Off the clock with The Checkout Girl: Jesus is My HoHoHomeboy

A church in Dallas, Texas has created a website called It’s a play on Santa’s “Naughty” and “Nice” lists. Those who say “Merry Christmas” are listed as nice, while those who say “Happy Holidays”, or nothing at all, are listed as naughty. The Checkout Girl has some thoughts about it…

While it’s true that, as a retail elf, I am contractually obligated to dread and then hate the holidays, there’s something to be said for the feeling I get when taking the pressure off of some poor woman who is trying to finally win her mother’s love and approval by cooking a perfect turkey or a harried husband who realizes almost too late that “no gifts” meant “some gifts. But not from me to you, just from you to me”. Basically, it’s nice when I can save someone’s ass. It almost makes me not regret getting it out of bed in the morning and dragging it to work. Almost.

But uptight holiday behavior is not exclusive to those who are dealing with family drama or romantic minefields. Some people are really intent on making sure you celebrate the right way. Their way. A church in Dallas, Texas has created a website called It’s a play on Santa’s “Naughty” and “Nice” lists and consists only of a brief introductory paragraph, a form for adding to the lists, and the lists, themselves. “How do you end up on the lists?” you ask? Holiday greetings. Those who say “Merry Christmas” are listed as nice, while those who say “Happy Holidays”, or nothing at all, are listed as naughty. It’s aimed at businesses and, with First Baptist boasting a 13,000 member congregation, plus a piece about the website that aired on CNN, winding up on the naughty list is nothing to sneeze at.

Now, give John Q. Public a worldwide platform to talk shit and sometimes he can get too excited to worry about things like spelling, grammar, and making sense (this column is a perfect example of that, not to mention the “comments” section of any news website), but the way these people are condemning employees and businesses that are trying to be inclusive is insulting.

The Naughty List is a mix of shame and narrow-mindedness:


“Though I am a frequent flyer with Delta they did not mind offending me, a Christian, with an email stating ‘Happy Holidays From The Delta Family’.”

Offended? You are offended by an email that is meant to appreciate you as a customer and wishes you well? Remind me not to Facebook message you about how attractive and intelligent you are. I’m sure it won’t be difficult to remember.

Rockwall Isd
Rockwall, Texas

“They won’t let anybody say Marry Christmas”

Look, buddy, it’s okay to love Christmas, but you probably shouldn’t marry it. I mean, it only comes once a year.

American Airlines

“Excessive use of ‘holiday’, no mention of Christmas. With a name like American Airlines, come on.”

“American” is synonymous with “Christian”, now? “Come on” to YOU, sir or madam! And holiday how holiday can holiday you holiday excessively holiday use holiday holiday holiday?

Crowley City Hall
Crowley Texas

“The city hall at Crowley has GIANT letters in front of the city buildings that say “HAPPY HOLIDAYS”……I say “booooooooo”!!! Merry Christmas is the true REASON for the SEASON!!!”

Merry Christmas may be the true reason for the season but too much eggnog and an all-night Lady Gaga caroling session are the reason for this pounding headache and new tattoo. Also, they didn’t have Winter before Christians created the Christmas holiday? What did they do, then, between Fall and Spring? Was it warmer? With less reruns? Let’s go back!

But I find the kudos on the Nice List even more ridiculous, confusing, and insulting:

Cracker Barrel
Durham, NC

“Includes Santa and Christ in store.”

Okay, what now? Santa? I’m reminded of that statue of Santa kneeling next to the manger and praying to tiny, infant Jesus which, frankly, has always freaked me out. Aren’t Santa and Jesus, like, mortal enemies, or something? Isn’t Santa one of the reasons that people strayed from a Jesus-centric Christmas in the first place? Isn’t it way more fun to write to a fat figment, fudge the truth about your misdeeds, and ask for riches and rewards, than the son of God who you just KNOW isn’t going to buy your “allergic reaction” story to explain the porn star and cocaine found in your hotel room.

Souper Salad
Plano, TX in front of Collin Creek Mall

“Had dinner at the Souper Salad and they were playing actual Christmas music that was all about Christ’s birth.”

If there’s anything I want to think about while chomping on a big old salad that only has trace amounts of veggies but a seven kinds of meat, three kinds of cheese, and a gravy boat full of ranch dressing, it’s birth.


“I don’t want to offend anybody, but here at Park Central OB/GYN Associates, we say “Merry Christmas!” After all, Jesus is the reason for the season!!!”

I won’t be offended by your “Merry Christmas” if you aren’t offended by my cries of “Oh God!” during my exam. Shake on it? No, thanks. I know where that thing’s been.

Cinemark Theatre Frisco
Frisco, TX

“The new Cinemark Theatre in Frisco is set to open this month, but they have already put billboards in town that feature the Nativity and Christmas messages!”

