Trump Begins Fighting Against “Happy Holidays”
Christmas. It seems to come earlier every year and with it complaints about the sterilization of the language surrounding the major religious holiday.
Yet, the War on Christmas is gaining ground in favor of the Christians according to the United States’ President Donald Trump. In a recent speech concerning putting the needs of America first, President Trump was quoted as saying: “They [Box Stores] weren’t saying ‘merry Christmas.’ Now they’re saying ’merry Christmas’ again.” Although it is still over half a year from the holiday, the President’s words resonated with some supporters, who have seen his election as a means of returning to “normal”, or a time when the perception of political correctness (PC) was less.
While Trump’s support for the idea of saying “Merry Christmas” comes at an odd time in the year, it shows that there is still a mindset against secularization and PC culture at the White House. The majority of the problem, in Christians’ eyes, is that several major retailers have told their workers not to use “Merry Christmas” as a greeting. Instead, they are to use more clinical language such as “Happy Holidays” to wish their customers a joyful season.
To some Christians, the push towards “Happy Holidays” is bordering on offensive. After all, roughly 60% of all Americans have identified as Christian. Thus, they see “Merry Christmas” being replaced as pandering to the minority while simultaneously erasing their own holiday from the public mindset. However, the retailers have made it a goal to be more inclusive, or at least less offensive, when telling their workers to roll back on the speech and decorations that are specific to Christians. The religious landscape in the United States has changed to include greater varieties of religions which do not share the beliefs or traditions surrounding Christmas. Rather than take a chance with “Happy Hanukkah,” the companies have largely scrubbed the language to make it more appealing to everyone.
Still, to some, like President Trump, it smacks of discrimination and a devaluing of old traditions. Some Christians have come to the war on Christmas with “Keep Christ in Christmas” paraphernalia on their cars and property, a visible sign that they feel that their religious holiday is being actively diminished.
Overall, it is difficult to determine whether Trump’s claims that he has been a deciding factor in increasing the prevalence of “Merry Christmas” have any merit, or that anyone but him is fighting this battle in the middle of May. After all, the “Merry Christmas” greeting has remained one of the most popular around December, according to a poll by CBS News.