August 23, 2018

Only a Grinch Would Tax Christmas Trees

Michael D. Farren

Research Fellow

In a development that would surely warm the “two sizes too small” heart of the Grinch, the “Christmas Tree Tax” is being collected for the first time this year. This is a tax levied on the sale of each Christmas tree in order to encourage the sale of ... Christmas trees.

Christmas trees have been a hallmark of American Christmas celebrations since the late 1800s, when the tradition spread from Europe. The National Christmas Tree was first lit by President Calvin Coolidge in 1923, and the most famous of American trees, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, has towered over the iconic ice-skating rink for nearly 85 years. Like many holiday traditions, it has a humble yet charming origin, predating Rockefeller Center itself. The building’s construction workers — mostly Italian immigrants — set up their own tree on Christmas Eve 1931, festively decorating it with cranberry strings, garland and blasting caps...

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