Before Thanksgiving, my friend and stellar blogger Roger Gardner, at Radarsite, posted a message to those "who plan on making money on us this CHRISTMAS Season...from small time candy makers to multi-million dollar automobile manufacturers."
The message, of course is, don't forget that the reason for the season is Christmas, so it's okay to say Merry Christmas, and for those who point a finger and accuse us of turning Christmas into a commercial holiday, Roger has a piercing answer. If you are "stuck" for an reply about the perceived tawdriness of Christmas gift giving, read Roger's comments. You'll never again be put on the defensive about your joy of sharing in this wonderful spirit of Christmas, just as the Wisemen did, all those many, many Christmas' ago.
I recently visited Coldwater Creek, an upscale women's clothing store. Each year I buy a gift card at Coldwater Creek for my husband's account manager, because she loves Coldwater Creek.
The store had a bevy of gift cards: Happy Holidays, In the Spirit of the Season, A Gift for you, and Happy Hanukkah. I asked where I would find the Merry Christmas gift cards. The saleslady thought they might be at the other end of the register. She checked, and of course they were not there. They must be sold out, she mused - while never looking me in the eye. You have Happy Hanukkah, I replied...surely you would not be out of Merry Christmas this early in the season. A shopper (a man) standing at the next register said "well, you've been out since before Thanksgiving. I tried to buy a Merry Christmas gift card, or something that had Christmas on it, back before Thanksgiving."
I did find Merry Christmas gift cards on the Coldwater Creek website, but we want to mail ours, in our own Christmas card. We haven't decided which "other Store" will have our business this year. I'm certain that my husband's account manager will enjoy her gift, and we'll try Coldwater Creek again next year.
"Happy holidays," the saleslady chirped as I exited the store empty-handed.
From Radarsite: A Christmas Message to all Retailers, Large and Small
By Roger Gardner
(Roger, among your many magnificent posts, this is your most powerful and my favorite. Maggie)
A message from Radarsite: This is a simple message to all of you who plan on making money on us this CHRISTMAS Season, whether you are multi-million dollar automobile manufacturers or small time candy makers. If out of either misguided conviction or simple cowardice you continue to ignore or obfuscate the foundational Christian significance of our great American tradition of Christmas do not expect our business. If you honestly believe that you can skirt around this (now-thorny) issue by using code words for Christmas, such as 'this holiday season', or get away with saying 'Season's Greetings!' in place of 'Merry Christmas!' you may indeed protect yourself from lawsuits from the ACLU, etc., but you will not get our business. You can't have it both ways anymore. You cannot do away with Christmas and at the same time expect to make money on it.
We will not allow some small militant minority to take away all of our great and significant American traditions, not without a fight. We are getting ready for the battle once again this year, and you will not get away with this monumental theft unnoticed.
This year, some of you, such as Wal-Mart, have already made their decisions to honor this special day by calling it what it is: 'Christmas'. These are the retailers we will reward. Others, Best Buy, Ace Hardware, the major American auto manufacturers, etc. are already asking us to buy their products or shop at their stores for the 'holidays'. Why on earth should anyone buy a new Lincoln for their lover for some unnamed 'holiday'? Which holiday are we talking about here, Columbus Day? Groundhog Day?
This is (still) a free country and you can make whatever decision you want. However, know this, some 80% of America is Christian -- and most American Jews have long ago come to acknowledge this fact and accept Christmas in the spirit of good will, whether or not they actually celebrate it -- and if you choose to ignore this majority of Americans and for selfish reasons decide to throw in your lot with that small vocal minority who are determined to forever alter the character of this great nation then you will suffer the moral and financial consequences.
This Christmas Season will be different than the previous ones. This time, we are wide awake and we are watching you. As I write this there are many sites coming back online who are devoted to this single cause, and they are growing every day. You have grown accustomed to having it both ways, but not this year. If you cannot find the courage to openly honor this very special day, if you cannot find the decency or the will to even utter the words "Merry
Christmas!" you will not get our money. The decision is yours. - rg
A postscript: Well, the very first comment I received to this article was negative. A defense of the denigration of Christmas on the grounds that it has become nothing but a commercial enterprise. If this is what the commenter thinks of Christmas, if this is all that Christmas really means to them, then to me this just reveals the paucity of their soul and I feel sorry for them. The commercialization of Christmas has been a contentious topic of conversation since I received my first boxed set of Gene Autry six-shooters in 1945. But to use this as an excuse to do away with this great Christian celebration of Christ and joy and giving is inexcusable. Christmas means different things to different people, but to a majority of us Americans it means a great deal, and it always has. It's a very special time for special feelings and special memories. For me, it is simply irreplaceable. And to smother it or completely alter its meaning for the sake of appeasing some fanatical permanently disgruntled minority is totally unacceptable, and we just won't let this happen.
You've been messing around now with our deeply-held convictions of the sacredness of human life and the nobility of traditional marriage, you've attempted to dishonor our fundamental patriotism and attempted to rewrite our honorable national history. You have been zealously teaching our own children to hate us, and removing God from every aspect of our culture. And now you want to take away our Christmas. Well you're not going to do it. And if you write in comments here in defense of this effort to expunge everything that is good and decent and clean from our American heritage I will simply delete you and smile while I'm doing it. - rg.