After reading the article " 'Holiday' Cards Ring Hollow for Some on Bushes' List" [front page, Dec. 7], I checked the Bible for the passages in which Jesus told us to go forth and buy trees to decorate, max out our credit cards on gifts, and use catalogues and the Internet to save time doing it.

Nothing backed that up, but I did find a passage in Matthew (25:34-40) in which Jesus adjured his followers to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, take in strangers, and visit prisoners and the sick. As Jesus said, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."

Perhaps those from the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights and the American Family Association who are organizing boycotts and fretting about greetings could put their time and energy to better use by acting on those words. And as for the pagan origin of "Christmas" trees -- let's not even go there.

JUDY E. COUGHLIN

Leesburg

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Are people really this petty, or has the conservative Christian movement become so aggressive that it feels it should dictate cultural norms in our pluralistic society? Unfortunately, I think the answer is both.

I cannot say that I agree with President Bush on much, but any attempt at being respectful and inclusive of other cultures should be applauded, not derided.

BRIAN C. MERRELL

Gaithersburg

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As a Christian, I would like to believe that if Jesus were on Earth today, he would not spend much time worrying about whether his name appeared on a politician's greeting cards.

He might be much more concerned about how to achieve the venerable sentiment expressed on many a Christmas or holiday card: Peace on Earth.

CHARLOTTE GARVEY

CORBETT

Potomac

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To Christians who oppose the removal of Christ or Christmas in favor of the term "holidays," Christmas has always been about Christ, the celebration of our savior's birth.

The keeping of Christ or Christmas is not optional; it is the only reason for the season.

DOUGLAS MORGAN

Cleveland, Tenn.