refer to the trees as Christmas trees in all television and magazine ads and in Lowe’s advertising flyers.
As for the significance of an upside down tree, that arboreal fashion was all the rage during the 2005 festive season, but it has since subsided a great deal. (Actually, the practice dates back to the
Last updated: 14 November 2007