Sam's Club, LL Bean Make 'Christmas' Amends to Be Back on 'Nice List'

Soon after Sam's Club and L.L. Bean were downgraded this month on the American Family Association's "Naughty or Nice" list for reducing the use of the word "Christmas," the two companies made changes in their websites and print ads to earn their places back on the nice list.

"Their websites underwent dramatic changes, almost overnight, to include 'Christmas,'" quoted AFA's director for special projects, Randy Sharp, as saying. "In addition, some of their print items they're handing out in stores now include 'Christmas.'"

What's most remarkable is that these companies changed because they begin getting phone calls from shoppers, from consumers, from their customer base, Sharp added. "The message is if you're not going to recognize Christmas, I'm not going to do my Christmas shopping with you."

Sam's Club stores are now distributing flyers inside their stores to promote a "Christmas" Savings Event and telling customers that "Christmas cheer starts here," AFA, whose "naughty" list singles out companies that avoid or ban use of the term "Christmas" in their advertising.

Sam's Club's website has also been changed to include "Baskets full of Christmas cheer."

Similarly, L.L. Bean's website now prominently features "Discover the Christmas Spirit," and makes other references to "Christmas."

AFA's website is thanking consumers for taking time to contact these companies based on the list. "Our efforts are making a tremendous difference in the war on Christmas!" the website notes.

AFA reviews companies' ads in print and broadcast media and websites as well as makes personal visits to stores to determine if a company is "Christmas-friendly" in their advertising. If a company makes references to items associated with Christmas in its ads, it is considered as an effort to reach "Christmas" shoppers.