Christmas Wars --Fight Back, But Leave The Stores Out Of It

A week or so ago I wrote a post defending the White House against the charge of PC Christmas-phobia, pointing out that the White House card contains a Psalm, which is not exactly secular. Apparently the post got lost somewhere in the server, but here's a better one --in that it shows you the card. (Curtsy to ninme.) In defense of Bill Donoghue (if cynicism is a defense against apparent stupidity), he has to attack Republicans sometimes. Once or twice a year he dredges up sumpin', but instances of "R" dissing of Catholicism are a bit hard to come by. . . For the record, the White House has a gorgeous Italian nativity scene on display, and the Vice-President's card mentions Christmas. (But. . .no Christmas letter dropping names and exaggerating accomplishments. . . .so disappointed).
As a coda to this, I thought I was mad about all the merchants advising their clerks to say, "Happy Holidays!" instead of "Merry Christmas," but the more I think about it, the more sympathy I feel with the stores. When the ACLU sues to get a Nativity scene removed from a public forum, that's a violation of rights and must be resisted --for all of our sake. Their idea is that no sign that Christians even exist should be allowed to intrude into their reality in any way, and I'm all for opposing that tooth and nail. (UPDATE: Here's a story about a few Christmas battles worth having).
But the merchant is trying to afford Christmas gifts for his own family. As I understand it, the retail business stands or falls on Christmas sales, so his whole game is not to alienate Christians, but to try to persuade the other 20% of the public that they want to buy gifts and decorations and special foods at this time of year, too, though they have no reason to. It's not exactly secret that society has become more secular --so why should the merchant risk a sale when "Happy Holidays" covers Christmas, Hanukkah, Eid, Winter Solstice, Kwanzaa and anything the heck else? (In point of fact, since "holiday" is "holy day," and Christian, it actually strikes me as petulant to begrudge people this --joke's on them if they think they're being secular).
Of course, by the same token, there's a point on the curve at which Christians will stop giving their business to merchants who downplay Christmas, and at that point savvy businesmen will come up with another solution. Fine. But it's not the merchant's job to preach, it's his job to please the customer, and in neither case will the change have any religious significance (beyond maybe some crank somewhere who doesn't care how much money he makes).
For my money, I'd like to see less effort wasted on blasting people for well-intentioned greetings and more effort spent on encouraging stores to stock religious items at Christmas. Have you ever noticed how difficult it is to find Nativity-related decorations --even at year-round Christmas specialty stores? Try finding an outdoor créche, for example. If we ask for it, it will come --so instead of taking offense when someone wishes you well, politely let your store manager know there's a market for non-secular Christmas decorations, Advent calendars, etc. That would make a difference worth talking about.