‘Christmas’ Removed From ‘Christmas Village’ Sign

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The sign that hangs above the 80 wooden booths that make up the traditional European Christmas Village on the west side of City Hall used to say “Christmas Village,” but on Tuesday morning, it was missing a word.

The sign, strung up in lights, says just “Village.”

City Managing Director Richard Negrin says workers took the word Christmas down because of complaints.

“I’ve received a number of complaints throughout the past few months and apparently over the past several years about the fact that village wasn’t more inclusive,” Negrin said. “It really is not just a Christian village, it’s more of a holiday Village.”

“I remember hearing one story in which a small Jewish child walked past the village and saw Christmas and asked his dad how come we don’t get a village?” said Negrin, who said the move to remove Christmas is about being inclusive.

Passers-by are not so sure. Daryl says he appreciates that people practice different religions, but he questions the removal of the word Christmas.

“It’s a Christmas Village. It just happens to be here at City Hall. Everything looks so nice, and now, all of the sudden we just have Village up there,” he says.

“I know there are different religions, as far as Jewish religions that believe in Hanukah and African Americans that believe in Kwanza, but they should just keep it Christmas, I mean that’s what it is,” added Les Milling.

Negrin disagrees.

“I think for every person you find who is offended, you’re going to have scores of people who feel like they’re included in the village now as opposed to before.”

The story of the young Jewish boy and several others, is why German American Marketing Inc. and the city has decided it would be best to design a fixture that reads “Holiday” instead of “Christmas.”

Officials say they hope to have the new holiday sign up next week. It will appear next to the word Village.

Reported by Jim Melwert, KYW Newsradio and Jericka Duncan, CBS 3

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  • Port Richmond Voter

    Just another reason why we need new city leadership. You reading this Mike?

  • Jesse J. Shutt

    I’m sorry but who went “brain dead” over this issue. The season is called Christmas, just like other seasons are named within the traditions of their cultural roots. Taking the word Christmas away is cultural bashing of a significant part of not only our culture, but our heritage!

    Add in a collective forgetfulness and what’s left? A “Holiday” … why keep that word … while you’re at it, lets take it away too since it’s roots come from “Holy Day” … if we’re not allowed to be Holy in the framework of our traditions then the State is getting TOO FAR INTO THE CHURCH rather than separated from it! If this is a country that endorses freedom of religion, then how can the removal of a religious reference be called “freedom” of religion … it sounds more like “censorship” and “sanctioning” to me.

    • Kats

      Very well said – I couldn’t have done it better. All of the comments are right on target. I think the most best response to City Hall would be the lack of Christian customers – wouldn’t that send a powerful message?

    • Janet Stewart

      Unbelievable !! You have gone to far !! You should be ashamed of yourselves !!

  • njkate

    Hhow is it possible that we have permitted the small minded to generate enough noise that the powers that be cave to what is in fact a miniscule percentage of opinions. I’m fairly certain that one of the founding prinipals of this country was and still is freedom of religion. No one is asking anyone else to beleive what they believe and if they are so offended by the use of particular words DON’T GO THERE. It’s as simple as that.

  • Clare Peterson

    If not for “Christmas” shopping, retail in this country wouldn’t have two nickels to rub together. Exploiting Christmas for financial gain meets everyone’s approval, but just try and acknowledge that it is a meaningful time in the Christian calendar, and all of a sudden, there’s an irreparable tear in the universe!

  • Bob the Grouch

    Why not, everything seems to go away if makes regular people feel good. This country is not what the our founders fought for all those years ago. Let’s just forget Christmas, Easter, Birthdays and the other special days like the Fourth of July. Just stop the economy and wait for welfare to feed us after all our jobs are gone, the ones that thrive over these Bad Named Holidays. I can’t believe people are offended over the word Christmas

  • Steve

    Kwanza is not a religion nor is it a religious holiday. I am an African American and I don’t celebrate Kwanza, but I do celebrate Christmas. Like most African Americans, I am a Christian and have no problem with the word Christmas or anything else having to do with the birth of Christ. I am also a liberal and I believe in the doctrine of the separation of church and state, but I would not have condoned the removal of the word Christmas from the Christmas village sign.
    It seems a little extreme to me.

    • Joe

      Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
      No where in the First Admendment dose it say seperation of church and state. Some one made up that term and everyone believes it. Just say Merry Christmas and get on with it

  • cwk

    Are you friggin kidding me?? And we bow down to these idiots?? ITS CHRISTMAS…MERRY CHRISTMAS to all!

  • Dave

    I have a few more suggestions to get rid of any religious references:
    1) “David’s Bridal” should be renamed “Bridal”.
    2) “Peter’s Seafood” should be renamed “Seafood”.
    3) “Paul’s Driving School”, you got it…drop the Paul.
    4) And while we are at it, rename the state of “Maryland” to “Land”
    If we are going to be complete morons why stop at references to Christmas….

