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Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Operation "Just Say Merry Christmas"

Activists' 'Merry Christmas' bracelets sell nationally
12/8/2005, 2:37 p.m. ET
The Associated Press

MADIERA, Ohio (AP) — A couple has struck a national nerve by offering bracelets that urge: "Just say 'Merry Christmas.'"

"It has been so incredible. We've been bowled over by the response," Jennifer Giroux said Thursday. She and her husband, Dan Giroux, operate a small store in this Cincinnati suburb called The Catholic Shop, and sell the green-and-red rubber bracelets there and via the Internet.

They began "Operation Just Say Merry Christmas" as a reaction to use of the phrase "happy holidays" instead, which she calls "political correctness run amok."

Coverage on national cable TV networks has helped send demand soaring.

They've sold nearly all of their first 15,000 bracelets in a little more than two weeks, and say they have preorders for 10,000 of a shipment of 25,000 due in Monday.

The couple's nine children, along with nieces and nephews, are helping keep up with the orders, and they've also hired a woman to help, Giroux said.

The bracelets sell for $2 each plus shipping, with discounts available for churches and other groups with large orders. They've gotten orders from 43 states and Canada, she said.

"There's a national frustration," Giroux said. "Christians have kind of felt empowered to take back Christmas for Christ."

Across the country, activists have complained this year about public trees being called "holiday trees" and stores that use "holiday" instead of Christmas in advertising and store signs.

Cincinnati attorney Scott Greenwood, of the Ohio American Civil Liberties Union, commented: "The only effort out there is by fundamentalist Christians who are creating boycotts and pressuring private retailers."



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