Source: The Guardian
Wire Service: AP
On December 18, 2005 the Associated Press reported, "A group of religious protesters demonstrated outside a Wal-Mart superstore Saturday, hoping to turn away customers by calling attention to the retailer's decision to use 'Happy Holidays' rather than 'Merry Christmas' in its seasonal advertising... Controversy over the secularization of Christmas is nothing new, but this year religious groups are publicly taking on retailers who have decided to tone down the religious aspects of the holiday in their store decorations and promotional material. In an online petition, the American Family Association recently gathered more than 500,000 signatures asking Target to include Christmas in its promotions. Stores such as Sears and Wal-Mart are facing boycotts. Wal-Mart spokeswoman Amy Wyatt said the company has made no effort to remove Christmas from its holiday ads. She said a promotion set to run from mid-November to early January was simply misunderstood: its slogan is 'home for the holidays.' 'It was a matter of choosing a slogan that carries through the entire season,' Wyatt said... 'The idea was to focus on the family.' About 50 protesters took part in Saturday's demonstration, organized by religious leaders."