  • Joseph

    It’s ridiculous! The amont of money alone that Christmas generates would paralyze the economy. Stick Kwanza where it belongs. The majority of ppl who practice it, don’t even know what the he’ll it is…! I’m tired of this nonsense.

  • Lorraine O'Brien

    This my friends is called Christian bashing! You can take Christimas out of the sign; you can stop nativity scenes from going up but the root is you are trying to rid us of JESUS CHRIST! You can do whatever you please but JESUS CHRIST will always be King of our hearts where He WILL live, reign and rule forever and you can’t touch that!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • George Munyan

    My family and friends will not be shopping at a place so insensitive to Christians and subserviant to minoirty censorship, Enjoy your “Village” I will go CHRISTMAS shoppping elsewhere.

  • Mary Lou

    We were going to go for the first time to the “Village”, however now we won’t be. I will join my fellow Christians and boycott. Let’s see what happens when they lose our “Christmas” dollars.

  • joe

    well thats it for me I certainly wont be shopping there this christmass!!!!!!!

  • Santa Clause

    And the powers that be went along with it. I wonder how many other groups will have something omitted from there “Holiday Celebrations” ? I’m betting on NONE


  • JW

    It’s the people that don’t have God or Kindness in their heart.
    And yes, no one gets offended when they have Happy Kwanza or Happy Hanukah all over. It’s all BS! I would have never taken it down, I would just said well then don’t look at it or don’t come shop at the CHRISTMAS VILLAGE.
    That’s what it is, not a Valentine Village or St Pattys Village.
    Go put as much effort into some volunteer work at a hospital or something, channel your frustration with YOURSELF elsewhere!!!!

  • Willie

    I believe the majority of the people want Christmas in the Christmas holiday. Stop catering to the minority. Majority should rule. Put Christmas back in Christmas and let the minority learn to deal with it. Where are the rights of the majority?

  • Colleen

    We were thinking of patronizing the Christmas Village, but not anymore.

    • Kats

      I won’t be shopping there either – my form of protest. Let’s face it, Christianity is taking a hit all over the place. Christians seem to be lumped together and tagged right wing nuts. Well, I am a devout Christian and I’m a liberal and I am not a nut. I see Muslims fighting tooth and nail for their faith and you don’t dare insult their religion, but it seems to be okay to insult Christianity time and again. Well, it’s not okay by me and I will speak up for my Christian faith even if I’m the only voice out there. Maybe we need something like the Jewish Defense League, only call it the Christian Defense League or Christian Anti-Defamation League. I call upon my fellow Christians to boycott the Village – let them sell to the politically correct shoppers.

  • robby

    I am really sick of the liberal left taking away Christmas, little by little. If they don’t want to belive in God, fine. Most of us DO believe in God. Conservative Christians should be allowed a place in this country. Why won’t they leave us alone.

    • Kathy

      I agree with this. For a few complainers we lose Christmas! Now we are all complaining. Will you now put back Mr Negrin?

  • Christmas

    As far as Jewish religions that believe in Hanukah and African Americans that believe in Kwanza, and when they celebrate they use “Happy Hanukah” or “Happy Kwanza”no one get offended and this are newer but Christmas! Always!, I mean that’s what it is.” I don’t understand why they could be happy taking away something that means so much and do what they want but this is unbeleivable! Call it Holiday? come on! We had enough.

  • Chris

    It’s CHRISTMAS!!! If you are offended, BFD. Get the hell out!

    • Anna Savage Michael

      Thats just it…it won’t be CHRISTMAS much longer…it will be the “Holiday Season”. If you don’t like the culture and CHRISTIAN values this country was built on……GET THE HELL OUT!!!!!

  • Kats

    This is just one more nail in the coffin of Christmas. The minority rules.

  • ADI


  • american

    if they dont like it the should leave .this is our town and our country .leave and go to your own country and celebrate there .what ever happed to freedom of speach

    • tammy

      Freedom of speech only applies to other religions

  • Roman

    Commie socialist pigs.

  • JustMe

    Why not call it “Holiday Villiage” then?

    • john

      idiot,,,,ill bet you take advantage of christmas bonuses or overtime for working on christmas! dont like it,go back to the country you came from.

    • Anna Savage Michael

      Why not call it “Holiday Village?” Are you serious?? Don’t you get it???
      This is the Christmas season, celebrating the birth of Our Lord, Jesus Christ. If you believe it should be called a holiday village then you have no idea what the true meaning of this time of year is and what it means to Christians.
      We, as Christians, have every right to express our faith just like the Jews can put out a Menorah. Why don’t you go tell a jew to say Happy Holiday instead of Happy Haunaka?? See what happens!!

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