By Stephanie Samuel, Christian Post Reporter
Washington, December 2, 2010
In a national survey of 1,000 respondents, 69 percent answered that they preferred to see holiday retail signs with the greeting “Merry Christmas” over “Happy Holidays.”
Liberty Counsel President Mathew Staver said the results to the November poll corresponds to what he has been saying all along. “People enjoy Christmas,” he stated.
Liberty Counsel has been publishing its Friend or Foe Christmas campaign, educating, informing and in some cases, litigating public and private entities over their stance on the holiday. Staver believes that some stories limit their use of Christmas because “they felt it would offend a minority of shoppers.”
But, Staver pointed out, even Jews and others who don’t celebrate enjoy Christmas.
Still, many retailers have cleared holiday displays of the word Christmas, replacing it with Happy Holidays. The change prompted the Liberty Counsel to form a Naughty and Nice list of offending retailers. Staver noted that the naughty list was a lot longer than the nice one when it began.
Wal-Mart was among its worse transgressors. According to Staver, the chain store would sell “holiday trees” instead of Christmas trees. “The only holiday that uses [trees] is Christmas. There are no Thanksgiving trees.”
He reported that Wal-mart also had anti-Christmas story policies. “They had even said that [store employees] could not return a greeting of ‘Merry Christmas’ even if it was said by a customer,” he recalled.
“The absurdity of this has [made] people become very vocal and I think retailers are now listening,” he said.
Notably, companies from all over the country are calling to ensure that their names are on the nice list, Staver reported.
The American Family Association also has a Naughty and Nice list. Their list takes a closer look at companies’ advertisements on television, in mailers and online. The AFA recently announced that Dick’s Sporting Goods made it onto the Nice list.
“It’s gratifying to see a retailer like Dick’s recognize that our nation has specifically set aside December 25 to honor the birthday of Jesus Christ … That’s what this season is ultimately about,” Buddy Smith AFA executive vice-president said in a statement.
The Liberty Counsel recently added Best Buy and Disney.com to the Nice list.
“We’re not asking retailers to eliminate ‘Happy Holidays’ or mention of other holidays,” explained Staver. He said they simply want stores to acknowledge the Christmas holiday.