Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays?

Christmas is just four days away, one of the biggest annual holidays of Christmas that combines the celebration of Jesus' birth with various other traditions and customs.

Christmas is celebrated in most countries around the world, owing to the widespread Christianity and Western culture.

At this time of the year children look forward to the enduring red-faced Santa Claus to bring them gifts. The Christmas tree decorated with Christmas lights is a popular symbol that is seen in many homes and public places.

The United States has experienced a controversy over the nature of Christmas, and its status as a religious or secular holiday. Some considered the U.S. government's recognition of Christmas as a federal holiday to be a violation of the separation of church and state.

The phrases "Season's Greetings," or "Happy Holidays" as opposed to "Merry Christmas," have been made a popular form of greeting to suit the many non-Christians.

The US no.1 retailer Wal-Mart and other major stores who in the past greeted their customers with "Merry Christmas" resorted to the generic form of greeting such as "Happy Holidays."

But this year Wal-Mart has decided to go back to "Merry Christmas" again and told its employees that it's OK to greet shoppers by saying "Merry Christmas" this holiday season instead of the generic "Happy Holidays

Walmart's decision comes a year after religious groups such as The American Family Association and The Catholic League boycotted retailers including Wal-Mart last holiday season for excluding the word "Christmas" from products sold in stores.

In many countries, Christmas is the biggest shopping season, increasingly making it a commercial affair beyond the religious traditions.

So to many people, whether it is "Happy Holidays" or "Merry Christmas" what is important is the spirit of the message.

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