Old Wives' Tales
Radio & TV
Toxin du jour
Claim: A 2007 Lowe's holiday catalog advertised Christmas trees as "family trees."
Example: [Collected by e-mail, November 2007]
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":
You may already be aware that Lowe's has apologized for the advertising error. We understand the confusion created when we headlined the page of Christmas trees "family trees." The error was not caught before the publication was distributed and we are disappointed in the breakdown in our own creative process.Searching Lowe's web site for the word "Christmas" turns up several pages of decorations and other products related to that holiday, including some listings for "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
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