Do you say “Merry Christmas,” or “Happy Holidays?”
It seems this is as common a question now as asking if you prefer cats or dogs, but how did we get this way? Christmas is a time for people to come together and remember the things we have in common. It’s a time for us to remember the good things about our lives and families and come together, not be divided. But lately, it seems as though Christmas tears us further and further apart. People are offended by everything related to Christmas no matter what they believe, but even worse is how people get offended that other people are offended. Some people complain that Christmas has changed too much, other people just wish Christmas didn’t even exist at all anymore.
No matter what your opinions on Christmas are, one thing’s for certain- Christmas can be pretty controversial. Everything from the decorations we put on our tree to what we say to strangers is under a microscope, and if we do the wrong thing, it can become a viral story instantly. But is Christmas the real issue here? Perhaps this is just a vessel in which conservatives can rant about political correctness, and liberals can exploit the problems behind their values. No matter what you think, you probably have something to think about Christmas, and that something probably offends someone in the world. No, I take it back- it definitely offends someone somewhere.
While some controversies are justified, others can seem just plain silly. Everything from Christmas clothing to TV programs has had some sort of scandal behind it, and today, we’ve gathered the best 15 times Christmas got controversial:
15. Did Sweden Ban Christmas Lights Because Of Offended Muslims?
At one point in time, there was a rumor that Sweden had banned hanging outdoor Christmas lights so as to not offend any Muslim refugees. Of course, people went wild, as they thought that no one, especially Muslim refugees, could tell them what to do with their Christmas lights. The story went viral, and the people who were the most offended were actually American citizens, unaffected by this supposed ban.
But then the truth was revealed, that this was all just a bad case of the telephone game. There had been a ban on Christmas lights, but not because of Muslim, or any religion for that matter, refugees. Instead, it was simply that a certain area of Sweden did not want people to hang their lights on public posts anymore as it was causing damage and too much electrical use to the posts. But of course, someone got a hold of the original story and twisted it to fit their agenda.
14. The “R” Culture In Advertisement
Another controversy to emerge last year was one Bloomingdale’s ad that suggested something rather sinister. The advertisement stated that you should “spike your friend’s drink when they’re not looking.” It didn’t take this advertisement long to go from just a page in a magazine to a viral controversy overnight. The original intention of the ad is not known, but it’s strange that anyone allowed this to go from an idea to a major ad without seeing any red flags.
The article suggests taking advantage of someone when they’re not looking. People thought this made light of date rape, a serious issue among young adults, whom the ad is likely directed towards. Bloomingdales was quick to give a halfhearted apology but did nothing else. What were they even thinking in the first place?
13. Peace On Earth Christmas Card
One family found themselves in a nasty Christmas controversy after taking this family photo for their annual Christmas card. The image depicts the women of the family bound with tape over their mouths while the men celebrate. Many people quickly found offense in this photograph as they feel as though it depicts domestic violence and marital abuse. The family came forward and stated they thought it was a fun and silly idea, and it was actually the mother’s idea in the first place!
Regardless of what the original intention is, many people still see that abuse against women in any form is not good to depict, especially on a Christmas card, no matter what the context. Images like this can make light of a real-life scenario in which a woman and her daughters actually are silenced by the patriarch of the family. What do you think, do you find offense in this Christmas card?
12. Businesses Saying “Happy Holidays”
One of the worst things that people have stated happened to Christmas is the fact that stores now focus on saying “Happy Holidays,” instead of “Merry Christmas.” The attempt was to be more inclusive of all religions and holidays at the time. Christmas is not the only holiday that occurs towards the end of the year, and not even the only Christian one. Saying happy holidays for some just means including Christmas and New Years. It can also include Kwanza and Hanukah.
Regardless of companies’ attempts at being more inclusive of all cultures and religions, people have been going wild by claiming that this means there’s a “war on Christmas.” Many people feel as though our country has become too politically correct, and others shouldn’t be offended anymore. But some feel as though no one was ever really offended by people saying “merry Christmas,” and that those who are offended by “happy holidays,” are the real problem.
