During the 2013 Session of the Texas Legislature, State Representative Dwayne Bohac (R-Houston) filed House Bill 308—the "Merry Christmas Bill"—to protect our right to acknowledge traditional winter holidays like Christmas and Hanukkah on school grounds.
The bill allows students, parents, teachers and administrators the freedom to acknowledge these traditional winter holidays without fear of litigation or punishment and restores common sense by placing Supreme Court precedent into state law.
But it all started with a first-grader in Houston named Reagan who came home from school one day and had a conversation with his Dad.
"This bill originated when I picked up my first grade son from school last year and asked him how his day went. He told me that his class had decorated their holiday tree with holiday ornaments. When I asked what a holiday tree was, he told me it was the same as a Christmas tree. After inquiring with school officials as to why the term 'Holiday Tree' was being used, it became apparent that the school was fearful of litigation." ~ Texas State Representative Dwayne Bohac
Since it was introduced, the "Merry Christmas Bill" has gained state and national attention and was profiled on FOX & Friends, The O'Reilly Factor and Huckabee, among others. To build further public support for the measure, MerryChristmasBill.com was launched and thousands of Texans—along with fellow Americans from around the country—signed the online petition to show their support. Joined by sponsor State Senator Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville), the bill received overwhelming bipartisan support and was signed into law on June 13, 2013 by Texas Governor Rick Perry.
"I have heard from many constituents who dislike that it is becoming less culturally acceptable to openly celebrate these holidays in the ways past generations have. To me this is a matter of helping our teachers and administrators feel safe talking about these holidays at school without fear of legal action being taken against them. I commend Representative Bohac's initiative and look forward to seeing this bill passed. We are currently standing at a cultural crossroads in our society, and this is one step forward for those defending our traditional values and beliefs." ~ Texas State Senator Robert Nichols
This is now the law of the land in Texas, but it doesn't have to stop there. We need your help to engage our fellow Americans in other states to encourage their legislators to pass a Merry Christmas Bill of their own.