Thursday, December 17, 2009

Question for the Day

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.


Ran December 17, 2009 at 1:24 PM  

I'll answer it this way...

... I go out of my way to avoid Target due to their hostility towards the Sally Anne.

Which reminds me - I sent the ACLU their Christmas card here.

Great blog, Shore!

James' Muse December 17, 2009 at 3:33 PM  

I think you are asking the wrong question here.

Who cares about the retailers? Christmas isn't supposed to be about the gifts and commercialism. I think that, instead of boycotting those stores that won't say "Christmas" we should be boycotting commercialism during the holidays entirely.

Here's a personal example: My little sister recently told me that she is angry at my parents for not buying her a laptop, and therefore wants to be excluded from Christmas altogether and not buy gifts for the family. She is sticking to that. So instead of making a fuss, I'm returning the gifts I bought her and donating the money I get back to a charity, perhaps Heifer International, and letting her know what has been done in her name. That a family will be able to eat because of her Christmas gift.

I think we need to stop focusing on the so called "war on Christmas" that O'Reilly bemoans. We should start realizing that Christians lost Christmas a generation ago. We lost it to ourselves and the malls and the wish lists.

WoFat December 17, 2009 at 8:38 PM  

I don't shop at Target either. Mostly shop through the mail - for things my wife has marked as interesting in a catalog, or 6.

Red December 21, 2009 at 11:26 AM  

A James: Christian's lost Christmas? Uh, speak for yourself dude.

Miss. T: Ho-ho-ho! You've been totally linked!

Toaster 802 December 21, 2009 at 11:55 AM  

The only things I buy at Walmart is bulk items, like Ammo!

James' Muse December 21, 2009 at 1:18 PM  

Red: Christians HAVE lost Christmas. Do you know how much we spend on Christmas annually? $450 Billion. Do you know how much would solve world hunger? $30 billion. That is the church's responsibility. Christ commanded us to care for the widows and orphans, not to buy shiny things and boycott stores that refuse to say "Christmas".

So yeah, I'd say we lost the mission.

Bob Qat December 21, 2009 at 4:15 PM  

Giving a gift is a nice thought, whether you buy it or make it. The fact that Christmas shopping costs more than something else is irrelevant. Any gift, any time of year, is nice.

I would rather do something to make the day more pleasant for those I know than for those I don't.

Which is the point. May you have a Merry Christmas with your loved ones, Miss TC Shore, and her readers.

Red December 22, 2009 at 6:25 AM  

That's your outtake James. I know many Christians that celebrate Christmas and still keep Christian values--knowing it's not about what you get but what you give. Christians aren't the only group subject to the materialism that's been promoted heavily throughout the years though trashing them as a whole is counterproductive. Christians have not lost Christmas. Some may get lost in it but Christmas is very much alive with the spirit.

Red December 22, 2009 at 6:29 AM  

I'm sorry that your sister needs a clue -- some of us have family members that don't seem to get it and not all of us are flag-wavers for O'Reilly either. But many many Christians, not just at Christmas--spend their time and energy and money trying to teach people to fish rather than throwing them one every so often.

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This blog is about my opinions and world view.  I am a conservative, evangelical Christian.  Generally speaking, if you post a comment, I'll allow you to express your view.  However, if you say something hateful, untruthful, or just generally something I don't like, I may remove it.

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