My sister, the Rev. Jarvis, forwarded a column from an Anchorage paper written, I believe, by Elise Sereni Patkotak (I can find no link) about the nonissue of stores wishing us happy holidays:
As the debate over Christmas in stores continues, I have what I think is a great suggestion. Why don’t we put Christmas back in church and ask the stores to butt out altogether?
…I have no problem with a midwinter festival. But let’s call it that. Let’s have all the traditions and ceremonies we want surrounding it. Buy expensive gifts for your loved ones or get drunk at parties or overeat at sumptuous meals – whatever works for you. But let’s not pretend this has anything to do with the birth of a child two thousand years ago who came with a message that is the antithesis of the celebration we now claim to hold in his name….
So I don’t want Christmas back in the stores. I think saying happy holidays there is just fine.