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Is it OK to say Christmas? Holiday song stirs political debate

Rich DiMare

By Globe Staff 

Medford crooner Rich DiMare’s new holiday tune is stirring not-so-festive feelings among some listeners.

Titled “It’s OK to Say Christmas Again,” the ditty is being celebrated by supporters of President Trump, who perceive the song’s lyrics as pro-Christian and a repudiation of the non-denominational greeting “Happy holidays.”

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DiMare, a smooth-voiced Sinatra sound-alike and KISS 108 personality, says he wrote the song to “poke fun at both sides” in the annual brouhaha over the appropriate holiday greeting. But the lyrics — “Sing it loud/Sing it proud/You’ll stand out in the crowd/It’s OK to say Christmas again” — and its popularity among Trump supporters on social media is making the song something of a rallying cry for the right wing.

Twitter user Jared_Hill_ tweeted a clip of DiMare’s song, inserting a news clip of Trump declaring: “We’re saying Merry Christmas again.”

DiMare said he understands why some hear a political undertone in the song. Indeed, he said one of his own backup singers didn’t want to be credited on the song for fear that her participation would be taken as support for the president. But DiMare insists the song isn’t explicitly political.

“I want everyone to take their own meanings from it,” he said.

When DiMare posted the song on his Facebook page earlier this month, some people reacted negatively.

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“I wasn’t aware that anyone told you you couldn’t say Merry Christmas. I must have missed that whole fake war on Christmas crap!” wrote one commenter.

“When was it not OK to say Merry Christmas?” wrote another. “Myth. Fake news. It started to divide people not bring them together.”

DiMare said he’s just grateful people are listening.

“Yeah, the feedback’s been mixed. It’s hard to break through. If I can do it with this song, great,” he said.