Malls Cave on Charging to See Santa

Malls Cave on Charging to See Santa

In perhaps one of the only legitimate beefs in the so-called “war on Christmas” it appears the good guys actually won one. Malls across the country have attempted to capitalize on the Santa business by installing what they call “the Santa adventure” and charging parents fees from $35 to $50 just to get their children in to see Santa Claus. In the most high profile of these cases Cherry Hill Mall near Philadelphia famous imposed the charges and then faced a brutal customer backlash that went viral on social media. The mall has since made Santa a free attraction, as he has been in the past.

The backdrop to all the Santa controversy comes courtesy of Dream Works who launched an enhanced Santa attraction described as a first-of-its-kind holiday experience that features Shrek, Santa and interactive storytelling with cutting-edge technology.

Shrek and friends take families on an enchanting journey to the North Pole. Five captivating rooms within the Adventure to Santa experience keep families engaged and entertained, including a cinematic adventure featuring a wrap-around screen and motion-based effects sure to excite guests of all ages. Once families complete the activities in each room, Adventure to Santa culminates in a special moment where children and their families enjoy a private visit with Santa.

Dream Works and malls featuring the service have been providing touring school groups with free access in order to build buzz and goodwill about the attraction. The problem comes when a mall allows Dream Works to control access to Santa — where seeing him requires an online reservation, a process that in turn requires the purchase of a photo package at a cost between $35 and $50.

Will the Dream Works attraction catch hold? Will parents actually pay $35 to give their children what amounts to a commercial experience with Santa Claus?

That remains to be seen.

What appears to be settled is that malls will continue to offer free access to Santa for those parents who can do without “the experience” or the cost.

Liberty Counsel Publishes Naughty List of Retailers

Liberty Counsel Publishes Naughty List of Retailers

Liberty Counsel, a staunch defender of Christmas and religious liberty, has published their annual Nice and Naughty list of retailers and their use of the word “Christmas”.

TJ Maxx, The Limited, Radio Shack (which is nearly dead), Old Navy, J Crew, Gap, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and American Eagle round out the list of retailers shunning Christmas this year.

In years past this list was big media news but the fight against retailers being so politically correct has been so effective that the “naughty” portion of the list has diminished significantly. Liberty Counsel’s efforts have to be credited for these changes.

Liberty Counsel’s name frequently gets cited in some of the highest profile cases in the War on Christmas as they jump to the aid of schools, families and individuals whose religious liberties are threatened in their celebrations of Christmas.

It is interesting to note that Liberty Counsel is considered a hate group in some quarters because of their support of traditional marriage and the defense of controversial figures such as Kim Davis.

Houston TV Station Flips Over Christmas on Shelves in July

Houston TV Station Flips Over Christmas on Shelves in July

55773137Houston television station KPRC flipped out over Christmas decorations just beginning to show up on shelves there on July 15th. Ironically, they reported this news during a segment on Amazon’s “Prime Day” which is billed as being bigger than Black Friday. Here’s a brief transcript of their shock over seeing Christmas in July:

THEY AIN’T GOT NOTHING ON HOBBY LOBBY. IF YOU NOTICED, THEY HAVE CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS OUT? OUR PRODUCER, FRANK, SNAPPED THIS PICTURE OVER THE WEEKEND AT THE STAFFORD STORE PUTTING OUT THEIR HOLIDAY GARB, AND WOODLANDS HOBBY LOBBY HAD FALL AND CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS OUT BACK ON MAY 29th, SO IT’S STARTING EARLIER THAN EVER.

Memo to the media: it’s not starting earlier than ever. It has ALWAYS been done this way. This isn’t news and it is not anything to be alarmed about. Christmas is coming, yes, but the world is not going to end. Go back covering the elections that do not happen for another 18 months.

AFA Takes Aim at Companies that Will Not Say Christmas

AFA Takes Aim at Companies that Will Not Say Christmas

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.

Toys R Us Pulls Breaking Bad Action Figures

Toys R Us Pulls Breaking Bad Action Figures

Christmas gets blamed for a lot of stuff. But this is a new one.
breakingbad
Toys R Us sells more at Christmas than any other time of the year. Every fall they get new merchandise they think will sell during the season. This year they got action figures based on the hit show Breaking Bad. The problem? A character in the show is a drug dealer, he has an action figure and he’s accessorized with guns, a bag of cash and some of his signature mix of meth. One reader of Defend Christmas made the giant leap that Christmas is now responsible for glamorizing drug use to children.

Well, everybody can relax now. Toy R Us pulled the toy and Christmas is now, once again, safe for kids.

The whole hubbub began by parents protesting via a Change.org online petition for Toys R Us to remove the ill-conceived toy. (Believe it or not, the toy industry makes this kind of mistake all the time). After more than 8000 signatures Toys R Us got the hint.

At first, Toys R Us claimed that the dolls were in the adult action figure section of the store, and would only be sold to children ages 15 and older.

Apparently, there are adults who buy action figures. Apparently, 15 year olds are adults. But then, looking at a potential loss of sales, Toys R Us caved and took the figures off the shelf entirely.

Those who disagree with this Florida Mom can still buy the figures on Amazon and other online sites not affiliated with Toys R Us. So people can still buy their drug dolls and blame Christmas for it.