My question is related to this one. The linked question focuses on the phrasing in the ad of referring to "Christmas", so it seems obvious that they are referring to a specific holiday.
My question is a bit generic. Many chain stores decided to become politically correct and don't want to offend those that don't celebrate Christmas (I'm apathetic either way) so they call it a "holiday" or "end of year sale". It's pretty obvious which holidays they are referring to, anyway.
This Mishnah says not to do business with non-Jews 3 days before their holiday. IIRC, the Gemarrah specifies that we don't want to give them pleasure and give them money that they can use to celebrate their idol-worship-associated holiday.
My question relates mainly to chain stores like Macy's and Wal-Mart as well as buying from a car dealer.
One can argue that they are just making a sale and the holiday season is incidental or an incentive. It seems a bit more obvious with car dealers as their main incentive is to clear their inventory before the end of the year (as a dealer explained to me.)
So related questions, here:
- Does it make any difference if the advertising mentions that the sale is for Christmas specifically? What if the sale extends before or after the holiday?
- What if what one buys is used for a mitzvah purpose, even indirectly? For example, a person attends weddings and other simchot frequently, but to do this, he needs a car to get there. He currently doesn't own a car. Can he buy one during this time?