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 firstname.lastname@example.org.