Quote: "Christians chop down trees to make houses to put trees in." Novelist Jonathan Safran Foer in the New York Times.
Figure of Speech: paradox, the contrary figure.
Paradox is Greek for "contrary to doxa." Doxa is Greek for "received wisdom," "popular belief," or "public opinion." Tree-loving Christians know the word through the doxology—literally "statement of belief."
In rhetoric, what people believe is as good as a fact. The Greeks considered social life the most meaningful life; a fact that opposed popular belief was, therefore, a paradox. So you can understand why the Greek word for someone who refused to participate in public life was idiot.
Jonathan Foer’s A Beginner’s Guide to Hanukkah is educational, too — he names six Christmas songs written by Jews — if a little bit biased. Christmas, he says, is a time when Christians "touch each other's sweaters while they sing together around pianos." And "here's another bad thing about Christmas," he says: “Christmas trees are terrible fire hazards."
Paradoxical, but true.
Snappy Answer: "So when are they going to put a dreidel spinning game on Xbox?"