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Selling Christmas-centric items, is it rude to other religions? en>fr fr>en
By MuffinHeadmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 5172, member since Thu Jun 10, 2004
On Sun Nov 17, 2013 09:23 AM

I run a kiosk at a mall. We have handmade product made from pewter. (It's pretty cool, PM me if you want the website... we have some nice stuff!) We sell a lot of jewelry... necklaces, earrings, cuff bracelets. We also have barrettes, pins, brooches, keychains, oil lamps, etc.

But our main focus is typically our Christmas ornaments. We also sell a full nativity set made of pewter-- as well as a "Santa's Workshop" set... complete with Santa, Mrs. Claus, and a whole mess of elves.

We have NOTHING in the way of Hanukkah, so no menorahs.

I had a woman come into the kiosk the other day, and she was absolutely in awe of the beauty of the product. She picked up a few necklaces and earrings and was perusing the kiosk when the nativity caught her eye. She got super excited and asked me if they had a menorah, because she would LOVE a pewter menorah.

I said unfortunately, no, we did not have a menorah. She looked a bit miffed and goes, "But you have the nativity." I said yes, we do-- we have the full nativity as well as the Santa's workshop. "But no menorahs?" No... unfortunately we do not have a menorah.

She promptly gave me back the items she had originally intended to purchase, and said she would not support a company which did not cater to all religions.

I was flabberghasted. This is a private company-- only a few stores, and the two owners (who are Christians) design everything themselves.

Is it rude or disrespectful for a privately owned store to sell Christmas-centric items without including other religions? Would you shop at a store who catered specifically to one religion?

I personally would have no problem buying a necklace or two from a store that attacked me with Hanukkah merchandise. I do not identify with a religion-- I like what I like. And hey, if it's made by persons who are Jewish, or Buddhist, etc... I still like it and I would purchase it regardless.

13 Replies to Selling Christmas-centric items, is it rude to other religions?

re: Selling Christmas-centric items, is it rude to other religions? en>fr fr>en
By Dancing_EMTmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 3410, member since Wed Dec 08, 2004
On Sun Nov 17, 2013 10:13 AM
No, it's not rude. It's a private company. People are too sensitive and PC minded. If you want a pewter menorah, find a company who makes one instead of chewing out the poor girl who has no control over her company's products.

Holidays bring out the worst in people.
re: Selling Christmas-centric items, is it rude to other religions? en>fr fr>en
By LoriCook Comments: 1757, member since Mon Aug 17, 2009
On Sun Nov 17, 2013 10:31 AM
This was recently a big issue with Hobby Lobby. They had no Jewish items and when asked the manager said something like " we don't cater to you people". Hobby Lobby has had to apologize and back track so I am sure they are making menorahs as we speak. This is probably why your customer reacted this way. This brings up a good point though, I need to buy some Star of David charms for my etsy store. I am missing out on customers!
re: Selling Christmas-centric items, is it rude to other religions? en>fr fr>en
By Munkensteinmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 14381, member since Mon Aug 11, 2003
On Sun Nov 17, 2013 12:05 PM
Just like the company can choose what to sell, customers can choose where to take their business. Is it probably good for business to sell items related to other winter holidays? Possibly, but it's up to the decision-makers of the company.

This thread made me remember that any day now the "war on Christmas" insanity will be taking over Facebook and wherever else...yay.
re: Selling Christmas-centric items, is it rude to other religions? en>fr fr>en
By schuhplattlerPremium member Comments: 2996, member since Sat Dec 23, 2006
On Sun Nov 17, 2013 01:05 PM
No, it is not rude, but here is a way that you can go the extra mile:

Find a nearby place that does sell good Jewish items, and when you next meet such a prospect, refer her to that place.

If possible, find worthy vendors of Islam-centered items, Buddhist-centered items, etc as well.

And such intolerance - every year at my high school, a Jewish cast presented a Catholic play to a Protestant audience. We laughed a bit about it, but nobody seemed to object.
re: Selling Christmas-centric items, is it rude to other religions? en>fr fr>en
By SaraTheGrouchmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 8600, member since Thu Apr 17, 2003
On Sun Nov 17, 2013 01:38 PM
No, it's not rude. It's nice to be an equal opportunity business owner, but let's face it, making trinkets probably gets expensive for a small business owner. If the reality of the situation is that they are marketing towards a predominantly Christian population, than it only makes sense that they have Christmas stuff. If there are three Jews living in the area, why would they spend the money stocking up on Hannukah stuff? Now, if a Christmas store was to open in my hometown, they wouldn't sell practically anything because the town is dominated by Jews.

