Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays: What Signage Message Should We Use?

Have you ever been in this situation: It’s Late November / Early December. The company is getting their holiday season marketing message out through all the channels. One goes to update the store sign and someone screams, “You can’t use that message! It will be offensive to potential customers.”

“Wait. What? How is a message of peace and happiness offensive?”

There has been a lot of talk over the last few years as to what the proper, politically correct message should be. One so agreeable and yet effective that it appeals to everyone. But, how to know?

Happy Holidays is a great message

Happy Holidays has become the safest bet when it comes to all-encompassing Holiday messages. According to Huffington Post, “Happy Holidays’” usage has doubled in the last two decades.

Merry Christmas is still a great message

Despite the increase in the use of Happy Holidays, the same report showed that Merry Christmas is still the most commonly used expression during the season, and by an overwhelming margin.

Happy Hanukkah and Happy Quanzi are also great messages

There are many, many customers out there who come from other religious backgrounds. It is often a good thing to consider the diversity.

In the end, it depends on your audience

It really depends on the audience. If the majority of your customer base are believers in Judaism, it probably would be more effective to use “Happy Hanukkah,” instead of “Merry Christmas.” If your customer base is religiously diverse, using multiple messages would be a good idea.

So long as you are merry and happy.

Use “Happy Holidays.” Use “Merry Christmas.” Whatever you use, remember the reason for the season: to share kindness, merriment, and well-wishes from your company to your customers, but current and prospective.

Sources Consulted