While today might be a great excuse for those who celebrate Christmas to stuff their face with food, give loved ones gifts and then take a long nap on the couch – I thought I’d share a few words on the eternal battle of Happy Holidays vs Merry Christmas.
According to a New York Times Article “How the ‘War on Christmas’ Controversy Was Created,” many Americans attribuite public businesses, schools and workplaces neutralizing their decorations and rhetoric around the holiday season as the beginning of the War on Christmas. A Pew Research poll from 2013 found that 42 percent of Americans prefer “Merry Christmas,” 12 percent prefer “Happy Holidays” and 46 percent say it doesn’t matter what greeting they receive during the holiday season.
So if most Americans don’t mind what greeting they receive – why is there a war surrounding these two words?
For President Trump, what language you chose to use this month constitutes a verbal war against Christmas. He signed off on a new
propaganda ad that shows “everyday Americans” thanking the President for all he has done for the country and the ad ends with a little girl thanking him for allowing her to say “Merry Christmas” again.
But why was the word “again” used in the ad? Americans have the liberty to say whatever they want during this time of year – even bah humbug if they so choose.
For some Americans and a good chunk of conservative Republicans in Washington, President Barrack Obama contributed to this war by using neutral language in his holiday cards writing “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” during his 8 years in office.
But this begs the question: As the President, who represents all Americans, shouldn’t neutral language be used in an effort of inclusion as to not isolate Americans who don’t celebrate Christmas?
For the American Family Radio Group, a Christian radio station based in Tupelo, Mississippi, the answer is a hard NO. The group publishes a Naughty or Nice list that rates retailers and how they market to Christmas shoppers. Those on the “nice” list include Lowe’s, Wal-Mart, and Macy’s. Those getting coal this year include Barnes & Noble, Best Buy and Victoria’s Secret.
Regardless of what holiday greeting you choose this year and any year after, the first amendment will protect your right to freedom of speech. For everyday Americans, statistics show it doesn’t matter so much the language used during this time of year but being culturally sensitive toward others won’t hurt. As for the President, the man whose job it is to speak for all Americans, wouldn’t you want to create an inclusive environment for the people you govern? Adapting from the late, great John Lennon, The War on Christmas is Over.
(If you want it).