Poll shows Americans take offense to “Happy Holidays”

“Merry Christmas” is back on the lips of many retailers greeting shoppers this holiday season – much to the delight of the 32% of those who say they’re offended when a store clerk who instead uses the broad but politically correct “Happy Holidays,” a Zogby poll shows. An overwhelming majority (95%) say they are not offended by being greeted with a “Merry Christmas” while shopping. But greet them with a “Happy Holidays,” and 46% say they take offense.

Last year’s decision by many retailers – including retail giant Wal-Mart – to curtail the use of “Merry Christmas” for fear of offending those who don’t celebrate the holiday caused a backlash from conservative Christian groups as well as consumers. Wal-Mart’s change of heart this season could help bring more people into their stores – 35% of respondents said hearing “Merry Christmas” makes them more likely to shop there this season.

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