I'd like to conduct a little non-scientific poll among my readers. The question is this: Do you go out of your way to shop in a "Christmas-Friendly" store?
We are all aware that some stores have instructed their employees not to mention Christmas and they refuse to put up Christmas decorations or run ads that mention Christmas. Others don't "ban" Christmas from their stores. Still others, "push" the Christmas message.
This is fluid from year to year. A few years back, Target was lambasted by the right (including me) for having "anti-Christmas" policies. That has hurt them during the Christmas season, and they've backed off. They're kind of riding the fence. Their ads (which I find clever and humorous, by the way) show Christmas gift-giving without actually mentioning the name of the holiday. Their stores look a little bit "Christmasy" without overtly pushing the season. They also no longer tell their employees they can't say "Merry Christmas." As I understand it, the decision to wish people a Merry Christmas is made either on a store-by-store basis or up to the individual.
Wal-Mart is also changing, but in the other direction. Once a very Christmas-friendly store, they are down-playing the Christmas theme, using fewer decorations, and a less overtly Christmas message in their advertising.
Best Buy this year has made their advertising more "Christmasy," again, without mentioning the name of the holiday itself.
What I find is that most mom-and-pop stores, locally owned places in my area tend to go all-out for Christmas. And it doesn't seem like they are trying to capitalize on the holiday for the purpose of increasing sales. It's simply a part of who they are.
In general, I shop locally owned stores, not national chains, whenever I can. I don't even mean for just Christmas. This is a year-round thing for me. I avoid Wal_Mart at all costs. I shy away from other big chains, as well. Of course, it's getting harder and harder to do that. It's becoming increasingly difficult to find a locally owned grocery store or clothing store, for instance.
But there are many, many other types of stores where you can shop for Christmas gifts and have your Christmas spending done in places owned by people who share your values and who don't run away from Christmas or America or tradition.
So, once again .... do you go out of your way to shop in Christmas-friendly stores? Or do you just shop where ever is convenient/cheap/has sales/etc? I'd love to have your input.