Christmas controversy refers to controversy or disagreement surrounding the celebration or acknowledgment of the Christmas holiday in government, media, advertising and various secular environments. In the past, Christmas-related controversy was mainly restricted to concerns of a public focus on secular Christmas themes such as Santa Claus and gift giving rather than what is sometimes expressed by Christians as the "reason for the season"—the birth of Jesus. The term "Xmas", a popular shortened form of the word Christmas that originates from the use of the Greek letter chi to represent "Christ" (Χριστός), was a particular topic of controversy throughout the 20th century.
Modern-day controversy occurs mainly in western countries such as the United States, Canada and to a lesser extent the United Kingdom, and usually stems from a contrast between the holiday's significant social and economic role in these countries and its strong association with Christianity in an increasingly multiculturally-sensitive and religiously diversifying society. In recent decades, public, corporate, and government mention of the term "Christmas" during the Christmas and holiday season has declined and been replaced with a generic term— usually "holiday(s)" or "winter"— to avoid referencing the holiday by name. In addition, popular non-religious aspects of Christmas, such as Christmas carols and decorated trees, are still prominently showcased and recognized, but are vaguely associated with unspecified "holidays" rather than with Christmas.
Supporters of using terms such as "holidays" in place of "Christmas" argue that many of the symbols and behaviors that western societies have come to associate with Christmas were originally syncretized from pre-Christian pagan traditions and festivals that predate Jesus, and thus need not be directly associated with Christmas. Specifically, symbols and behaviors such as caroling, decorated trees, mistletoe, holly wreaths and yule logs, have pre-Christian origins. It has also been further argued that as western society continues to culturally and religiously diversify, public recognition of a potentially sectarian holiday such as Christmas may be seen as non-inclusive or offensive to non-Christians or non-celebrants in general.
See also: Sending Flowers, Online Florist, Florist
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