Substituting “Merry Christmas” with “Happy Holidays” in a public context: Is it inclusive or exclusive? Whether it was a xenophobic or anti-Semitic conspiracy theory or a kitchen-table debate, the topic has been going around for so many decades that it is unclear who, if anyone, is actually waging the “war” for or against Christmas anymore.
But if anyone was going to win this war, it’s probably retailers.
The National Retail Federation reports that consumer spending on gifts, food, decorations, and other holiday items has been trending upward for several years. And the National Christmas Tree Association reported a 20% increase in real tree purchases in 2018 compared to 2017. Fake tree purchases went up too. Meanwhile, some reports signaled a drop in Americans’ charitable giving in 2018.
So business built around Christmas doesn’t appear wounded. But what of its spirit?
Pew Research Center reported that 9 in 10 Americans say they celebrate Christmas, though less than half celebrate it as a religious holiday (Millennials were least likely). And according to another Pew survey, the percentage of Americans who identify as Christian has trended downward, while “those who describe their religious identity as atheist, agnostic or ‘nothing in particular’” has risen.
And all the while, Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” is the top holiday song year after year on Spotify.
Is Christmas something said, something given, or something felt?
If more people enjoy Christmas, but not the Nativity, is traditional Christmas threatened? Or is it just another thing we can all blame Millennials for?
See you on the battlefield.
A History of the ‘War on Christmas’
How wishing people "Happy holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas" came to be regarded as an act of war.
Did a Starbucks Manager Threaten to Fire Employees Who Say ‘Merry Christmas’?
The chimeric "War on Christmas" conflict was neatly characterized in a single tweet.
Is President Trump Planning a Monument to the War on Christmas?
A humorous article was just a seasonal jape, but not quite in the way that many readers recognized.
Was the Celebration of Christmas Illegal in the U.S. Until 1836?
A Facebook meme highlighted the Puritan colonists' dim view of December 25 celebrations.
Did a Muslim Mayor Outlaw Christmas in 2017?
Reports that the Muslim mayor of a Michigan town banned Christmas festivities and decorations are fake news.
Did Sweden Rename ‘Christmas’ to ‘Winter Celebration’ in Order to Avoid Offending Muslims?
The so-called "war on Christmas" seemingly hasn't ended; it just changes location from time to time.
War on Christmas Stamps
Religious-themed Christmas stamps are still available for purchase from the United States Postal Service.
Did President Obama Ban the Military from Using the Word ‘Christmas’?
A 2013 issue over a U.S. Army "Christmas football tournament" mutated into the false claim that President Obama had banned the military from using the word "Christmas."