I'm currently reformatting my 1998 hardcover, "Murder on Fifth Avenue," into a Kindle edition. I just came upon this exchange between Captain Donovan and Sergeant Moskowitz beneath the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree.
"So what's with Christmas trees anyway?" Mosko asked, wondering if it wasn't time to break the spell.
"Its a nice tradition if you're not allergic to them and don't have cats," Donovan replied.
"I mean what's a tree got to do with Jesus or the Holy Land? I been to Israel a couple of times and I didn't see a single pine tree."
"This is a Norway spruce," Donovan replied.
"I seen even fewer of them," Mosko insisted.
"You want to know what the tree thing is about?"
"Yeah. I figured you would know. Does it have something to do with the tree the Romans cut down to crucify him on?"
"I don't think so," Donovan said dully. "To the best of my knowledge, the Christmas tree is a pagan tradition from northern Europe. They used to bring a tree indoors every year before the snows closed in. It was a ritual to ward off evil and ensure that the trees outside would survive the winter."
"That still doesn't tell me what a Christmas tree has to do with Jesus," Mosko said.
"Nothing, okay? It has nothing to do with Jesus. What's a gefilte fish got to do with Abraham and Sarah?"
Mosko replied, "The day there's a seventy-foot gefilte fish standing on Fifth Avenue I'll tell you."
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