Despite multiple surveys already being done on the issue (by pollsters more prestigious and reputable than I) of holiday greeting preferences, I conducted a survey of local shoppers for their preference. Although the distribution of participants is localized to my surrounding area I think it serves as a valuable barometer nonetheless due to the overall liberal bent of my region. New England, and my state in particular, is decidedly liberal politically, religiously, and socially.
I surveyed 100 men and 100 women for a total if 200 individuals. For couples, I asked whomever would help even out the numbers. I stood outside two local Walmart stores, one in an urban city and the other in a suburban town, and one Kohls department store in a suburban town. The survey was conducted Saturday and Sunday, November 30th and December 1st during prime holiday shopping. Here are the results.
Aside from my narrow slice of America demonstrating that the wide majority of people prefer Merry Christmas over any other greeting during the holiday season, people who don’t prefer it aren’t offended by it. I think people take the greeting in the spirit in which it is offered. More over, the holiday for which they are shopping is Christmas. Regardless of preference of greeting, the vast majority of people shopping at this particular time of year are shopping specifically for Christmas.
Things not properly considered by corporations prohibiting the greeting “Merry Christmas”:
- Christmas is why almost all of your customers are in the store right now.
- The majority of your customers actually want to hear “Merry Christmas”.
- Virtually no one is offended by the greeting.
- In prohibiting “Merry Christmas” because it might offend, you are making a statement that Christianity is offensive, which is itself rude and bigoted.
- There are people who will avoid your store if you refuse to acknowledge Christmas.
My unsolicited advice to these corporations refusing to acknowledge Christmas is to realize the entirety of what it means. Think about who would be offended if you say it, and who would be if you wont. What does it say about your view of Christianity? Is Christianity so offensive that you cannot mention it even if that’s the reason almost every customer is in your store? Is that what you prefer to say about your business?