It’s All about “Christmas” – or is it?

Today we received a email from Focus on the Family – an organization we enjoy and support from time to time – the content of the email was about “Christmas”. In other words, which retailers were using “Christmas” in their marketing and advertising for the holiday season. As I read the email, I asked myself, “What is the expectation?” 

Honestly, do we think because retailers do or do not use the word “Christmas” in their advertising that somehow the reason for the season will be impacted?  If “Christmas” is the catchword that turns hearts and minds toward the Christ child, then perhaps we have mistaken the importance of the event.  It is true that the miracle of the incarnation is an event that impacts eternity. But it is not like holiday shopping is akin to the money changers in the temple and we should overturn their tables and kick them out of business because they are not observing the true meaning of Christmas. Why on earth would we ever expect them to see the importance of the incarnation, when it is increased profits that is their focus?

If every retailer in the country, heck – the world for that matter – used “Christmas” in their advertsiting and their associates said “Merry Christmas” to each shopper, does any one really think that would tip the scale of skepticism or unbelief in the world? I suspect the answer would be no. So what’s really at stake?

Here is the Focus email we received….

We tried. We really tried. When Focus on the Family Action set out earlier this year to develop our Christmas-Friendly Shopping Guide, we wanted to give retailers every possible opportunity to share Christmas-friendly 


marketing policies with us – and with you.

Thus far, five retailers — American Eagle, Banana Republic, Bloomingdale’s, Lane Bryant and Old Navy — have earned a listing in the “Christmas-offensive” portion of our Shopping Guide. And I do mean “earned.” First, our staff’s review of their promotional materials revealed that these retailers made virtually no use of “Christmas” in their promotions. Second, we tried repeatedly to get a response from each of these retailers. In fact, we sent multiple certified letters to the CEOs and marketing directors for each of these companies — and all we received back was silence or a “politically correct” response.

That’s why, this week, we will be delivering Focus Action’s “I Stand for Christmas” petitions to each of these retailers.

Last opportunity to sign the petition before pre-Christmas delivery
My staff must process the petitions by the close of business Wednesday. I’m thrilled to report that we just crossed 85,000 signers. I still want to deliver at least 100,000 petitions. Will you help us reach that number?

Please take a moment now to sign our petition so you can be included in these deliveries. Then, forward this e-mail to your friends and family so they, too, can join you in supporting Christmas.

Thank you so much for taking a stand with Focus Action on this important issue.

Now there are a lot of things I have signed petitions for in this past year. There are some stands I am taking from a political/moral standpoint. For example, we stopped drinking Pepsi and buying Pepsico products because of their monetary support of the gay and lesbian foundation But that’s not the same as this particular petition. Do I think my not drinking Pepsi will cause them to change their thinking…I’m not certain. But perhaps if tens of thousands did, then maybe. But, if Pepsi put “Merry Christmas” on every drink can this holiday season, would that mean they support the true meaning of Christmas, or even a remotely Christian understanding of Christmas? I suspect not.

There are times we need to choose our battles. Getting flooded with ads that say “Merry Christmas” in hopes that people will get it, is not where I chose to spend my energies. At least, not this year. They won’t get it!


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