If you haven’t entered a department store since early October, local man Skip Peters thinks you may be in for a shock. “Not one employee will wish you a merry Christmas,” he claims.
According to Peters, stores across the country have boxed up the lawn inflatables and dancing Santas, along with their holiday cheer. What started as a protest by Starbucks has quickly spread across the nation.
As Peters puts it, “They’ve stolen the joy from young and old alike.”
Where eco-friendly LED trees once stood, stores now display chocolate hearts and Cupid dolls. Peters calls this a “flagrant hand in the face of Father Christmas.”
But, Peters hasn’t decided to take this sitting down. He says he is fighting for the little guy and trying to get the message out above the noise of issues like racial tensions, immigration, and a growing refugee crisis. “People deserve to know the truth,” Peters demanded at a town hall last Thursday. “We can’t sit back and ignore the media’s conspiracy to cover this thing up.”
Peters is organizing a protest at three nearby department stores. Friends have been in and out of his house as late as The O’Reilly Factor’s air time for the past week, making signs that read “Don’t Ban Christmas” and “America Is A Land Of Christmas Celebrants.”
At least one store has responded to the recent criticism. Hugh Jefferson is a manager at Buck’s Grocery and has kept a keen eye on Peters’ movement. He has also written letters to Peters, defending his store’s decision.
“We treat all holidays with equal respect,” says Jefferson with little remorse. “And there is a process by which seasonal merchandise enters the store. When we have extracted maximum value from those products, it’s just good business to get them out of the store and bring in the next wave.”
Jefferson’s sentiment is not unique. In a recent national survey, over 98% of retail stores see no ethical issues with restricting Christmas products.
One of the few exceptions is Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland in Frankenmuth, Michigan. They keep their doors wide open year-round and Christmas decorations keep pouring in, along with the support of people like Skip Peters.
“I’m a big fan of Bronner’s” Peters admits. “I’ve decided to do all my shopping there.” The knitted reindeer sweaters and refrigerator stocked with Bavarian chocolate and peppermint candy canes speak to his dedication. But, not all is holly and jolly for this crusader. He says hate mail has rolled in by the handfuls. One person, he explains, even sent him a death threat.
“I opened this nice looking envelope and inside was a drawing of a heart with an arrow piercing through it. I don’t care if she is my granddaughter, I don’t take threats lightly.”
Peters did help with his granddaughter’s bail, but says he hopes she learned her lesson. More importantly, Skip hopes she and others will learn the true meaning of Christmas.