‘Merry Christmas’ not dirty words
by Anne Marie Fuller
Dec 06, 2013 | 4263 views | 12 12 comments | 65 65 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In today’s age of political correctness, have we gone too far with the Christmas season — or, should I say, holiday season?

Must we now refer to holiday trees and winter breaks versus Christmas trees and Christmas vacation? When did the simple phrase “Merry Christmas” become taboo?

I realize that not everyone celebrates Christmas, but many do. Does society get to dictate their response?

Before writing this column, I decided to do some actual footwork around town. I went to several stores and wished each attendant I came into contact with a merry Christmas.

I was pleasantly surprised that at the first two stores, they responded back with the same greeting. The third store, an extremely large corporate retailer, yielded a different response.

When I said “Merry Christmas” to the young man at the register, it was not reciprocated. I asked him if he was allowed to say “Merry Christmas,” and he and another sales associate told me no in unison. Yet the store has an entire display set aside with musical Christmas CDs for sale. So it’s OK to profit off of Christmas — just don’t say it?

“We are getting to be so generic,” Jennifer Burger said. “We are so worried about everyone’s feelings. I’ve noticed this at the bigger companies. If you don’t want to say ‘Merry Christmas,’ that’s OK, but don’t tell your employees they don’t have the right to say it back to their customers. Are we stepping on the employee’s ability to have the First Amendment?”

Kathy Borges shared her sentiments.

“My thought is we need to bring God back into our lives and our country back into our lives,” Borges said. “That is what Christmas is about — the birth of the baby Jesus. Many of us have no idea that it is our right, as United States citizens, to say ‘Merry Christmas’ or anything else we would like to say. I think it is a sad day when we have people afraid to speak from their hearts!”

Am I the guilty party for sticking with tradition and belief? I suppose I go against the grain when I utter that simple phrase, “Merry Christmas.”

• Anne Marie Fuller, National Mrs. Beauties of the Nation and Mrs. California BOTN, is the host of the television show “Helpful Hints with Anne Marie.” Contact her at annemarie@columnist.com.

 
Comments
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Ornley_Gumfudgen
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December 21, 2013
Tsday sayin Merry Christmas is akin ta wishin someone well. Fer th life of me I simply do not understand why someone would be upset if some other person wished em well.

Fer Christians Christmas takes on a special interest in that they set aside this particular day ta honor their God an Savior by rememberin an reflectin on Christ's birth, even though they should understand, an many of em do, that Christ wasn't born on December 25th but more likely mid September/October.

Fer non-Christians it's pretty much party time. A time ta be with family, not have ta work an have a good time. Why someone would be upset when someone wished them well by sayin "Merry Christmas" simply don't make sense.

What? Would these people rather hear, "I wish you were dead"? That would go over well now wouldn't it?

So from OG ta th rest of humanity, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

If ya got a problem with that it's a problem in yer own mind an while I feel sorry fer ya an yer problem thair ain't much I can or am willin ta do about it. Merry Christmas ta all.
cody01
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December 19, 2013
Merry Christmas everyone. And, A Happy New Year!
HD8
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December 16, 2013
My Award for the most ridiculous effort to avoid using the word Christmas goes to TARGET. Amongst a display of Christmas Movies such as Christmas Vacation, White Christmas, Miracle on 34th Street, It’s a Wonderful Life, Santa Claus is coming to Town, The Santa Clause I II and III, Frosty, Grinch, etc,...you get the idea; is a sign that says HOLIDAY MOVIES. I get the idea of not shoving the story of Baby Jesus down somebody if they are not interested, BUT COME ON NOW. Exactly which Holiday might the above movies be about? Would it really be a problem to refer to the above collection of movies as Christmas Movies?

On the other end of the spectrum....Big Atta Boy to STARBUCKS who still makes, markets, advertises, and sales a Christmas Blend Coffee which is much better than Pete’s Holiday Blend.
AGCaya
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December 08, 2013
Every year we hear the same nonsense, "They're trying to ruin Christmas!!"

First of all, the Season is not a religious one anymore, and the original purpose of the 'Holiday' which of course is derived from 'Holy Day', was to unite the people, mostly pagans who celebrated the winter solstice, with the Roman Catholic Church under Constantine.

The selection of December 25th was first celebrated as the birth of Jesus over 300 years after his death, in 336AD. This was done to coincide with pagan celebrations throughout the Roman Empire, and was thought to 'legitimize' the 'Holiday'. Several years later Pope Julius the First officially named the date as the birth of Christ. He was likely off by four months as most scholars believe that the middle of August was the most likely time of his birth, but the payoff was to get everyone on the same celebratory page.

As far as the modern case, If you want to have Christ in your Christmas, go for it! This is the USA so feel free to expound on your belief, but don't fool yourself, if it wasn't for the crass commercialization of ALL of the Holidays, we wouldn't have them EXCEPT in church.
galileo
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December 07, 2013
This is not a case of political correctness. This is a case of Constitutional rights. The right of freedom of religion, guaranteed by the First Amendment.

