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Wednesday, December 01 2010

Here's something worth celebrating this Christmas.  It appears that the insane politically correct holiday greeting era may be coming to a close.  Within the last decade, multiple retailers decided that they didn't want to "offend" anyone by saying Merry Christmas around Christmas time.  Of course, they did still want all the money for Christmas gifts being spent by those who celebrate Christmas.


So in order to not offend, retailers decided to go out of their way to avoid saying the word "Christmas" in their literature, sales, publicity, etc.  By doing so, they managed to offend the vast majority of Americans - Christians or not - who are sick and tired of the stupidity of political correctness.


But this year, this much is clear: the tide has turned.  MSNBC reports:

The War on Christmas may be in its final days.


This season, merry Christmas ? not happy holidays or season's greetings ? will dominate retailer's marketing messages. There will be Christmas sales and Christmas trees and Christmas carols galore.




Indeed, retailers that have found themselves the target of boycotts or media and consumer scrutiny have responded swiftly in recent years. Lowe's "Family Trees" were renamed "Christmas Trees," while Walmart's "Holiday Shop" is now a "Christmas Shop." Midway through the 2005 holiday season, Target, facing a boycott, announced its advertising messages would become more specific and include references to Christmas. And last year, Gap responded to a boycott by issuing a press release highlighting the use of the phrase "Merry Christmas" in its upcoming Old Navy ads.

So what is the cause of the change of heart?  Did the Grinch companies hearts grow a few sizes?  It's probably more likely that their retail sales shrank a few sizes.  The MSNBC story cites the work of the American Family Association in informing shoppers which companies seemed to be offended by the Christmas tradition.  And while MSNBC posited that this might amount to "bullying," I don't remember AFA threatening anyone not to go shopping at Target.


In fact, the message was pretty simple: here are the companies who are uncomfortable with Christmas.  Seems logical if they are uncomfortable with it, we shouldn't burden them by buying things from their stores to use in our "offensive" traditions. 


And that message has apparently sunk in:

"Shoppers vote with their wallets every day," said Ellen Davis, a VP at the National Retail Federation. "[When it comes to boycotts,] retailers realize, 'It could just as easily have been us.' "


The NRF does not formally advise retailers on whether they should use the word Christmas, but Ms. Davis said it does provide statistics. This year's NRF/BigResearch survey found that 91 percent of consumers plan to celebrate Christmas, compared with 5% for Hanukkah and 2% for Kwanzaa.

So maybe it was merely a cost/benefit decision made in a boardroom.  No, that might not be a change of heart, but it is a change of policy at least.  That's something worth celebrating.  Merry Christmas.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 07:30 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email

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