December 10, 2007

What Time of Year Is It? (Year 3 Follow-up, Part 2)

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy,MSM Biz/Other Bias — Tom @ 11:51 pm

In 2005, I sensed that journalists in general prefer to call this time of the year in commerce that of “holiday shopping” instead of “Christmas shopping,” but that when it came to people losing their jobs, they preferred to describe layoffs as relating to “Christmas.”

My instincts have been proven correct for two years running, as you can see below from the results of three different sets of Google News searches in November and December of 2005 and 2006 (links to 2005′s related posts are here, here, and here; 2006′s are here, here, and here):


I’ve decided to track the same items this year to see if there is any noticeable change or trend.

Here are the first two of the three sets of Google News searches during this Christmas season, compared to the previous two years (the Dec. 10, 2007 searches were done shortly at about 11 a.m.; the post on the Nov. 27, 2006 searches is here):


Despite the obvious proliferation of news services and outlets in the past two years, reporting about shopping during the three Christmas seasons reviewed clearly leans heavily toward the use of “holiday shopping,” as opposed to “Christmas shopping.”

The tendency to associate Christmas with layoffs remains 2-3 times greater than the association with shopping,

Still, what I have concluded for the past two years (with minor editing) is proving true again this year:

It seems beyond dispute that there is a strong bias against using the word “Christmas” to describe not only the shopping season, as noted above, but also events, parades, and festivals that happen during the Christmas season. There is, however, a bit of an exception — “Christmas” is a word that is much more acceptable to use when “Scrooge” employers are letting people go.

In a not-unrelated development, K-Mart and Sears are catching well-deserved flak for this:

K-Mart and Sears have intentionally renamed “Christmas trees” to “holiday trees” or simply “trees” in its advertising. K-Mart is owned by Sears Holding Corporation.

A Liberty Counsel supporter asked K-Mart for an explanation of the company’s disregard for Christmas. Vincent V., a representative from Sears Holding Corporation, responded:

The reason for our use of holiday tree is due to the [sic] Sears Holding is a very diverse company, we do not want to offend any of our associates, but also our valued customers. We decided to call them holiday trees because even if Christians are the only religion that uses a Christmas tree we still do not want complaints from other customers of different religions complaining about our use of Christmas.

What an outrage.

The third identical series of searches will be done on about December 22.

Cross-posted at


Previous Posts:
Nov. 28, 2007 — What Time of Year Is It? (Year 2 Follow-up, Part 1)
Dec. 22, 2006 — What Time of Year Is It? (Year 2 Follow-up, Part 3)
Dec. 9, 2006 — What Time of Year Is It? (Year 2 Follow-up, Part 2)
Nov. 26, 2006 — What Time of Year Is It? (Year 2 Follow-up, Part 1)
Nov. 11, 2006 — Will Christmas Be a Four-Letter Word This Year?
Dec. 22, 2005 — When You Can Say What at This Time of Year (UPDATE 2)
Dec. 7, 2005 — When You Can Say What at This Time of Year (UPDATE)
Nov. 29, 2005 — What Time of Year Is It?
Nov. 23, 2005 — When You Can Say What at This Time of Year



  1. [...] Dude needs help. Recommend good hobbies in comments. Bonsai. Painting. Soup can label collecting. Anything. I think [...]

    Pingback by Plunderbund - » Somebody find Tom Blumer a hobby — December 11, 2007 @ 8:44 am

  2. Ah, Mr. Constructive, as always. (/sarc)

    Comment by TBlumer — December 11, 2007 @ 9:43 am

  3. Plunder_DUMB Eric strikes out again (as usual) trying to impress Mr. Lie and Earn Todd Hoffman and the supposed “big boi” Bryan Clark at the Ohio Democratic Party.

    Oh, and lest we forget the bashin’ and bannin’ klan at THE BS Blog as well as Progress Ohio’s ex “Plunder Monkey” cheerleader named Lorraine Bieber who claims to be one of Plunder_DUMB Eric’s BEST past “Plunder Monkeys.”

    Give Plunder_DUMB Eric a boxin’ match or shoot-out at the OK Corral and he’s happy.

    But, he’s still gonna try to reach nirvana by blobbing his blubber about during buddha belly dancin’ and/or chanting “OM” a hundred thousand times as a babbling brook’s water rambles through the rocks in his head.

    No brains there for Plunder_DUMB… just a bunch of fat dumbass rocks that live to box !!

    Comment by Dave Hickman — December 11, 2007 @ 10:38 am

  4. #2, OK Dave, you got in your shots. Perhaps I shouldn’t have let it through, but it doesn’t make you look good in any event. So cease and desist. Pbund gets one response, if he wishes to bother.

    Comment by TBlumer — December 11, 2007 @ 11:02 am

  5. #1: Ah, Mr. Oblivious to My Irony. ;-)

    #3: Season’s Greetings Dave. I love you too. How’s the Tourette’s?

    Comment by Eric — December 13, 2007 @ 9:32 pm

  6. Is that what the diagnosis is Eric? Stop smearing my buddy Dave.

    Comment by Jerid — December 14, 2007 @ 2:44 pm

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