Do you prefer “Happy Holidays” or “Merry Christmas”? Choosing the appropriate seasonal greeting is an annual conundrum for most people. And, it’s a conundrum for businesses, too. Does the traditional greeting ‘Merry Christmas’ alienate or attract customers? What about the politically correct ‘Happy Holidays’ or ‘Season’s Greetings’?
It’s safe to say that most large retailers will try to do whatever maximizes sales. And this year, a lot of retailers are “for Christmas,” according to the America Family Association (AFA). Each year, the AFA compiles a “naughty or nice” list of retailers, encouraging shoppers to boycott “naughty” companies.
The “nice” list includes 52 companies, such as Amazon, Bass Pro Shops, Kmart, Zappos, Nordstrom, and Sears. Among these 35, there are five super nice companies that actively promote and celebrate Christmas: Hobby Lobby, Wal-Mart, Belk, Lowe’s, and AFA Online Store.
The “naughty” list is much shorter, including a dozen companies. Examples are Barnes & Noble, The Limited, Pet Smart, Supervalu, and Victoria’s Secret. This year, the AFA is calling for a boycott of Pet Smart and invites you to sign a pledge.
Some companies are neither naughty nor nice. They “marginalize” Christmas, according to the AFA, by infrequently referring to Christmas. Fourteen companies are in this limbo state, including Best Buy, Safeway, Starbucks, and Whole Foods. (You can see the complete lists here.)
Which greeting do you prefer—Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays?
Do you patronage retailers that are “for Christmas?”
Does a retailer’s stance on the holiday matter to you?
Your viewpoint is important!
You can leave a comment below. Or, you can talk with friends on Facebook. You’re also free to print out these columns and use them to spark discussion in your class or small group.