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Weigh In: Fake Macy’s tree and other holiday traditions

The Macy's Christmas Tree in 2012, when it fell as it was being lowered. Which might have something to do with the tree being placed in the parking lot this year.

The Macy's Christmas Tree in 2012, when it fell as it was being lowered. Which might have something to do with the tree being placed in the parking lot this year.

Warning: Christmas tree purists might want to skip this post. Macy’s revealed yesterday that for the first time in more than six decades, the Great Tree will be a fake.

Another Macy’s decision that could upset some: The tree will no longer be placed on top of the store at Lenox Mall, but in the parking lot.

Treegate 2013 made us wonder about some other revised holiday traditions:

  • No turkey on Thanksgiving: There’s been a movement of late amongst animal rights activists — and people who just hate the taste of turkey — to promote a turkey-free Thanksgiving. Alternatives including Tofurkey — a turkey made out of tofu, yum! — lasagna and cashew nut roast have all been offered up as main dish alternatives to the classic bird of the day.
  • No-gift Christmas: Seriously. We know most people can’t imagine waking up on Dec. 25 without a pile of presents to unwrap, but some, sick of the consumerist bent the holiday has taken, have opted not to give or receive gifts. This Oprah magazine columnist has touted the idea, and this New York Times post pays homage to the Scrooge who isn’t really a Scrooge, but just someone who is sick of seeing all of their money go toward Tickle Me Elmos and costume jewelry for family members who probably won’t appreciate the gifts, anyway.
  • Electric menorahs: Along the same lines as a fake Christmas tree, electric menorahs provide users with the feeling or a “real” menorah without the hassle of dripping wax (or the danger of lighting your house on fire). There are some, though, who poo-poo the alternative, saying that while it creates the feeling of an actual lit menorah, it’s a poor substitute for the real thing.

Now that we’re in the alternative holiday mood, we want to know — are there any holiday fake-outs or alternative holiday traditions your family observes that might make some other families cringe? Let us know in the comments below.


Complete Atlanta Holiday Guide

6 comments Add your comment


November 6th, 2013
8:42 am

Since the day that Federated / Macy’s took over Rich’s it’s been downhill and this is just another slap in the face from them to the people of Atlanta. For me this is that “straw that broke the camels back” situation and I will no longer be shopping at Macy’s…hello Nordstrom, Van Maur and Khol’s.

Please call the store and ask for the Manager to tell them that we don’t want some plastic tree sitting out in the parking lot. The phone number for Macy’s at Lenox Square is 404-231-2800.

Albert Sanchez Moreno

November 6th, 2013
11:43 am

They are breaking a great tradition if they do this, and to place the tree in a parking lot is an insult.


November 6th, 2013
12:19 pm

It IS a slap in the face to have it moved to the parking lot. If you want a “more intimate experience”, put a smaller tree there, but leave the “Great Tree” on the roof where it can be seen.

Email this media relations person:


November 6th, 2013
3:07 pm

I don’t like this at all – - — – I can half way understand using an artificial tree, but they should at least put it on the roof. From the time I was very small, the GREAT tree was one of the most impressive symbols of Christmas in the south. Every year I watched in awe as the tree was lit. Then, two years ago, I had the privilege of actually attending the lighting ceremony. It was awesome! This is a sad sad day.

Judy Roberson

November 8th, 2013
1:16 pm

I have a huge 29 year old Norway Spruce in my yard for sale to Macys ,,,,It was our Christmas tree in our house in 1983 ,,,,It is probably 30 or 40 feet tall ….

n. watson

November 8th, 2013
8:41 pm

Haven’t enjoyed the lighting of the tree since it was moved from Rich’s downtown. Then it was a joy to hear various school choirs sing and the sing-a-long of everyone at the end. Left everyone with a warm feeling. And people would actually talk to others as we walked to our cars.The celebrity performers hired now leave me cold. I attended the second one at Macy;s and haven’t been back since nor will I be. It’s just wrong to put the tree in the parking lot. Only those at the very front will be able to view it as a whole.. On the roof it’s a beacon of Christmas to come to all who drive or walk within viewing distance. It could also be a traffic hazard as people driving try to view it while driving past. Gets a thumbs down from me.