An 8 year old Neil Gaiman fights for a Christmas tree.
I remember reading this article by Neil Gaiman when it was published two years ago. He talks about how when he and his sister were kids, they lobbied (more like browbeat, it sounds like) their parents for a Christmas tree. His parents were perplexed. They weren't religious, but they were still Jews. Jews didn't have Christmas trees.
Ah!!!, a young Neil Gaiman interjected. The idea for Christmas trees is based on the pagan tradition of bringing trees in during the winter solstice and decorating them.
That was enough to persuade his parents. Or maybe it was the constant verbal torment from the children (that's how I got to go to Europe as a teenager and move out-of-state for college). They got their Christmas tree.
I really think it had more to do with having a big, sparkly ornament-laden spectacle in the house, and nothing to do with Christian, Jewish or whose holiday is better. I think it just had to do with sparkly. I'm envious--it sounds like it was a real tree. My family was Methodist, and all we had was the same old plastic tree year after year.