December 5, 2005, - 9:15 am

SCHLUSSEL EXCLUSIVE: Target Forbids “Merry Christmas” (& Why You Can’t Always Believe Snopes)


Last year, it was Macy’s. This year, it’s apparently Target.

This weekend, several Target employees at Detroit area Targets told me that they have been told they are forbidden from saying “Merry Christmas” to customers. Doing so could result in firing, they told me, and are restricted to the now-conventional, bland “Happy Holidays.”

Target Wishes You a Merry KwanzRamadaNukkah

We were unable to contact Target PR people over the weekend, but judging from our past experiences with them, we will probably not get a response.

In the past, we’ve contacted Target to ask why the store sells clothing made in terrorism sponsor Syria and the United Arab Emirates (whose government funded a think tank that claims Americans and Jews were behind 9/11 and features Holocaust deniers), both of which are reason enough to limit your shoppping trips, there. Target’s media “relations” people repeatedly refused to return phone calls (Wal-Mart and K-Mart did, in fact, respond to similar, related questions).

Given what we’ve been reporting, keep these items in mind when you are doing your Christmas (or Chanukkah)and everyday shopping:

* : for illegal aliens (through contractors)

* Target: No “Merry Christmas”

This is yet another vivid illustration of why you CANNOT rely on self-anointed Internet “myth debunker” sites, like Snopes–which claims this isn’t true that this is Target policy. WHEN IT IS (according to several Target employees who contacted me and those I talked to at various Target stores, this weekend). (Snopes also got the story about WRONG from the beginning and CONTINUES to get it wrong.) Not sure who died and made Snopes king of the truth, but the site isn’t reliable.

Get your payday loans for the holidays, so you can shop at any retailer but Target.

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20 Responses

Here in Nashville, TN, our local conservative talk show hosts on WWTN are doing a great job reporting on businesses going the “Happy Holidays” route instead of “Merry Christmas.”
Why is this even an issue? It doesn’t bother me if someone says “Happy Hannukah” or even “Happy Kwanza.” If I lived in some Muslim country I wouldn’t expect them to quit praising Allah.
I’m adding Target to my boycott list.

Jeff_W on December 5, 2005 at 9:21 am

Debbie, congratulations on your nomination, as it is well deserved. On to these jackasses who run Target, I stopped shopping there the day they banned the Salvation Army bell ringers from their stores….
I loaded up two shopping carts full of merchandise, moved into the checkout lane, and advised the manager that since they banned the Salvation Army, I would be shopping elsewhere for CHRISTMAS, and left them to put the carts of product back on their shelves.

DCWatson on December 5, 2005 at 10:37 am

Whoa…you mean companies actually want to make a profit by making themselves as open as possible? This isn’t “liberals” taking over the marketplace. This is the MARKET determining the appropriate course of action. Isn’t that a fundamental of conservativism? Oh wait…I forgot, the Christian Right has taken over the conservative party I once knew…waving a flag of Jesus rather than a flag of America. If I wanted a fundamentalist religious nation, I’d move to Iran.

DetroitWonk on December 5, 2005 at 11:25 am

The Real Meaning of X-Mas: Capitalism

(via Debbie Schlussel)
Why did I rudely leave Christ out of Christmas in the title? Because that’s the real meaning of Christmas to most businesses: a religion-free holiday season to pander such absurd, made-up holidays like Kwanzaa. Beside…

Eric's Boredom Revealed on December 5, 2005 at 12:40 pm


Well my faith in Snopes is further shaken, and also my criticism of Bill O’Reilly may possibly have been misplaced. Debbie Schlussel (who I don’t always agree with but I do believe to be an honest reporter) reports that

Dean's World on December 5, 2005 at 12:58 pm

DetroitWonk – Your pose as a disappointed conservative is belied by your woeful/willful ignorance of how a free market works, not to mention your mention of “conservativism.”
People choosing not to shop at Target because they dislike what they perceive as an anti-Christmas policy IS the market at work, not its opposite, and is hardly evidence of a “fundamentalist” nation. Give the sophomoric rhetoric a rest.

eddiehaskell on December 5, 2005 at 2:19 pm

I think you missed his first point eddie. Forget his rant about conservatism for a moment and take a look at his first sentence. The real reason Target and other stores would rather employees say Happy Holidays rather than just Merry Christmas. Stores would benefit greatly if every religion/culture gave out presents like Chrisitians during the holidays.

Clompo on December 5, 2005 at 2:40 pm

Nonsense! This has nothing to do with the market. Where would the market be without the Christmas holiday? This is just silly political correctness.
As soon as people band together and quit shopping at stores with these ridiculous policies, then you’ll see how the free market actually works.
Merry Christmas!

