The American Family Association (AFA) released its’ 2012 “Naughty or Nice List” Monday, which ranks national retail companies’ efforts to promote the true spirit of Christmas. 14 companies have been cited as being “naughty” for refusing to use the word “Christmas” or its symbols in any of its advertising or promotions. Among the companies that refuse to acknowledge Christmas are Barnes and Noble, Family Dollar, The Gap, Old Navy, and Radio Shack.
Three of the companies have been so stridently anti-Christmas – The Gap, Old Navy, and Banana Republic – that AFA is recommending a two month boycott to protest their position on the use of “Christmas.” All three companies are owned by the same San Francisco-based Gap, Inc.
The anti-Christmas companies on this year’s “naughty” list include:
Barnes & Noble
AFA used four criteria to determine if a company was “Christmas-friendly” in their advertising: print media (newspaper inserts), broadcast media (radio/television), website and/or personal visits to the store. Companies on the list have been aware of its existence for years, and are often asked by AFA supporters to make efforts to recognize Christmas in their advertising. For a company to make the “naughty” list means considerable effort was used not to recognize Christmas in any way.
The “War on Christmas” being waged by the Gap companies is nothing new. Their attempts to secularize Christmas has been active for years, and in 2009, our coverage of their activities led to an angry response from a Gap executive. Their only mention of Christmas in advertising came in a 2009 commercial when they mocked the holiday, along with Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, and told shoppers to celebrate “Whateveryouwannaka.”
AFA did take the step of recognizing companies on their “Nice” list that took exceptional steps to mention the word “Christmas.” Belk, Hobby Lobby, Lowe’s, and Wal-Mart were all recognized as making the extra effort (including letting workers use phrases like “Merry Christmas”) to promote the true spirit of Christmas.
55 companies made the “Nice” list this year, while eight companies were named “marginal” in their efforts, meaning they showed some effort, but needed to do more. To see all of the companies on the list, click here to visit the AFA official website.
Victor Medina writes for Yahoo News and his political blog When Liberals Attack. His other writing credits include The Dallas Morning News and SportsIllustrated.com. He has served as a Dallas County election judge and on the Board of Directors of The Sixth Floor Museum. You can follow him on his blog, VictorMedina.com or on Twitter at @mrvictormedina. To be notified of future stories by Victor Medina, click the SIGN UP or SUBSCRIBE button at the top of this page.