11. Black Friday Shopping
Black Friday has become almost a holiday in itself. People take off work, spend weeks preparing by clipping through the catalogs, and gather in groups to spend time together. But at what cost? Many people are offended by stores opening on Thanksgiving day in order to prepare for the sales. A lot of retail workers don’t have a choice in whether or not they have to work, and big retail chains often force everyone to work at least one shift on Black Friday.
This year we saw a few stores keeping their doors closed on this day we’re supposed to give thanks, but that didn’t stop others from taking advantage of the extra customers. No matter whether you’re a black Friday shopper or if you like to avoid the whole weekend altogether, you have to admit, Black Friday has gone a bit far. Don’t believe me? Check out 15 Christmas Shopping Horror Stories You Won’t Believe.
10. Reese’s Christmas… Tree?
On a lighter note, Christmas got pretty controversial last year when people finally showed just how fed up they were with Reese’s attempt at a Christmas tree-shaped Reese’s. Customers took to twitter to show that this fecal matter shaped blob in no way shape or form represented an actual Christmas tree. Most of the people who took to social media to show their complaints were only joking and making fun of just how botched the Christmas tree was. Many people felt as though it looked like a child’s attempt at making a Christmas snack.
But like most good things, some people had to ruin it. There were a few people who actually were offended that they would make something that they said would look like a tree but would actually be so horribly misshapen. To some, it was blasphemous. But in reality, it’s just a Reese’s.
9. Texas’s Merry Christmas Law
Although some people would like to pretend there’s a war on Christmas (their proof is retail chains not saying “Merry Christmas” to you on your way out), it is indeed not illegal to tell anyone Merry Christmas. No one is going to arrest you, and few people would probably actually say anything to you.
But the reality is that Texas now has a law that protects your right to say “Merry Christmas,” even though it’s already pretty much protected in the constitution. It falls under freedom of speech as well as freedom of religion. But as soon as some white Christians feel as though their freedoms might be challenged, an extra bill has to be put in place just in case. Imagine if someone told them they couldn’t wear a certain head scarf that was required for their religion?
8. Donald Trump Vows To Save Christmas
So if you haven’t realized it by now in your own life as well as by reading this article, people get offended that not everyone says “Merry Christmas” anymore. There is absolutely no law or rule stating that you’re not allowed, but people still feel as though they can’t say it without someone getting offended. So who should take charge of an issue that affects the country? The President? Maybe, if that issue dealt with the current wars we’re involved with, or our country’s issues with veteran homelessness and mental illness. But instead, our next president has decided to make saying “Merry Christmas” an issue for his first one hundred days.
That’s right, Donald Trump has put more focus on making sure that everyone has the right to say “Merry Christmas,” and that we’ll be hearing more of it the years that he’s president. But, everyone already does have the right to say it! No one says you can’t.
7. Non-Religious Nativities
Christian websites got their panties in a huge bunch recently as more and more companies have attempted to introduce non-traditional nativity scenes. One company did a “hipster” version that really sent conservatives into a whirlwind. It is, from an outsider’s standpoint, offensive to the Christian religion, as it is slightly a mockery of the actual nativity depiction.
However, the same people who get offended by this are usually the people telling others not to be so offended. Plus, not every Christian is traditional, and some people enjoy having something more modern and non-conformist when it comes to their Christmas decorations. Some say, if you don’t like it, don’t buy it. But others are utterly offended that it was even created in the first place.
6. Anti-Christian Billboards
If you tried to put up an anti-Christmas billboard one hundred years ago, it wouldn’t even make it to print. But nowadays, as long as you have enough money, you can put whatever you want on a billboard! And people definitely have been. Pictured above is one of the most offensive anti-Christian billboards that people have seen, and it caused quite the controversy! There have been countless others, all in an attempt to dismantle the Christian values that lie behind the traditions that can sometimes be damaging.
