Copying the theme found in Sesame Street: this section of our web site is brought to you by the letter "S."
That letter is the root cause of the "Christmas Wars" in December of each year: The question is whether the publicity departments of stores and store employees should use the term:
The hot button item that causes so much conflict at this time of year is the letter "s" at the end of "Happy Holidays:" It poses the question: Is there one holiday or are there multiple holidays in December that should be acknowledged?
An parallel question is whether the U.S. should be viewed as:
The religious makeup of the U.S. is in a state of flux. The percentage of NOTAs and adherents of non-Christian religions is increasing. The percentage of Christians is in a slow downward spiral, largely because teens are leaving and never returning.
Many conservative Christian groups are promoting Christmas-only greetings. A few years ago, some fundamentalist groups gave up attempts at reason and resorted to economic boycotts to force unwilling stores to meet the fundamentalists' goals. However, they seem to have abandoned such strong-arm tactics and reverted to merely making list of which retailers are acknowledging diversity -- as in the sign below -- or are adopting a Christmas-only policy. Liberty Counsel has its Friend or Foe Christmas Campaign; The American Family Association (AFA) has its 2011 "Naughty or Nice" list.
This is a lose-lose situation for U.S. retailers who, above all, do not wish to make their customers angry. No matter what phrase is used, the store is going to alienate some customers.
The conflict appears to have reached a peak circa 2004 and is has been fading in recent years.
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