Without Jesus Christ, there would be no Christmas.
I believe that every world problem may be solved by obedience to the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ. ~David O. McKay
Classic Handel Messiah
About a decade ago, many stores and businesses began quietly dropping the word “Christmas” from advertisements, store decorations and the employee lexicon. AFA and others began to notice.
Of course, it was entirely possible that many business people were motivated more by a desire not to offend those who do not celebrate Christmas, rather than an impulse to expel religion from the public realm. In fact, that was the reason most companies gave for dropping references to Christmas.
AFA didn’t buy that explanation, however. For one thing, the vast majority of people in America celebrate Christmas. In 2010, the trade magazine Ad Age cited a National Retail Federation survey that found that 91% of consumers were planning Christmas festivities.
Moreover, no one really seemed to mind the Christmas trees, Nativity scenes or retail well-wishers who said, “Merry Christmas.” Very few customers complained that a store was selling “Christmas trees” rather than the ludicrously named “holiday trees” that some stores were selling in the parking lot.
Ellen Davis, a vice president at NRF, told Ad Age that in 2009 retailers began returning to the emphasis on Christmas. The result? “[T]here wasn’t much push back,” she said. “There wasn’t a huge outcry from groups offended that retailers were saying Merry Christmas.”
Following the actions of AFA and others, the tide is turning back. Randy Sharp, director of special projects for AFA and spearhead of the ministry’s Naughty-Or-Nice campaigns, said over the past decade “our research shows 80-90% of companies have again embraced Christmas.”
He said, “We’ve had a complete flip in perspective. Companies are beginning to see that people who buy from retailers at Christmastime don’t think there’s anything wrong with everyone being open and honest about why that’s happening.”