It's Okay. Wish Me a Merry Christmas

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Two Christmases ago, Ashley Tartar became a frustrated shopper after retailers continually wished her "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas."

"I felt slightly offended. They're trying to be inoffensive to everyone but at the same time they're not recognizing my holiday. They're actually trying to silence the Good News that Christmas brings and I said 'You know this isn't right,'" Tartar said.

So this year, she set out to change things.

"I thought, how is someone going to know that it's okay to wish me a "Merry Christmas" other than the fact that I'm wearing green and red and I have crazy jingle bell earrings on," she said. "I came up with this idea that I wish I could wear a button that says 'It's Ok, Wish Me A Merry Christmas.'

As the debate over Christmas songs, symbols and even Christmas colors abounds, Tartar's  Wish Me a Merry Christmas Campaign appeals directly to retailers to put Christmas back into the holidays.

"If something doesn't happen to turn the tide now, an entire generation of people is not going to know that Christmas used to be celebrated very publicly by the vast majority of Americans," Tartar says.

The campaign's goal is to circulate one-million buttons. Upon reaching that mark, Tartar plans to contact the top 30 retailers in the country explaining the wishes of these one-million customers to have "Merry Christmas" in stores once again.

As button sales boom, she's well on her way to reaching that goal, getting orders from as far away as Alaska.

"People all over the country have heard about us and we've gotten orders from Alaska, California, West Virginia, Minnesota," she said.

Many orders come from churches that purchase the buttons in bulk and distribute them to their members.

"If people just step up I think there can be that groundswell support of what Christmas really is. And I think that the retailers will get the message," Tartar said.

But more importantly, she says, the buttons present opportunities for Christians to share the real reason for the season.

That's what Pastor Tom Wells of Christian Life Center in Williamsburg hopes will happen.

"These can be purchased for a nominal fee and given out to the members of the church so that as people are doing their normal routine through the holiday people will see it and it will provoke a question. It'll create just that little opening that so often is hard to find with people that you don't know," Pastor Wells said.

Tartar said, "You have an opportunity to talk about the Savior of the world and that Christmas is about everyone needing a savior and about this being a free gift that is for everyone."

*Originally aired November 2007.

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Charlene  Aaron

Charlene Aaron

CBN News Reporter

Charlene Aaron serves as a general assignment reporter and helps anchor for the CBN News Channel.  Follow her on Twitter @CharNews and "like" her at Facebook.com/CharleneIsraelCBNNews.