News Release
February 21, 2013
Contact: Mandy Morton
(512) 463-0103
Nichols says "It's okay to say Merry Christmas!"

Austin, TX — This week Senator Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville) filed Senate Bill 665 to protect Texas public schools' ability to use traditional holiday greetings such as 'Merry Christmas' and 'Happy Hanukkah' on school grounds and to educate students about the history and roots of such holidays.

"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, "said Senator Nichols. "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."

The Merry Christmas Bill, which is expected to receive broad support, not only gives students, parents and educators the right to use the phrases 'Merry Christmas' and 'Happy Hanukkah', but also gives the right to display various symbols associated with those holidays, including Menorahs, Christmas trees and Nativity scenes.

Senator Dan Patrick (R-Houston) has signed on as a coauthor to the bill which was initially filed in the House by Representative Dwayne Bohac (R-Houston). Bohac explains that "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. It was that moment that inspired me to file legislation that would provide students, parents, teachers and administrators a safe harbor for openly celebrating a Federal holiday."

Nichols concurred by saying, "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."

To follow the bill's progress, please go to