People being offended by this is no surprise- that’s kind of the intention anyway. Sometimes shock is necessary to get the attention of the people you want to reach. But these billboards are just the first sign of being open about having religions and beliefs that aren’t Christian-centric. Some people think they’re hilarious while others get stomach ulcers just thinking about them.
5. Starbucks Cups
You’ve probably been wondering this entire time when we would get to the Starbucks cups controversy – so here it is! To catch you up to speed if you haven’t been paying attention or just stay off social media, it all started last year when Starbucks introduced their new holiday cup. In an attempt to be inclusive while still being sleek, Starbucks made the bold, or arguably safe, decision to introduce a plain all-red cup. The red cup paired nicely with their green logo, making a seemingly Christmas-themed holiday cup. However, people were widely offended that Starbucks would create such an anti-Christmas, Jesus-hating monstrosity. They thought that if the cup didn’t have a Christmas tree on it that said both Jesus and Santa were real, they were basically terrorists.
4. OCD = Obsessive Christmas Disorder
To take a break from the Starbucks Cup gate of 2015, let’s focus on this Christmas T-shirt that was able to start a media fire on its own. Just like the cup, it only took a few people to put their opinions on social media to let everyone know that they thought this shirt was incredibly offensive. The shirt says Obsessive Christmas Disorder, insinuating that OCD does not mean Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
Some people felt as though this was poking fun at mental illness, and that it was not OK for anyone to make light of such a serious and harmful disorder. Even more silly than those people offended that someone would make this Christmas design were the people offended that people were offended. Some felt that it was just a light-hearted attempt to be funny and that those who didn’t like the shirt were being too politically correct. Do you think the shirt’s funny or offensive?
3. Christmas Music In Diner Is Offensive
Just as recent as last week, one diner found themselves in trouble after someone left a note on their receipt. The note above states, “Christmas music was offensive. Consider playing holiday music or less religious themed.” The chef was quick to post the note on social media, stating that they definitely did not agree with what the people were saying and were upset to realize that people were offended by the music they were playing.
Of course, this sparked a bigger fire in the already heated debate about censoring Christmas. The note didn’t state to forbid any holiday music at all, just some songs that had less religious undertones. Regardless, people were horrified that someone who was probably not Christian didn’t want to hear Christian music in a public setting. Others believe it’s all a hoax and one man’s attempt to get more publicity for his business.
2. Starbucks Cups… Again
Just when we thought we were free from about hearing about Starbucks cups forever, 2016 brought even more drama to the debate around what a piece of cardboard filled with coffee should look like. Of course, Starbucks expected that whatever design they would create would be criticized in some way, but they did not expect that the above cup would cause so much drama once again.
The only thing that people do by complaining on social media is to give these businesses free publicity. But people are too focused on making sure all of the things in their lives align with their own beliefs that they’re too busy to realize Starbucks is making money no matter what they think about the cup. Is everything surrounding Christmas supposed to have a picture of baby Jesus on it anyway? No one gets into a fuss when their presents are wrapped in holiday neutral-themed wrapping paper.
1. Megyn Kelly Says “Santa is White”
Despite what Tim Allen might have told you through three entire movies, Santa Claus is definitely not real. I am not a scrooge, just real to the fact that every Christmas, there’s still no overweight guy giving me free gifts in exchange for good behavior. But that’s really dependent on who you are and what night of the week it is, am I right?
Anyways, all bad jokes aside, Megyn Kelly caused quite the Christmas controversy by stating recently that Santa is white. The thing is, it’s unknown still whether Jesus was white, or real at all, for that matter. Many people believe that Jesus definitely would have been a person of color due to where he was born, but he has always been depicted as white. Santa Claus, however, should in no way be up for debate as to whether or not he’s even real, so why would you state that this fictional character has to be white? You can see the whole controversy in the video above and decide for yourself, what color, if any, Santa would be if he were real.