MARSHFIELD, Massachusetts (Christian Examiner) – As people drive by on Route 139 in Marshfield, they're greeted by friendly townspeople and colorful handmade signs that say, "Merry Christmas."
It is townspeople's response to directives by city leaders.
First was the school district's decision in September to change the name from "Christmas Break" to "Holiday Break" on the official calendar. People objected; 4,000 signed a petition to reverse the ruling, but the school district prevailed.
Then came the electronic sign in an individual's lawn on a main thoroughfare that said, simply, "Merry Christmas." City officials said it had to be removed.
The size and not the message, they said, was the reason for the removal.
Marshfield, established in 1640, is a tiny community southeast of Boston on the Atlantic coast. About 25,000 people live here year-round, though the population swells to about 40,000 in the summer months.
In December, it is pretty much "home folks," and they did not appreciate the loss of one of their favorite holidays.
"This is America, the last time I looked," said one woman interviewed by WBZ NewsRadio of Boston. "We were founded on Christianity and it seems to me like Christianity is starting to be wiped out.
"It's the melting pot," she continued. "Melt and merge."
She was one of several people standing and waving their handmade signs on Saturday.
Laurie Futch was another woman braving the wind and freezing temperature.
"This is America, right? It's up to the individual," Futch told Fox News in Boston. "If you want to say 'Merry Christmas," you should be able to. If you want to say 'Happy Holidays,' then say it."