Tuesday, December 13, 2005

True Story about "Holiday Trees"

Today, at our Ladies' Christmas luncheon, a friend told us this story of her friend's husband with the 'holiday tree' ad from Lowes.

The man went into Lowes, newspaper in hand that had the ad that said 'holiday trees' could be purchased in Lowes. He went around in the store, unable to find the display. He went to find someone to help him. He asked to see the 'holiday trees', and the employee took him to the part of the store where the former 'holiday trees' were, but now called 'Christmas trees'. He said, "Oh, no, I have one of those; I'm looking for your 'holiday trees'. The employee looked puzzled and told him that was the only trees that had right now. So, the man told him he not only wanted a 'holiday tree', but all the 'holiday lights and ornaments' to go with it, just like the ad said. Well, the employee took him over to the display for lights and ornaments, but, they, too, had been changed to say "Christmas ornaments and lights".

The man wouldn't stop there. He asked to see a manager, to which he complained: "Your ad in the paper says 'Holiday trees' and 'lights' for sale. But, I get in here and all you have is 'Christmas trees and lights'. He went on to say he had never seen a 'holiday tree' and he wanted to see it. But, since they were advertising them, and didn't have them in stock, he was going to sue. (He wasn't really, but was making his point). He told the manager that this is what happens when you try and take Christ out of Christmas; you mess things up. He told them that without CHRIST, there would be no Christmas, for God sent His only begotten Son to earth so that we might be redeemed and have eternal life with him.

This man was very courageous to me! He not only showed them mistake of not stopping the newspaper ads and only changing it in the stores, but also shared the gospel of Christ with those who were listening.

Technorati Tags| , , , , ,


Carol said...

Great story! Thanks for sharing. (It does say Christmas trees on their website, too. Maybe the advertisers didn't get the memo?)

Barbara said...

I think this happened during the transition from holiday trees to Christmas trees, and they probably already had the ads in the making. I used to work in advertising for a jewelry store (YEARS ago), and it's easy to miss something, believe me!

Laura said...

I like Christmas trees. They smell great and look pretty when they're decorated. They're also fun to burn on New Year's Eve. But what connection does the Christmas tree have with the birth of Jesus, the "reason for the season"? This is a man-made tradition, not from the bible, nor included in any doctrinal statement I ever heard of. I agree that there's a strong push to stifle Christianity - from county seals to Christmas carols to kids reading a bible during recess if they want - but don't you think we're wasting a lot of time on dead trees that would be better spent on other things?

Barbara said...

I think the point that the man wanted to make here was the fact that CHRIST is being pushed out of the holidays almost altogether. It really didn't have much to do with the tree itself - just the fact that they changed the name from Christmas tree to holiday tree, and then back again, without really checking all points - changing their ads, if you will. It gave him a chance to present the gospel of the birth of Jesus to them - the real reason for the season for Christians.

Laura said...

I understand what you're saying, but I doubt that is a really effective way to present the gospel. I wasn't there but as the story is told, he made them adversaries; all the more so because those people have zero control of the flyers. To the mind of the average Lowe's employee who is not saved, the typical attitude would be "Just buy the darn tree or don't buy it, but enough with the lecture." An effective complaint would have been given to the home office. Another, perhaps better, method of witnessing to these people would be to strike up a conversation, find out what their current beliefs are, ask probing questions and listen carefully to the answers, and then present the gospel to them in the same way Jesus did to the woman at the well; in a personal way that addresses their particular concerns.

To me, and remember this is just my opinion based on reading the story since I obviously wasn't there, this is akin to presenting a sizzling steak and steaming baked potato with all the fixin's - on a garbage can lid.

Barbara said...

I wasn't there and I'm sure she was just giving the jest of the story. And, I'm sure he knew the store employees had no authority over what goes in the ads. BUT, then, having experience in a jewelry store advertising department, local stores DO have sayso in what goes in the local papers. I know we did; I did lots of it myself.

But, like you, I'd just have let it be. I have my tree; he had his. He just wanted to make a point, and he may or may not have made it effectively. I guess we'll never know.