Friday, December 09, 2005

Retailers take Christ out of commercialization

"Retailers take Christ out of commercialization" - by Matt Sober, Valley News Dispatch, 12-07-05, p. D1Ah, the annual battle over the "true meaning of Christmas".

I'm grateful to Matt Sober whose column in the Valley News Dispatch this Wednesday tackled the issue. With the title "Retailers take Christ out of commercialization" the column tackles the greeting controversy at Wal-Mart, the store that appears to be arousing someone's ire by wishing their customers "Happy Holidays or "Season's Greetings" instead of "Merry Christmas."

Sober closes his pointedly humorous column:

Christmas isn't about superficial stuff like midnight Mass, or good will toward men, or letting God's spirit fill your heart.
It's about anger. It's about paranoia. It's about being offended.
And now, my friends, it's about boycotts.
That's right. I say we don't spend another dime in these stores until they start acknowledging Dec. 25 for what it is — the reason they're able to finish in the black after operating in the red the rest of the year. Once these companies see a difference in the bottom line, you can bet they'll replace the watered-down holiday greetings with what we've all been waiting so desperately to hear.
"Merry Christmas from your friends at Wal-Mart."
And then we'll all be happy, right?
Because nothing captures the spirit of the season quite like a gratuitous "Merry Christmas" from a billion-dollar discount retailer.

"Where's Christmas?" letter to the editor of Valley News Dispatch, 12-04-05, p. C6In the greeting wars earlier this week, a letter to the editor of the VND on Sunday carried a "sad, angry, and confused" warning from a Cheswick reader who threatened such acts of "civil disobedience" as subjecting store clerks to "a pleasant and firm Merry Christmas reply."

And a very Merry Christmas to you, too.

Meanwhile on the Holiday/Christmas tree front in the culture wars, from the West Coast, Mark D. Roberts has been blogging carefully and thoughtfully about the perspectives of each side.

And closer to home, last week local blogger W offered some helpful insight into the lost perspective we too easily accept:
As a Christian, I feel a little more compelled to argue for people to be treated equally and told the truth by the elected officials than to fight over whether it's called a "holiday tree" or a "Christmas tree."

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