It’s a holiday tradition — er….a Christmas tradition! The American Family Association has published their annual “naughty and nice list” of retailers who won’t use the word Christmas in their advertising or public relations efforts. The big offender this year: Petsmart, a perennial abuser of the holiday versus Christmas tug of war.
When it comes to Christmas retailers just can’t win. Those brave enough to advertise early have to endure charges of Christmas creep. While those who don’t use the word Christmas get labeled for being politically correct or anti-Christian.
This year’s list appears to be similar to the list the AFA has published for years now. Barnes & Noble, Limited Brands, Office Depot — these are the same folks always on this list.
But does the lack of use of the word Christmas make them anti-Christmas? Really?
And what about the word holiday. Does using that word constitute an absence of acknowledgement of sacred days of observance?
And what of those who do liberally make use of the word Christmas in their ads? Can we rightfully say, as the AFA claims, that these companies “celebrate” Christmas? What part of putting the word “Christmas” in an ad is acknowledging the sacred OR secular celebration of Christmas?
We ask these questions not because we don’t support use of the word Christmas. We just think it is continued absurdity to define Christmas so narrowly. The AFA has been at this for years. And while the list of who is naught and who is nice has most decidedly changed — with more moving to the nice list as the AFA has harped on this issue over the years — has it really affected any kind of change?
Has it been helpful in the “war on Christmas”? Has the embracing of Christmas helped those companies who are nice to be successful? Has being on the naughty list adversely affected those who are on it?
The answers to these questions, of course, is no.
The AFA is not promoting the “peace and goodwill” that is Christmas. They continue to be harsh voices in the “war on Christmas” by focusing on the wrong things. They should be promoting the real messages of Christmas: charity, goodwill, peace and understanding.
They appear to be doing just the opposite of that.