BENTONVILLE, AR-During this time of economic downturn, american retailers are making their voice known.  Apparently, after almost two centuries of Christian control, corporations that make most of their profits during the Christmas Season have had enough.  “They’ve had this Holiday  for an awfully long time, and they inherited it from other religions, its time to pass the torch,” so says Shari Waterhouse, spokeswoman for Wal-Mart. Len Watson, Senior Purchaser for Target Inc., had similar sentiments when he said, “they (Christians) have made a lot off of Christmas over the centuries, and built up a lot of equity, its our turn now.”

Unfortunately for Christians, polls seem to support the sentiment of Corporate America.  A recent Gallup Poll revealed that 63% of Americans believe that receiving gifts is the single most important aspect of Christmas, 56% consider buying gifts “extremely stressful, but necessary,” and 52% admit that they don’t go to church during Christmas, even if it falls on a Sunday.  Probably most revealing is that 23% blamed Jesus Christ for their stress during this Holiday Season, up from 18% in 2006.  And don’t think that retailers aren’t paying attention. For their 2008 Christmas advertising campaign, Macy’s department stores chose “Santa is our Savior” as their holiday theme.

The current change in public attitude toward Christmas became violently obvious when, on Black Friday 2008, an employee of Wal-Mart was trampled to death by eager consumers anxiously awaiting the opening of the store.  Marybeth Ramirez, a frequent Wal-Mart shopper, stated “I feel sorry for him and his family, but he should have known better than to get in their way.”   

When asked about the importance of Christian tradition and history with Christmas,  Waterhouse replied, “They have Easter, they don’t need two holidays. They don’t need to be so greedy.”

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