I pointed out that the politician was trying to be as inclusive as possible by calling it a holiday tree. American Jewish people have been known to enjoy a "Hannukkah Bush" in their home, for example.
During my first Christmas in Turkey I was surprised to learn that "Christmas trees" are everywhere in Istanbul, along with pointsettias, and Santa Claus. My Turkish friends told me they had seen "Christmas trees" in American movies and found the practice so much fun, they've adopted it as their own. Why not? After all, we Americans adopted it from the Germans.
Turkish folks put up their tree for the New Year's holiday and celebrate what they call "Christmas." But of course, since there not actually celebrating Christmas (the birth of Christ) because they're Muslim, Christians in Istanbul are forever pointing out to their friends that "what you have there in your home is not a Christmas tree, it's a New Year's Tree." Do you see why the politician just punted and called it a "holiday tree?" Less arguing, more fun. Rather than being secular, my friend's political representative was just making sure all of the Abrahamic religions were included.