Retailers, through their employees, are exercising their Constitutional rights. According to the recent Supreme Court’s Citizen’s United case, large corporations, including corporate retailers are persons with first amendment rights. In fact large corporate retailers like Hobby Lobby, oppose the ACA, (Obamacare) on the grounds that providing insurance that includes birth control violates their corporate right of free exercise of religion. They have found support for their argument, based on Citizens United, in the 10th District Court of Appeals; and the case will be heard by the Supreme Court next year.

At another level, the author cites Kathy Borges desire to bring God back into our lives, but she seems to presume that God and Jesus (the Christ) are equivalents. Jews, Muslims, and many others believe in a God, but not that Jesus was the Son of God. Consequently, Christmas is not a part of their religious philosophy. Which leaves us with the question, which is the politically correct religion?
Mblog
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December 07, 2013
You are a breath of fresh air girle! I think some people may miss the point of this piece. I am with you on this about people not being allowed to say the words Merry Christmas. It's not about not saying it back, it's about being told you can not say it. I think that is the point. You just keep up the good work.
Sneaky
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December 07, 2013
It sounds like what the author is complaining about is other people not saying Merry Christmas in response to her saying it. It is more a case of the author trying to dictate what everybody else's response should be, rather than a case of anyone's right to free speech being denied.

This seems to be a common theme from folks who cry and wail about phrases like Happy Holidays. If everyone else in the world does not share their worldview then they start claiming that they or those like them are somehow being oppressed.

Every U.S. citizen does have their 1st amendment rights. They can choose at any time to say what they want without fear of legal or governmental action against them. They cannot, however, expect their employer not to take action if they say something that either negatively reflects on the employer or simply violates the workplace rules the employer has set.

I for one don't mind "happy holidays". It is simply a polite acknowledgement that not everyone is of the same faith or culture. That said I don't see what it would hurt if stores let employees say Merry Christmas to someone that has already said it. However, since I am not the store owner it is not my decision.
MySay
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December 19, 2013
You missed the point! She went on the journey of stating it to see IF people responded in kind. It was a TEST! She didn't go out there with the expectation that everyone would say it back. She also didn't force anyone to say it. She was inquisitive.

It IS stupid that a company would TELL their employees to NOT say it just because they fear being sued by a jerk. Its amazing ONE atheist or Muslim can tell ALL people to accept THEIR ways/beliefs, but not anyone else. A Muslim can wear their garb or stop work at noon, get on the floor and pray, but I'm not allowed to have MY beliefs? Wrong! Those people claim THEY are being denied THEIR religious freedom and sue at the drop of a word, yet I'm supposed to keep putting up with having MY rights of religious practices trampled on and that's okay? I don't think so! THEY need to learn to respect OUR Religious beliefs/practices too.

I'll say Merry Christmas every chance I get. I don't expect it said back. You can just move along and not say it in kind, I don't care. But, I will NEVER allow someone or a company to tell ME I can't say it. It IS my RIGHT.

Merry Christmas!!
My3Cents
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December 06, 2013
There is absolutely nothing wrong with saying Merry Christmas to someone. Just don't be surprised if they either don't say it back, or choose to say something else instead: Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Hanukkah etc.

It's not so much about taking away your right to say it as it is about taking into consideration other peoples choice of faith and choosing to recognize that not everyone celebrates the same event you do (birth of the baby Jesus).

In my eyes, this is no different than choosing to not curse in front of someone. I have every right to. It may or may not be offensive to them if I did, but I choose to take the other route so that I can feel I was as polite as I could possibly be.

On that note, Merry Christmas to you as well.
MySay
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December 19, 2013
@ My3Cents

That was very well stated. What a great way to explain that with using cursing (or not) to define the differences. Great comment. :)

Merry Christmas! :)
newtotracy
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December 06, 2013
I find nothing wrong with ANY holiday greeting. I personally celebrate Christmas (but not the retail free-for-all that it has become)...but I have friends who celebrate Hannukah and I respect them as well.

This is NOT just the Christmas season...it is the high holiday season for most faiths or beliefs out there. To ignore that fact and simply criticize others for not knowing that you celebrate Christmas is not very conducive to the melting pot heritage that this country has.

Yes...we ARE getting too generic...but when it comes to Happy Holidays vs Merry Christmas...it's a fight that isn't even worth fighting...it's one group trying to state that their belief is more important than another.

How would you feel if you went into a shop owned by a Jewish person...and were told Happy Hannukah? They have every right and then some to say that...just as you have to wish someone who's beliefs you don't know a Merry Christmas.

it's the holidays...be polite, kind and compassionate to ALL people...and that includes possibly using a more "generic" (and proper) term for wishing them a good season...after all, that's what Christ would do.
bobrod
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December 06, 2013
This, after all is the United States of America. You can give what ever greeting you wish-thats your RIGHT. It's always been Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. For those of other faiths, ok-until one of the pill companies invent a mind reading pill, I don't care if you don't like it, its meant as a friendly greeting and if I thought enough to render it to you, then I am being friendly and that is all. If you don't like the greeting-refer to my first sentence and dont come to this country if you do not like the customs. Celebrate whatever you wish, that is your right, but dont try to change my custom cuz you dont like it.


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