Billboard Draws Attention To 'Christmas' Dilemma 11-17-2010 - WNEM TV 5

Billboard Draws Attention To 'Christmas' Dilemma 11-17-2010

A billboard spotted along Interstate 75 is fueling the debate between the slogans "Merry Christmas" and "Happy Holidays."
TV5 posted the question on our Facebook page, and within 40 minutes, more than 100 comments were lodged on the topic.
So TV5 decided to take the question to the streets to see what's more important to the public: being politically correct or expressing your beliefs.
If you drive down I-75 north near Mount Morris, a red sign jumps out at you.
The billboard reads, "I miss hearing you say Merry Christmas -- signed Jesus.”
The sign is sparking debate about the proper greeting to use as various religious holidays approach.
"It’s the day Christ was born, supposedly,” said Great Lakes Bay resident Patricia Hootman. “It’s been that way for years. I know they're trying to change everything, but you have to draw the line somewhere."
The sign was put up in response to people calling on retailers and greeters to steer away from saying "Merry Christmas."
Some argue that just saying "Merry Christmas" leaves other religions out.
Join The Discussion: TV5's Facebook Page
"I’d like them to say Merry Christmas. It’s representing Jesus. Say Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays is just what it is. Happy holidays," argues Nick Kritikos.
"I think people can say Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanza; whatever you want," said Heidi Abraham
Retail giants like Target said they typically stick to a general "Happy Holidays," but the employees are not told specifically what to say.
TV5 went to a local flower shop where the owner said she deals with customers from all type of religious backgrounds.
"First, I would say Merry Christmas,” said store owner Mary Ellen Whitney. “If I don't get a response, I say happy holidays. I try everything."
Whitney says it all has to do with your upbringing. "I grew up with Merry Christmas,” Whitney explains. “Happy holidays came later. So I am exposed to all of them and I will use all of them."
And even though the billboard sign is calling for “Merry Christmas,” Whitney said you have to respect diversity. "And hopefully I’ll hit it on the right one with the right person," she said.
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