The American Family Association (AFA) wants consumers to know that some companies just don't love Christmas enough.
The non-profit organization, devoted to promoting conservative Christian platforms, has published a Naughty or Nice list as the holiday season approaches in order to determine how companies recognize Christmas. By recognize, the AFA means how many times they actually use the word Christmas in advertisements that refer to items -- such as trees, ornaments or candy canes -- that are associated with the holiday.
If a company has items associated with Christmas, but did not use the word 'Christmas,' then the company is considered as censoring Christmas,' states the AFA Web site.
The AFA reviewed newspaper inserts, radio and television ads, company Web sites and personal observations in stores to determine which are Christmas-friendly and then categorized them into three categories: companies that are for Christmas, those that are marginal on the holiday and then companies who are against it.
The companies that mentions Jesus' birthday the most, according to the AFA, include Bed, Bath and Beyond, CVS Pharmacy, Target, Toys R Us, Wal-Mart, and a slew of other big-name organizations. In fact, as of now, the AFA has identified far more pro-Christmas companies than any other kind -- not much of a surprise in the season of consumerism.
1800-Flowers.com, Starbucks, Whole Foods and Dollar Tree have only marginally promoted Christmas, according to the Web site. Meanwhile, Barnes & Noble, Victoria's Secret and the entirety of Gap, Inc., are apparently against Christmas, since they have only used it sparingly in a single or unique product description, but as a company, does not recognize it.
The list was last updated on Nov. 30. Who knows how many of our favorite national corporations will be deemed anti-Christmas by the time Dec. 25 rolls around.
In an Oct. 26 statement, the AFA wrote it will choose one company for supporters to boycott this holiday season based on how often they neglect to include Christmas in their marketing materials. While it looked like PetSmart would be the target of the organization's scorn -- the AFA reported a search on the PetSmart Web site found 641 references to holiday but not one direct mention of Christmas -- the company in question soon touched base to refute the AFA's claims.
We know it's early, but we have received several messages expressing concern that our upcoming holiday promotions will take 'Christmas' out of the Christmas season, PetSmart wrote in a statement to the AFA on Oct. 28. We have many customers who celebrate Christmas, and just as we have done in past years, we will continue our tradition of holding an annual Countdown to Christmas sale.