"Nice" companies that acknowledge Christmas far outnumber the ones that censor it, according to Christian legal group Liberty Counsel's 10th annual "Naughty & Nice" checklist. Those on the "Naughty" side include Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle Outfitters, Inc., and Banana Republic.
"Be sure to thank retailers that acknowledge Christmas and give your respectful opinion to retailers that pretend it doesn't exist," the group says in its report released in time for the 2012 Christmas shopping season and as part of its tenth annual "Friend or Foe Christmas Campaign."
The group says "Christmas" search on the website of Abercrombie & Fitch produced 0 items. The word "Christmas" is also missing from 2012 commercial or other advertisements, it adds, urging consumers to contact the company "to politely explain why your Christmas dollars are spent at competitors who embrace 'Christmas.'"
The group includes remarks about each company on the list, noting the absence or presence of the word "Christmas" in their websites and advertising campaigns as well as "Christmas" replacements.
American Eagle continues to be on the "Naughty" list for five years "over egregious disregard for 'Christmas.'" The entire website of the company "purged of 'Christmas' references. Very 'Christmas' unfriendly."
The "Naughty" list includes 77kids, aerie, Athleta, EB Games, Gap, Garmin, J. Crew Outfitters, Old Navy, Pipeline, Polo Ralph Lauren & Ralph Lauren, RadioSchack and Tractor Supply Company.
"Renaming a Christmas tree to a holiday tree, stopping students from wearing red and green, and censoring religious Christmas carols are absurd, but true, examples of the war against Christmas," said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel, in a statement.
"Over the past several years, the 'Friend or Foe Christmas Campaign' has successfully put the 'grinches' on the run," Staver added. "If a government entity censors Christmas in violation of the Constitution, we will educate but, if necessary, litigate, to make sure Christmas is not censored. If retailers choose to profit from Christmas while pretending it does not exist, then we will patronize their competitors."
The number of retailers that now do not shy away from using the word "Christmas" has grown over the years. While 15 companies are on the "Naughty" list, the "Nice" side lists 42 companies.
The group upgraded Best Buy on the "Nice" list from 1 Santa to 2 – denoting how "Christmas" friendly a company is – "because new Biblical products include various versions of electronic children's to adult Bibles, DVDs and accessories," and Advent supplies include the Advent musical group's "Advent to Ephesus" and other Advent items such as "Jubilee Edition Musical Advent Calendar."
Chick-fil-A, with 3 Santa, is praised for its founder Truett Cathy's application of "biblically-based principles to managing his business." The organization, the group says, exhibited Christ-like civility and high quality food for over five decades. "Nationally, Chick-fil-A was socially persecuted this summer for its biblically-based business model."
Liberty Counsel notes that Hobby Lobby Stores' Statement of Purpose is "Honoring the Lord in all we do by operating the company in a manner consistent with Biblical principles." Known for its commitment to Jesus Christ, the company's 2012 Easter message, "You are dead to sin and Alive in Christ. 1 Peter 1:3" was advertised in the New York Times while its 2012 Independence Day full-page print advertisement "In God We Trust" was accompanied by the Scripture verse Psalm 33:12a, it adds.
Hallmark, with 2 Santa – uses the word "Christmas" generously on its website: "One-of-a-kind Christmas cards," "Shop All Christmas," " ... Christmas Wishes" and "Shop Personalized Christmas Cards," the group says.
Also on the "Nice" list are AC Moore Arts & Crafts, CVS pharmacy, Dillard's, Disney.com, Dollar General, Eddie Bauer, Frontgate, JC Penney, Kmart, Kohl's, Land's End, Lehman's, Martha Stewart, Sears, Staples, Target and Walmart.