Steve W (14 Dec 2011)
"Christians Winning the War on Christmas !"

Dear Doves,
Saw this piece on the news last evening. Kinda interesting. Choose your shopping venues accordingly.
Steve W.



Based on the heavy rotation of Christmas music we hear in retail outlets beginning in mid-November, we never had many concerns about the "war on Christmas" supposedly being waged in the nation's malls and chain stores.

Now comes the latest evidence that Christmas is indeed winning the war.

The American Family Association, a Christian group, has taken the leading role in alerting the media to the grave danger posed by retailers who avoid using the word "Christmas" in marketing materials in favor of the more neutral "holidays."

Now the AFA says the vast majority of major chain retailers are "pro-Christmas," a reversal from the situation six years ago.

According to the group's latest "naughty or nice" list, 54 retail chains rank as "Christmas friendly," apparently based mainly on the fact that they "use the term 'Christmas' on a regular basis."

The group lists 14 retail chains as "against Christmas," meaning they use the word Christmas only sparingly and do not "recognize" Christmas as a company. That is up from just eight retailers listed last year although the numbers can fluctuate from week to week. Another eight are considered "marginal" on Christmas.

Randy Sharp, director of special projects for the AFA, says the percentage of retailers on the "naughty" side of the ledger has been getting smaller every year, reflecting the fact that "86 percent of Americans want to see Christmas" in the stores.

Gap Inc., which operates three chains ranked as "against" Christmas, has been called out repeatedly by the Tupelo, Miss.-based AFA even though its stores play Christmas music, use Christmas themes in marketing and are decorated with "displays that include Christmas trees, reindeers, wreaths, wrapped Christmas presents and ornaments," according to company spokeswoman Louise Callagy.

Sharp said the Gap displays are essentially window-dressing applied only in the final days before Christmas, partly to satisfy the AFA, which updates its list throughout the, ahem, holiday season. Most Gap advertising refers to "holiday" sales, Sharp said.

"If the companies are going to market the holiday to the consumer they should at least acknowledge the reason for it," he said.

"As a global retailer, we embrace diversity across all of our customers and respect a variety traditions and faiths during the holidays," said Callagy of Gap Inc.

Here are some of the big chains as ranked by the AFA:

"For" Christmas:
ACE Hardware
Bed Bath & Beyond
Best Buy
JC Penney
Wal-Mart/Sam's Club

"Against" Christmas:
Banana Republic
Barnes & Noble
Gap Stores
Office Depot
Old Navy
Radio Shack
Victoria's Secret

Whole Foods