Seems Like The War On Christmas Starts Earlier Every Year!
It's the most wonderful time of the year! And by that I mean that it is time for the War on the War on Christmas!
I may be an atheist, but I absolutely live for this. I love the plaintive essays in which some jerk sobs about how a store clerk at Macy's said Happy Holidays to them and now they're dead and they have to write all of their op-eds from beyond the grave. I loved it when they were mad at Starbucks because their cups were not festive enough, so they "boycotted" them by buying lots and lots of Starbucks coffee and then telling the workers that their name is Merry Christmas so they have to write it on the cup.
And before you even ask, YES, they are mad at Starbucks again this year.
I love it when Jim Bakker goes off the rails and starts talking about a non-existent time when it was illegal to say Merry Christmas right there in Branson of all places (even at Greg Brady Lunch with Barry Williams, probably!), but his viewers called and called all their politicians and poof! That law was gone!
Shoot it directly into my veins.
This week, the anti-LGBT hate group Liberty Counsel released their annual "Naughty and Nice List" in which they thank various retail stores for being all Jesusy, but also tell their followers to go and yell at Burlington Coat Factory for their heathenry.
Here, let the Mat Staver, a guy who still thinks it should be illegal to be gay, tell you all about it!
Friend or Foe Christmas Campaign youtu.be
Naturally, even their "Nice" list is petty AF:
American Eagle Outfitters While there are not many Christmas-themed items on the American Eagle website, the term "Christmas" is used often in their product titles and descriptions. Give American Eagle a call at [redacted] to encourage them to carry more Christmas-themed items or email them. About 70 percent of shoppers prefer greetings of "Merry Christmas" over "Happy Holidays" by retail stores according to a Rasmussen Poll.
IT'S A CLOTHING STORE. How many Christmas-themed things can they possibly have?
Even a website with Christmas in its actual name isn't quite good enough, because they have things that say "holiday." Terrifying! Like, what if people found out that there are other holidays around this time of year? What if they found out Jewish people exist! What then?
Christmasplace.com There are quite a few items labeled as "holiday," but there are many more prominent products that are labeled as "Christmas." There are also plenty of items that have "Merry Christmas" om [sic] them as well as a large selection of Nativity scenes. Give the company a call at [redacted], email [redacted] or use their contact page to express your appreciation!
Previously, Walmart made their "naughty" list because the people working in the store said "Happy Holidays" to customers instead of assuming all of them were Christian and wishing them a Merry Christmas.
Walmart Walmart made our list very quickly. The company is not afraid to label their website categories as "Christmas" decorations and many of their Christmas items are labeled as "Christmas" rather than "holiday." There are also MANY options for Nativity scenes. However, only some things say "Merry Christmas" and there are more items that say "Happy Holidays." Contact Walmart through their website and say thank you for celebrating Christmas!
Imagine going to a Walmart, looking around at all the people working there and barely making enough money to survive, and going "I, a very moral and Christlike person, feel like the real problem here is that none of these non-unionized minimum wage workers are wishing me a Merry Christmas."
But onto some of the stupider items on the "naughty" list!
Burlington Coat Factory Burlington made the Naughty list this year, featuring "Hot Holiday Deals" and gift cards emphasizing "Happy Holidays." In addition, they lack any emphasis on gift giving for the season and severe lack of Christmas advertising with biblical meaning. Each ad or marketing concept starts strong with Christmas-themed products but loses meaning through emphasis on giving and receiving. Call Burlington at [redacted] to graciously request a purposeful Christmas theme in their stores.
I hear they don't even sell technicolor dream coats!
Gap, Inc. There are no references to "Christmas" or any biblical elements within product associations and advertisements. Only "holiday" is used to refer to the upcoming season. Gap has oscillated over the years, but this year it is back on the Naughty List. In 2013, Bill Chandler at GAP Inc. issued a letter in which he referenced "Christmas" nine times and wrote that every store window will have signs saying "Merry Christmas." He concluded ". . . we hope you'll agree that our Gap Inc. family of brands, including Gap and Old Navy, are Christmas friendly this holiday season." In the years since the announcement, GAP, including the affiliated Old Navy, Banana Republic and Athleta, have shown a decline in Christmas friendliness with reduced references on their website and in stores. Call [redacted] to politely encourage GAP to strengthen their ties to Christmas.
Excuse me, ma'am, but where can I find your bible-themed cargo pants?
Lord and Taylor Lord and Taylor are praised for their 5th street holiday window and incorporate the "Christmas" language into their products and marketing. However, the company, like many others, falls short of portraying what the Christmas season is about. Their reindeers and printed Santas hide the love of the Nativity and reason for gift giving. Contact Lord and Taylor at [redacted] to politely request an authentic Christmas theme.
This is legitimately insane. How fucking insecure are these people about their religion that they're mad that Lahd and Taylah doesn't have enough Baby Jesuses and Bathtub Marys around? It is a store, not a church! There are many churches where one can go and see all the Baby Jesuses they want. They can Google image search for Baby Jesus all day long! How much do they need to be coddled by department stores?
As a former retail worker, I have some complicated feelings about all of this. First of all, if you are not aware, there is no worse time to be a retail worker than the holidays. It is a living nightmare, and I'm not just talking about Black Friday. People are horrible and angry and demanding and they mess up the store so badly you have to stay after work for three hours every night to clean up after them, and you have to listen to the same songs over and over again until you want to die. I hate all Christmas songs (except for the Darlene Love ones because it is functionally impossible to get sick of any Darlene Love song) and to this day, I swear my feet start to hurt every time I hear "Christmas Wrapping" by The Waitresses. The last thing anyone wants to deal with is some dirtbag hatemonger throwing a conniption fit because someone said "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas." There is just something particularly evil about fucking with retail workers at this time, all because you need to feel more special about your religion.
But while I hate the fact that these people are annoying workers with this shit, I am glad that they are unhappy. I want them to be unhappy. I enjoy knowing that their whole day will be ruined by someone saying "Happy Holidays" to them. I hope that every time they hear it, they go home and cry themselves to sleep. Or cry into their not-festive-enough peppermint mochas. I also still hope that they all get divorced because their marriages don't feel special anymore. And perhaps that's just a fantasy, because obviously the whole reason they're doing this is because they think painting themselves as victims of persecution will help them leverage power, but in my heart I hope it actually does hurt them.
I am a cold, vindictive bitch when it comes to both shitty customers and God-botherers and I will not apologize for it.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Previously, she was a Senior Staff Writer at Death & Taxes, and Assistant Editor at The Frisky (RIP). Currently, she writes for Wonkette, Friendly Atheist, Quartz and other sites. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse