Dear Mr. Apisa:
Christmas controversy refers to controversy or disagreement surrounding the celebration or acknowledgement of the Christmas holiday in government, media, advertising and various secular environments. Modern-day controversy occurs mainly in the United States, Canada, and to a lesser extent in the United Kingdom, and usually stems from the holiday's significant annual role in Western economy in conjunction with its Christian significance in an increasingly religiously diversifying Western society. The term "War on Christmas" is sometimes used to address recent controversy.
In recent decades, during the annual approach to December 25, it is widely alleged that public, corporate, and government mention of the term "Christmas" is avoided and replaced with a generic term"usually "holiday" or "winter""and that popular non-religious aspects of Christmas, such as secular Christmas carols and decorated trees are still prominently showcased and recognized, but are vaguely associated with non-specified "holidays", rather than with Christmas.
Supporters of using the word "holidays" instead of "Christmas" cite the fact that many of the symbols western societies have come to associate with Christmas were taken from non-Christian pagan traditions that pre-date the birth of Jesus. Specifically, symbols such as decorated trees, mistletoe, holly wreaths and yule logs all have non-Christian origins. From a historical context, "Christmas" only recently adopted these long-standing winter traditions into its own identity. Therefore, many non-Christians argue that the most accurate description of this season is the "holiday" season, not the "Christmas" season (a label which only describes the religious celebration of Christ's birth).
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", the subject of controversy during the mid-to-late 20th century, originated from the use of the Greek letter chi, Χ, as an abbreviation of Christ (Χρισ