Aussie shopping centre forced to remove Christmas decoration after backlash

The all-encompassing Christmas message was shouted down by shoppers forcing the centre to revert to a more traditional sign.

An Australian shopping centre has been forced to change a Christmas display that was installed in a bid to be inclusive to all cultures, after customers swiftly complained.

Australia is one of the most multicultural countries on earth. We are home to the world’s oldest continuous civilisation, and more than a quarter of the population were born overseas. With so many different cultures coming together under one roof, so too do spiritual and religious holidays, celebrations and days of traditional significance.

A Christmas display with the words 'Merry Everything'
A Victorian shopping centre copped backlash for this Christmas sign. Source: Facebook.

Pacific Werribee, a shopping centre in Hoppers Crossing in Victoria, this year replaced its traditional “Merry Christmas” sign with the words “Merry Everything”, seemingly in an attempt to cater to Australians who may not celebrate Christmas, but do partake in the festivities the end of the year brings.

But the centre was met with swift backlash by shoppers, who accused the management of trying to "water down Australian traditions".

Aussies have mixed reactions

Some shoppers claimed the new sign "diluted" traditional Christmas values, but many others questioned why anyone would be bothered by the move in the first place.

"Boo hoo, who cares if it is Merry Christmas or anything else?" a social media user wrote. "Yeah because how dare we include everyone in the holiday festivities," said another. "Some people will fight air if it looked different I swear to god."

Others disagreed.

"Merry everything, who came up with that? Ridiculous. We are a multicultural society and respect all those events during the year to others out in community," a person wrote on Facebook. "But can we just be able to celebrate our holiday with the same respect."

Responding to cries made by some members of the public, the shopping centre eventually reinstalled the original "Merry Christmas" greeting.

This year, Christmas decorations have become slightly more controversial than previous years, with last week Kmart being forced to strip shelves of a product after criticism.

The discount retailer immediately pulled its festive-themed ham bag after it was branded a major "stuff-up" by the Jewish community. The bag featured the words "Merry Ham-mas" printed on the front, and received instant backlash over the message's similarity to terrorist organisation Hamas.

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