It's that time of year when we start hearing rumblings about which national retailers will not be using the word "Christmas" in their holiday advertisements.
The American Family Association is asking all Christians to boycott those stores that won't use the word, having been successful at changing some retailers minds in the past. The AFA reports on their website, that Sears, one of the companies who was boycotted three years ago, is now offering a Christmas Club on sears.com. Many Americans including The Christian Commentator, enjoyed last year's WalMart spots, depicting the little boy putting a nativity scene under his Christmas tree. WalMart had also been the target of a boycott a few years back.
This year, the AFA is calling on Christians to boycott The Gap, which has clearly indicated that it will not allow the term "Christmas" to be used on any of its promotional advertising. In addition, they are asking for a boycott of Old Navy and Banana Republic, which are both owned by the same company.
Are you willing to boycott stores that won't allow "Christmas" into their advertisements? If so, you can also go to afa.net, where you can buy buttons and stickers that say "Merry Christmas." They make the perfect accessory to wear into the stores where you refuse to shop, because of their lack of "Christmas" cheer.
This whole idea of retailers refusing to use the word "Christmas" is ridiculous. With 70% of the U.S. population claiming to be Christian, why would they decide to offend such a large group of people, especially in a time when retail sales are going down the drain?
The other issue that doesn't seem to make sense, is the suggestion that a "word" has the power to convert someone to a particular faith. Having been a Christian for over 40 years, I can honestly say, that my conversion moment didn't come because someone wished me a Merry Christmas.
If you don't believe in the religious connotation of the holiday, why would you be threatened by those of us who do? You can relax. You still can buy a bunch of tacky decorations, max out your credit cards on gifts nobody wants, and fill yourself with food and drink while laughing at those of us who respect the day as the rememberance of Christ's birth. Believe me when I say, we won't stop by on December 25 to spoil your fun.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, what about the rights of those of us who do call ourselves Christian? We gladly stand by and offer well wishes to those who celebrate Hanuakkah and Kwanza and we tolerate those who choose to celebrate nothing at all. At the same time, it gets a bit old, to be part of the one group in America who happens to be in the majority, as far as religion is concerned, yet we are the very ones who aren't given the respect to worship our God publicly. Remember retailers, every major religion has their day, and ours happens to be the one that can make or break your year end sales goals.
So, be sure to weigh in on what you think. Merry Christmas or boycott? Protest or complacency? Spending your hard earned dollars for gifts for your loved ones, or forgetting about Christmas all together?
As for me, let me be the first to release my inner radical here in mid-October to say: MERRY CHRISTMAS! May the peace of Christ be with you, whether you worship Him or not, and may God put an end to the insanity in the New Year.