Won't say 'Happy Holidays'

"If I become president, we're going to be saying Merry Christmas at every store. You can leave (happy holidays) at the corner. ...Other religions can do what they want.”

Won't say 'Happy Holidays'

PolitiFact is tracking the promises of President Donald Trump. See them all at

Donald Trump has been vocal about his support for using “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays,” especially when it comes to businesses using the phrase.  

"If I become president, we're going to be saying Merry Christmas at every store,” Trump said at an Oct. 21, 2015, rally in Burlington, Iowa. “You can leave (happy holidays) at the corner. ... Other religions can do what they want.”

This is a unique promise. Trump isn't promising to make everybody say "Merry Christmas;” he just wants to dismantle what he considers the politically correct culture that has made saying it somewhat taboo.


Trump’s promise to make America say “Merry Christmas” again aligns with his attempts to change the effects of political correctness.

There are many major holidays in the month of December including Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, so people use “Happy Holidays” as a blanket phrase in the winter months.

“It becomes politically correct to not use the word Christmas,” Trump said at the same Iowa rally. “That’s not going to happen anymore.”

Some believe using the phrase “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas,” is waging war on the Christian holiday and infringing on people’s First Amendment rights.

For example, Starbucks in 2015 released a plain red holiday-edition coffee cup, which sparked a social uproar because the the cup did not mention Christmas. Some people believed that Starbucks did it to spite of Christmas.

In response to the criticism, Starbucks said it tried "to create a culture of belonging, inclusion and diversity” by using a simple cup design.


Trump can’t make people say “Merry Christmas,” but he can normalize its usage through his actions as president and by protecting businesses and people who use the phrase.


According to Pew Research, the majority of Americans celebrate Christmas (at 92 percent), but there are still millions of Americans who do not. Trump has left the door open for people of other faiths to say whatever they want, though.

Even Trump himself released a Christmas card in 2015 with the phrase “Happy Holidays.” Former President Barack Obama and his family also released cards with “Happy Holidays” for 2016.


Screenshot from Independent Journal Review.