Jeff_W on December 5, 2005 at 2:52 pm

Since “some of my best friends are Christian”,I wish you mutha’s a Merry Christmas-an’ dis Jew mutha doesn’t melt when someone wishes me one.Anytimeyou wanna start a “revolt” to get sissy stores like Target to close on Sunday-like in “the old days”,count dis Jew mutha in.

jaywilton on December 5, 2005 at 3:12 pm

I don’t know one way or another, but I would hesitate to say that this is Target’s corporate-wide policy. I was just in there this morning (Phoenix, AZ area) and there seemed to be a lot of explicit Christmas-ing going on. If I said “Merry Christmas” to an employee, wouldn’t they then be free to return the greeting to me without fear of reprisal?
All in all, my experience of these things is that the stores are too busy actually, you know, moving merchandise to worry about someone policing what greetings the employees are using.

quieti on December 5, 2005 at 3:21 pm

There are reasons to not shop at Tarzhay that go way beyond their Christmastime censorship. As for Snopes, I feel compelled to be the devil’s advocate, based on the high number of popular liberal myths they’ve worked to debunk over the years. (All of those phony “IQ lists” berating conservatives and President Bush quickly come to mind, for starters.) They don’t always get it right (then again, who does?), but they have a decent batting average; moreso than, say, the New York Times…

Kid Charlemagne on December 6, 2005 at 6:43 am

Since X-mas was historically the pogrom holiday second in history to Easter…i don’t see why you should care.

EminemsRevenge on December 6, 2005 at 11:57 am

Commie Mart. So call me red baiter! I don’t buy crap from China, I buy shit from here and Japan

KOAJaps on December 6, 2005 at 10:50 pm

Those retailers who forbid their employees from saying “Merry Christmas” are hypocritical and duplicitous. Let’s face it – the reason they do the most business during November and December is because of Christmas. Sure, Jewish people shop for Chanukkah, but there just aren’t that many Jews in America to account for the volume of sales these stores make during this period. And, there aren’t any Buddhist, Hindu, or Muslim holidays during this time (sometimes Rama-dama-ding-dong falls around this time depending upon the year, however, Muslims don’t buy gifts during Rama-dama-ding-dong) that are celebrated by buying gifts. So what demographic are these stores trying NOT to offend? The people who ARE offended are those who celebrate Christmas.
If it weren’t for Christians spending their money in these stores during this season, not many of them would survive. It is BECAUSE of Christmas that they survive.
Thank God Macy’s came to their senses this year and have allowed their employees to say “Merry Christmas”.

Thee_Bruno on December 7, 2005 at 9:46 am

Snopes also deliberately mucked up the story about the journalist on the airline with the eight Syrian ‘musicians’ in order to give a ‘false’ conclusion. Its a good site, but swings left too often to be considered accurate.

Melek Taus on December 8, 2005 at 8:52 pm

Christmas Prize?

A Target employee told me to have a good Christmas, which, according to Debbie Schlussel’s sources, is against store policy. Do I get a prize? Have I achieved some sort of holiday… nay, dare I say it… Christmas miracle? Or were th…

Tempus Fugit | on December 18, 2005 at 12:33 am

I am very upset about the people who write things like this, do you have anything better to do?
Target has a no-solicitation policy, plain and simple.
Target donates to Salvation Army, check your recipts
It IS NOT against store policy to say Merry Christmas, Any employee can say merry christmas all they want to whoever they want, given the circumstances.
The reason you dont see christmas trees plastered around the store and merry christmas everywhere is because, right, it does offend people in a way, back when I was in high school, we got a new superintendent who was a jew, seriously. our christmas tree in our lobby was taken away.
Targets 2005 christmas slogan this year is GatherRound
The whole time I was checking out today, I said Happy Holidays, and Have a Merry Christmas, nobody stopped me, not even my managers, in fact, I had asked them about that prior to hearing this rumor that your not allowed to say it.
If you have further inquires, feel free to email me at

Tyler on December 23, 2005 at 9:43 pm

Just look at “holidays” in “Happy Holidays” to mean Christmas, New Year’s, and Epiphany of the Lord/Three Kings Day. Then you’re all set!
Working at Target this season and last, I did use “Happy Holidays” if I was unsure about someone’s religion. But it was made clear to us that we are *not* banned from saying “Merry Christmas.” I replied “Merry Christmas” whenever a guest said it to me.

Kai on December 24, 2005 at 2:28 pm

Here in Canada we live under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This document starts out with these exact words-“Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law—–”
If Target stores wants to challenge the Canadian people’s resolve to uphold that notion then they might as well tuck tail and run back across the 49th parallel and save themselves the hassle that is sure to follow.
Here we celebrate Christmas and the Christmas season. We do not take lightly the idea that some “Johnny come lately” from the States or anywhere else can come along and with their supposed, corporate might phase out old and sacred traditions- they have vastly misjudged us.
Go ahead – give it your best shot- in the end- you will lose (money) and my goodness- isn’t that why you are coming here for in the first place?

Johnny Canuck on March 5, 2013 at 7:07 am

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