DN Editorial: Sign language

Posted: December 02, 2010

EVEN AFTER the mayor backtracked yesterday, it's hard to imagine a dumber move than trying to take the "Christmas" out of the Christmas Village market at Dilworth Plaza - at least once it was already there.

Anyone who knows about the cable-TV/talk- radio crusade against an alleged secular-Jewish-Muslim-atheist "War on Christmas" could have told Managing Director Richard Negrin that the picture of workers removing the word "Christmas" from the sign was guaranteed to go viral. And so it did, stirring up an unnecessary controversy wrapped up in lots of misunderstanding and divisiveness.

We totally get that - unlike the traditional German Christmas markets that serve as its model - a holiday shopping mall set up next to Philadelphia's City Hall should be more inclusive of our diverse community. But that's an issue that should have been thought through months ago.

So the organizers of the village, German American Marketing, decided not to choose between "Christmas" and "Holiday" but took down the sign before the mayor had second thoughts. With cash-strapped Americans set to spend $447 billion on gifts this month, maybe next year's village should be called simply "Retail Opportunity."

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