How to Promote and Support The Tree of Knowledge as a Secular Winter Holiday Symbol

by Margaret Downey, President, The Freethought Society

If you are searching for a winter holiday symbol that conveys your philosophical point of view, consider using The Freethought Society’s (FS) Tree of Knowledge. This lovely display may be the perfect secular symbol you seek and be proud to place in your home. Please visit the following website to learn how you can create your own version of The Tree of Knowledge at

FS hopes to see The Tree of Knowledge used in private homes and in local Winter Holiday Free Speech Zones. Should a secular group that you are associated with be inspired to display a Tree of Knowledge on public grounds, FS will offer complimentary advice, assistance, guidance regarding the ornaments, sound bites, press releases, and so much more. If you use the Tree of Knowledge concept in your home or in a public venue, please send photos to FS (see contact information at the end of this article).

When FS began the Tree of Knowledge winter holiday display project in 2007, volunteers made ornaments using color copies of book covers. FS received copies of books from authors, publishers, nontheist organizations and individual collectors. Within that first year, Tree of Knowledge volunteers created hundreds of ornaments.

Now that The Tree of Knowledge concept has drawn interest from locations all around the world, FS would like to provide ornaments upon request. The only feasible way to create needed ornaments is to build a database of scanned book covers.

FS needs your help with this important project. We ask that participants submit a high-resolution scan of the front covers of books you want to see used on the branches of The Tree of Knowledge. It’s fine if you send a scan of a book cover that we already have — we would like as many scans as possible for our collection.

There are several ways that scans can be delivered for use. One way is to send a scan as an email attachment to [email protected]

Another way is to place your scans on a flash drive and bring it to the next FS gathering. The file will be immediately downloaded to the FS laptop during the event. Please name your scan the same name as the title of the book so that FS will be able to fulfill ornament requests quickly and easily.

For those who want to purchase ornaments, below is the cost per ornament (postage billed separately):

  • $1 Extra-small (Recommended for top tier of a tree.)
  • $2 Small (Recommended for top tiers of a tree.)
  • $3 Medium (Recommended for use on the upper middle area of a tree.)
  • $4 Large (Recommended for use on the lower middle area of a tree.)
  • $5 Extra-Large (Recommended for use on the bottom area of a tree.)

Do you want a Tree of Knowledge ornament kit for your home or organization? Here is an approximate number of ornaments you might need:

  • 10-12’ Tall Tree:  100-120 Ornaments
  • 6-8’ Tall Tree:  50-80 Ornaments
  • 4-5’ Tall Tree:  40-50 Ornaments

The FS email address is listed above. Here is the mailing address for snail mail contact:

Freethought Society ToK Project
P. O. Box 242
Pocopson, PA 19366

Wishing everyone an upcoming Season’s Reasons!

A completed Tree of Knowledge proudly on display at the Philadelphia Ethical Society.