I’ll take my birth of Christ with a side of Yogi Bear in 3D. And extra butter.

Alaska Airlines
All across the USA

“I flew Alaska Airlines on my way back to Dallas after Thanksgiving. When they served me my meal, I was really impressed to see a small card on my meal tray that had a Bible Verse on it. Not sure if they do this just around Christmas and Thanksgiving time but I was really impressed!”

Nothing inspires confidence in an airline like being served a bible verse in flight. I just hope it’s not Psalm 23.

What Would Jesus Do? Clearly, he’d coerce people into greeting each other correctly (but not politically correctly) at this time of year. He was totally a “My way or the highway” kind of guy. Not very Christ-like, if you ask me. In Matthew 19:19, Jesus said “Love thy neighbor as thyself” and this isn’t that. Whatever words you choose to wish people the best this season, do it often and genuinely. Combat those who bully in the name of the Lord and maybe next year THEY’LL end up on the Naughty List.

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The Checkout Girl

The Checkout Girl is Jennifer Lemons. She’s a storyteller, comedian, and musician. If you don’t see her sitting behind her laptop, check the streets of Richmond for a dark-haired girl with a big smile running very, very slowly.

Notice: Comments that are not conducive to an interesting and thoughtful conversation may be removed at the editor’s discretion.

  1. Ugh. I…it’s just…

    I will come back and comment when I’m feeling less sputtery.

  2. I’m offended that people get offended about this crap. It’s like 75% of the population has absolutely nothing to do with their time — no projects, no hobbies, etc. — so they go around looking for things to get offended about.

  3. Ok I have returned from the sputtering.

    Sure, I understand preferring to hear “Merry Christmas”. But being offended because someone chooses to say “Happy Holidays”? To me it’s like being mad if someone says “Gesundheit” instead of “Bless you.”

    Plus, I always understood “Happy holidays” as a way to acknowledge the entire period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.

  4. Scrooge McDuck on said:

    Is it even worth saying that… not everyone celebrates Christmas? Like Valerie said, Happy Holidays covers it. We’re not a forced-christian nation (thank dog) and I’m not a christian, because I don’t believe in that Christ dude. It’s OK! Nobody has to get angry about this! I am allowed to not believe! That’s what freedom of (or FROM) religion is all about, humans! I am going to wish everyone a happy Winter Solstice just to be an asshole.

  5. Let’s not forget that axial tilt is the reason for the season.

  6. If an airline would have handed me a Bible verse with my meal I probably would have went fucking mental. Crazy bastards.

  7. Don’t get me wrong, I love a “Merry Christmas!” But I’m not going to scoff at someone’s attempt to be pleasant.

  8. Jennifer on said:

    Well said, Checkout Girl. Those “Christmas-only Crabby Appletons” get on my very last nerve. How’s this for a solution? Since my birthday falls smack dab in between Christmas and New Year’s, let’s deem the official greeting of the season Happy, Merry Jennifer.

  9. RiceWenchie aka Tamara on said:

    Holy freakin’ snowballs, bag-girl! Happy schmappy hollydaze to you and yours ;o)

    I really don’t understand these people (and I used to be one – a Christian, that is.) ‘Christ’mas started out as a pagan (read that NON-gasp-Christian) celebration. The tree and wreath are symbols of fertility (that would be sex, to those of you who are novices); the Yule log was burned to honor the sun – which brought life to their crops; mistletoe & evergreen boughs – more symbols of fertility – in other words it was a celebration of life, triumphing over death. A time to celebrate love and family and friendships.

    It’s a shame that some people get hung up on words when what is important is the spirit in which we celebrate the season. What is your spirit this season? Is it judgement because someone uses different words than you? Or is it a spirit of kindness towards others, no matter the differences?

    This is my signature line this exact reason: “So many gods, so many creeds, so many paths that wind and wind, while just the art of being kind is all the sad world needs. ~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox

    Awesome post, darling, spot on.

    Love you, Checkout Girl! =) *mwah*

  10. Thank you, Weather Dan, thank you. Axial tilt indeed!

  11. Don’t these zealots realize that the word “holiday” is derived from the Old English for “holy day”? You’d think they’d like that better than christmas.

  12. @RiceWenchie, I love that quote, very fitting! And @Weather Dan, I want a shirt with that on it. Seriously. :-)

  13. With the horrifying amount of time I spend on the Internet, I am horrified that I did not know about this until I read this post. Perhaps it is better this way since now I have stuffed my face enough that I am so groggy and I cannot muster up any one ounce of indignation towards this assault on saying Happy Holidays (because we want to be inclusive and not force Baby Jesus on everybody!)

    By the way, I LOVE “No gifts means Some gifts”. LOL. We need a card made so we can give it to MEN explaining this is how it works.

    Merry Christmas m’lady. No I mean HAPPY HOLIDAYS! ;-)

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