Christians believe Jesus is the reason for the holiday season, which is the exact sentiment that led Darren Howard to launch his "CROSSmas Tree" initiative.
Rather than using a traditional Christmas spruce, Howard is hoping people instead join him in purchasing and putting up large artificial crosses.
These faux-trees have lights, ornaments -- all of the time-honored trimmings -- but CROSSmas Trees differ in one key way when compared to the Christmas trees that many Americans have in their homes: they're shaped like Christian crosses.
According to a Kickstarter campaign Howard launched to garner support for the project, he created the alternative product in an effort to change "the shape of Christmas."
Watch an explanation of the tree below:
"We need something that will bring people's attention back to the true meaning of Christmas," reads an official description. "Something visual that will help center the focus of the season on our Savior's birth, why He was born, and encouraging us to be more Christ-like! That something is the CROSSmas Tree."
Howard told TheBlaze that he came up with the idea for CROSSmas Trees two years ago when he realized that he didn't have anything visual in his home to help him focus on the real meaning of Christmas.
"One day when I was watching TV, I looked over at my tree and wonder if there was a way to change it so that it would better help me to reflect on why I celebrate Christmas," he said. "The reason (Jesus) was born was to die for our sins. If we don't keep that in perspective during Christmas all we are celebrating is the birth of a baby not a Savior."
It wasn't until one year later that Howard, after a minor health scare that left him with extra time on his hands, finally decided to make the CROSSmas Tree a reality. He put up his first CROSSmas Tree last year and family and friends quickly took notice.
"I started getting a lot of comments ... on how nice it looked, and was asked how much I saved by making it myself," he said. "I thought surely an idea like this has to exist already, so I did some digging on the internet and found that there was nothing out there like this."
Credit: Darren Howard
While others had tried before, Howard said their designs weren't necessarily safe for homes with children -- or they were simply incomplete.
"It seemed that God had tasked me with this creation for a reason, and I decided this was something that I wanted to help make available to others," he added.
Howard heralded his product as being smaller than a Christmas tree, not blocking the television as many spruces do -- and fitting snugly against the wall, if one so chooses to display it that way.
The CROSSmas Tree is currently in its infancy, with the inventor hoping to make it a more mainstream product in the near future.
The current goal is to raise $40,000 on Kickstarter, so that the first batch of CROSSmas Trees can be produced for next year. The trees are currently on sale for $130.00.
"It seems we are in need of a fresh change to Christmas -- one that will not only help us to remember why we celebrate Christ's birth, but will remind us of the love and selflessness that we need to be reflecting to those around us, during this season," he added. "Perhaps The CROSSmas Tree can be that change."
Find out more about the CROSSmas Tree here.
Featured image via Darren Howard