Christmas shopping guide: Is your store Naughty or Nice?

by Kelly Ledbetter |

(REUTERS/Vincent Kessler)Christmas decorations are seen in a shop during the starting day of the traditional Christmas market in Colmar, Eastern France, November 20 2015.

TUPELO, Miss. (Christian Examiner) – The American Family Association has released its 2015 Naughty or Nice retailer list of stores that are considered to be censoring Christmas—even while hoping that such evaluation will no longer be necessary in the future.

"This battle has very nearly been won," said AFA President Tim Wildmon in a press release. "Let's politely remind the handful of companies on the 'Naughty' list that there's nothing wrong with the word 'Christmas.' Maybe next year we can retire the Naughty or Nice list altogether."

(American Family Association)

The AFA evaluated print, broadcast, online, and in-store advertising to determine whether a retailer was "Christmas-friendly."

An ad that showed a Christmas tree, for example, was generally considered to be targeting Christmas shoppers. If a company targeted Christmas shoppers without specifically using the word "Christmas," it was generally considered to be censoring Christmas.

Only six of the national chains were considered AFA "5-star" exemplary promoters of Christmas: Cracker Barrel, Hobby Lobby, Lowe's, Michael's Stores, Wal-Mart and the AFA Online Store. In total, the "Nice" list contained 47 retailers.

THE NAUGHTY LIST

The 12 "Naughty" retailers may use "Christmas" sparingly, but as a company, does not recognize it.

The "Naughty" list included the following national stores: Barnes & Noble, Family Dollar, Foot Locker, The Limited, Maurice's, Office Depot, Office Max, Pet Smart, Staples, Stein Mart, Supervalu, and Victoria's Secret.

"There are secular forces in our country that hate Christmas because the word itself is a reminder of Jesus Christ," Wildmon added. "They want to eradicate anything that reminds Americans of Christianity. That is why it is important to remind governments and companies to keep the word Christmas alive."

The 13 "Marginal" retailers were found to refer to Christmas infrequently, or in a single advertising medium, but not in others.

"Marginal" retailers were 1-800-Flowers.com, Academy Sports + Outdoors, Bath & Body Works, Best Buy, Cooking.com, CVS Pharmacy, Fred's, Safeway, Starbucks, True Value, UncommonGoods.com, Walgreens, and Whole Foods.

While not calling for an outright boycott of the stores, the AFA encourages shoppers to contact the retailers to request they use the word Christmas as a company.

"AFA wants to keep Christ in Christmas and Christmas in America," Wildmon said.

The Blaze reported that The Gap, for the first time is going to make an effort to say "Merry Christmas" this year in its advertising and in its stores.

"This season we are including a number of seasonal greetings such as Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukkah and Joyous Kwanza in our messaging to customers," the company said.

The AFA continually updates the list based on email reports, which may be sent to christmas@afa.net.