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Story ID:9425
Written by:Frederick William Wickert (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Oneonta New York USA
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By Fred Wickert

For the past several years there has been a policy in many of the nation’s retailers to forbid their employees from wishing anyone a Merry Christmas. They also refrain from having the word Christmas even show up anywhere in the various signs about their stores. It is all due to political correctness and the possibility that some one might take offense.

I have never understood this policy because about 86 percent of our population is Christian. The remaining 14 percent has a large portion of it, people of the Jewish faith. I have known many Jewish people. I have yet to meet one who is offended by someone telling them, Merry Christmas. In fact, many of them enjoy and or appreciate it.
The small percentage remaining is an assortment of atheists, agnostics, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and others. I know a considerable number of Buddhists and not one of them objects to Christmas. They even enjoy exchangisng Christmas gifts and cards and if they own a place of business, put up Christmas decorations.

So who exactly are we talking about offending? I suppose Muslims might object, and that leaves satanic worshipers, atheists and agnostics and perhapse one or two others which comprise probably less than 4 percent of the total. So what it boils right down to, merchants are so afraid they might offend 4 percent or less of the population that they are willing to offend 86 percent of the population. That never made any sense to me at all. I suggest that the only reason they get away with it is because Christians by nature, are peaceful and loving people so they turn the other cheek.

The hypocrisy is astonishing to me as well. There is not another season of the year that merchants make as much from sales as they do for the Christmas season. From cards to gifts to decorations and trees and wreaths and Poinsetta’s and candy they sell great quantities, and then selling the gifts themselves drastically improve their profit margin. All because of Christmas. Who is the reason for the season? Jesus Christ, of course. It is the celebration of his birth!

The substitution they use for Merry Christmas is the phrase, Happy Holidays. Oh wow. That really takes away all the religious aspects of Christmas doesn’t it? Not really. The word Holidays comes from Holy days, so in reality they are saying Happy Holy days when they say Holidays. Why are they Holy days? Because they are celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, That’s why, so really now, just who are they kidding? Maybe the 4 percent that might be offended don’t know that. Maybe they think Santa Clause is the reason for the season, but if so, they failed to read Dickens Christmas Carol. Otherwise they would have known that as Santa drove away with his sleigh and precious reindeer, he shouted, “Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!”

I went to the city of Oneonta the evening of Black Friday to do my weekly supply shopping. Usually my last stop is at WallMart. Black Friday was no exception. I usually do my supply trip on Thursdays but I didn’t on Thursday this time because it was Thanksgiving day. After I completed my purchases and was departing from the cashier line, the older lady who served me at the register called out, “Have a Merry Christmas.” I stopped and turned and looking at her I said, “What did you say?” She looked me straight in the eye with a defiant expression on her face and said, “I said have a Merry Christmas!” I told her what a pleasure it was to hear that. I told her for so long now people were not allowed to say that and that I was so pleased to hear someone say it for a change. It reallymade me feel good and I thanked her again for saying it. The lady assured me that I was welcome.

I immediately headed for customer service. When I got there a young lady asked if she could help me. I told her yes. I told her the cashier that waited on me had just wishd me a Merry Christmas and I wanted the store management to know that I was so please to hear her saying Merry Christmas instead of Happy Holidays. I was quite loud about it at the cash register because I wanted others to hear me. At customer service I was also loud for the same reason. I told the girl at Customer Service to be sure she let management know about it. A lady standing beside her was on the phone. That lady lowered the phone, looked at me with a smile and said, “I’m management, and I got it loud and clear, Thank you.” I thanked her. Satisfied management knew how I felt about it, I turned and headedfor my car with my purchases. It was the best I felt leaving WallMart in a very long time.

I had come to believe this country had completely surrendered to political correctness. It was so greatly refreshing to learn that it is not quite yet and there is still a glimmer of hope and sanity.

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