What happened to the word "Christmas?" It seems to have gradually fallen out of the vocabulary of retailers everywhere.

(Dino Flammia, NJ 101.5)

The desire to be politically correct, undoubtedly, has affected stores’ holiday displays in recent years. The goal is to offend no one, but are retailers just hurting themselves in the process?

Christmas controversies have already started popping up across New Jersey and the country, from the design of Starbucks’ holiday coffee cups to boycott threats that forced a few New Jersey malls to add Christmas trees to their décor.

We spoke to a few shoppers in New Jersey who can’t remember exactly when Christmas greetings and decorations became a crime.

“I do feel that there’s some sort of war on Christmas,” said Ryan Jones of Galloway. “I feel like there’s people out there who are a little sensitive to people saying, ‘Merry Christmas,’ even though it’s in best of good will.”

Christmas displays aren’t forcing anything on folks who don’t celebrate the holiday, he said. Instead, it just reminds everyone that these couple months of the year are meant for joy and happiness.

According to South Amboy resident Shannon Gonzalez, everyone in the state “needs to lighten up,” and it’s in the best interest of retailers to push Christmas spirit as much as they want.

“I even said on Facebook yesterday that these big box retailers don’t realize that the people who they’re trying not to offend aren’t the people who keep them in the black all year long,” she said.

Gonzalez said it’s the lights and the abundance of red and green that puts her in the buying mood in the first place.

“As you’re walking through the stores, it’s nice to see,” she said. “I think that I would do more shopping online if the atmosphere wasn’t jovial.”