Thursday, December 23, 2004

Two Days Before... 

Two days before what? Christmas, The Holidays, Xmas, Kwanzaa, Festivus?

Stories this year about "winning Christmas back" from those who want to get rid of the name appear to be a trend. Articles every year focus on the difference between consumerism and the original intent of the season, but, unless selective perception is at work, this year is different.

I have read more discussions about "Christmas" than I recall in past years. There is even an embarrassing story about the high school in my town -- Maplewoood, NJ -- forbidding use of holiday music with religious connotations. Apparently, Here Comes Santa Claus is a mandatory substitute for Handel's Messiah.

The only reason for bringing this up is that PR practitioners need to be sensitive to mood changes among target audiences. "Happy Holidays," an ambiguous term, may not be enough for some people.

It could be that post-election, the media are scrambling to listen to a majority voice. I don't know, but the conservative tone bears watching. If true, it could presage a sea-change in opinion we shouldn't miss. It could also be backlash against overdone political correctness. Either way, we need to be sensitive to what we write and say.


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