Now, the Hobby Lobby thing was a little bit different. The comments made by the owner were highly insensitive with the tone of a bigot. They are a national, multi-million dollar company. They could stand to sell a few other products, even if the owners themselves are Christians. And literally, it would only be a few. Jews aren't big into trinkets, lol.
re: Selling Christmas-centric items, is it rude to other religions? en>fr fr>en
By imadanseurPremium member Comments: 16603, member since Thu Dec 04, 2003
On Sun Nov 17, 2013 04:06 PM
Agree with Sara. Designing and making the figures for all religions would be very expensive for a family run business. I personally don't think anything of it, but I am Christian and probably wouldn't notice something like that. Now if I go into a store where they are catering to a certain culture or religion and I found something I like...I'd buy it. I wouldn't think it was discriminatory if they didn't cater to my religion or culture. Now again, this is coming from a white woman who hasn't really had to deal with being a minority or been secluded from things in society so it's easy to say, "Oh I wouldn't mind at all!"

I do know a Jewish friend who goes bonkers from now until New Year's because everywhere she goes she has to hear stupid ^&)_#_@&&%^$#*#()@_ Christmas music. And I never thought about it until she mentioned it to me about 7 years ago how much that would annoy me if I didn't celebrate Christmas.
re: Selling Christmas-centric items, is it rude to other religions? en>fr fr>en
By reel_faerie85member has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 4130, member since Mon Mar 08, 2010
On Sun Nov 17, 2013 04:18 PM
I don't think its rude at all. You don't expect Tiffanys to start selling £2 earrings because some people cant afford their prices or for a womenswear chain to sell Men's clothes. It would be nice to have the choice yes, but there is more access now via online shopping than ever before. Perhaps the lady could have asked the owners for a comissioned piece too.

It seems to me that this lady was jumping on the bandwaggon considering the issue at the other store.
re: Selling Christmas-centric items, is it rude to other religions? en>fr fr>en
By schuhplattlerPremium member Comments: 2996, member since Sat Dec 23, 2006
On Sun Nov 17, 2013 04:42 PM
Muffinhead, it seems to be unanimous.

So far everyone on this thread considers you and your company innocent.
re: Selling Christmas-centric items, is it rude to other religions? en>fr fr>en
By BeautifulMistakemember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 2426, member since Tue Feb 20, 2007
On Sun Nov 17, 2013 08:35 PM
I agree with everybody else. When it's just a small, privately owned business where the pieces are all personally designed by the owners, it would take a lot of work and money to cater to ALL religions.

Of course, to expand the business it'd probably help to try to add in pieces that cater to other religions but that isn't always a feasible idea and it isn't necessary. The owners get to decide what they wish to design and sell.
re: Selling Christmas-centric items, is it rude to other religions? en>fr fr>en
By kandykanePremium member Comments: 16320, member since Mon May 01, 2006
On Sun Nov 17, 2013 11:09 PM
I like it when I see businesses that provide things for multiple cultures and religions. It's interesting to see the different items and learn what they are used for. Perhaps you could suggest to your owner/boss that you have noticed people asking for these items and suggest he might think about expanding. Yay for diversity!

That said, it's entirely up to him/her if they wish to do so or not. But it's also up to the customer if s/he wishes to take her business elsewhere.

Maybe next time you have a customer ask for a menorah or dreidel or something and you have to tell them you don't carry those items you could say something like "You aren't the first person to ask for these. I will suggest to my boss that we stock some." Rather just say, "sorry, we don't carry them." Unless this owner makes these items themselves, they are just a distributer and could surely find those items if they chose to.

kk~
re: Selling Christmas-centric items, is it rude to other religions? en>fr fr>en
By TheMidlakeMusemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 11275, member since Sun Nov 23, 2003
On Mon Nov 18, 2013 06:54 AM
I don't know if it's rude, but if people are looking for these items and not finding them, it's bad business! I agree with KK--this sounds like a great thing to bring up to your boss/the owners when you see them next. (If they refused, I might start giving them the side-eye--I had enough "CHRISTIANITY IS THE ONLY RELIGION THAT MATTERS" growing up, and it just doesn't reflect a diverse society.)
re: Selling Christmas-centric items, is it rude to other religions? en>fr fr>en
By MuffinHeadmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 5172, member since Thu Jun 10, 2004
On Mon Nov 18, 2013 07:17 AM
We do have a "comments" section in my nightly paperwork where we can put customer suggestions. I have put in that they may want to diversify their selection.

I was just so taken aback. We have an entire wall of Christmas ornaments, and it was almost as though she didn't notice them until she noticed the nativity set. We do plenty of candle sticks, so when I first started, I was a little shocked we didn't have a menorah... seems like something they could easily create.
re: Selling Christmas-centric items, is it rude to other religions? en>fr fr>en
By tumblebugPremium member Comments: 10100, member since Fri Mar 29, 2002
On Tue Nov 19, 2013 09:16 AM
I would've said something along the lines of "I'm not sure if we have one available, if so we may have sold out. I can speak with my boss tonight about the situation and see if we have the item or are able to design one for you. Is there a good number we can reach you at?"

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