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Merry Christmas, Mr Trump

[A version of this piece was published by USA Today.]

The President and some of his cheerleaders have been making much of the supposed restoration of “Merry Christmas” at the White House and around the country. What Mr Trump has called a defense of Judeo-Christian values makes much of a claim that “Merry Christmas” had been marginalized or suppressed.

Are “we” really not saying “Merry Christmas”? And does it matter?

The issue seems to be exaggerated at best; internet search data suggests “Merry Christmas” is still much more popular than “Happy Holidays.” The real but limited swing to “Happy Holidays” however may actually have to be attributed to the business world from which Mr Trump claims his credentials, rather than to some fantasy of political correctness.

Conservatives who are concerned about the myth of the disappearing Christmas greeting may well be channelling their anxiety about the decline in numbers experienced by many Christian denominations, and polls where Americans repo…

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