afraid3-300x165An annual debate rages every holiday season over those retailers and businesses who refuse to use the words “Merry Christmas” in their ads, signage and official company correspondence. While this list tends to shift from one season to the next depending upon how politically correct or incorrect the winds are blowing, these are the retailers who traditionally avoid the use of the word “Christmas” from one season to the next:

Best Buy
Home Depot
L.L. Bean
Plow & Hearth
Crate & Barrel
Eddie Bauer
Toys ‘R’ Us
Banana Republic
Bed, Bath & Beyond
Dick’s Sporting Goods
The Gap

It is important to note that while these retailers appear “stubborn” and are often assailed in the media most of them do have businesses in diverse areas where there are genuine sensitivities.

It is also interesting to note that the word “holiday” has some how become a “bad” word at Christmas (though not during other significant holidays of the year). Groups boycott and organizations make lists to highlight those firms choosing to use the world “holiday” when describing anything on sale at Christmas time. While we would agree that it is a bit of a stretch to call a Christmas tree a “holiday tree” we don’t see anything wrong when retailers call an event a “Holiday Sale” because, indeed, there are a significant amount of varied holidays during the month of December.

The War on Christmas — so called — is better served by keeping the fight out of the marketplace. The marketplace is one of the only true diverse venues we have. Plus, folks have a real measure of voicing their support or opposition in a marketplace simply by either buying or not buying from offending sources.

A public school isn’t necessarily representative of the broad based community and the voting block that might control a city council or other local governing group likewise could lack balance. Most can’t do anything about what a school or city council does other that protest, stand in opposition or express disgust, as they often do, in the media.

For us, there is no foul in saying Merry Christmas. And there is no offense in saying Happy Holidays. To spend time and energy on such issues especially when compared to more pressing needs in local communities is, in our view, a real shame.