The latest battlefront in the annual “war on Christmas” has fallen into the Gap, so to speak, as clothing giant Gap Inc. is accused of silencing the word “Christmas” in stores and many of its commercials.
“Gap, which owns Old Navy, Banana Republic, Forth & Towne and Piperlime, has become the latest politically correct retailer, intentionally censoring the use of ‘Christmas’ in their in-store, online and printed advertising,” said Donald Wildmon, founder of the American Family Association.
In an open letter, he says the company is instead using the word “holiday” in its seasonal marketing effort.
“As hard as we tried,” Wildmon said, “AFA could not find a single instance in which Gap-owned stores use the term ‘Christmas.’ Not a single time! When one Old Navy store manager was asked by AFA if the word Christmas was in his store, he answered, ‘We have a lot of Christmas gifts in our stores, but the word Christmas is not used here. Everything is holiday.’ Gap wants you to do your Christmas shopping with them, but they don’t want to mention the Reason for the season. Gap doesn’t want to offend non-Christians by using Christmas. The fact that their censoring the use of Christmas might offend Christians seems to be of no importance.”
No one from Gap Inc. returned repeated calls for comment.
As television watchers could tell you, the Gap and its affiliated brands are in the midst of heavy marketing leading up to Christmas, with numerous ads aired in a variety of time slots on national networks.
Rap song in Gap broadcast ad mentions the word ‘Christmas’ once
It’s the holidays these days are holy,
Warm like the days when my gramps would hold me,
Now I spend it with my daughter and my homies
Not far from home is where my soul be,
Fell into the Gap they rockin tha hood,
See peace in the streets when I stopped in the hood,
We gonna keep it alive like hip-hop in the hood,
It’s good when the love don’t stop in the hood,
It’s a celebration like Dave Champipple,
Hugs to the fam and kisses under the mistle,
Toe when I flow feel the power that rap has,
People givin me love off seein my Gap ads,
Gifted like Christmas so I love to rap,
We gonna give it to the world peace, love, and Gap
The AFA is now urging consumers to contact Gap to voice opinions on the matter. In the past year, the family advocates have seen success in helping prompt Wal-Mart, the world’s top retailer, to reverse its “Happy Holidays” mandate in favor of greetings that include “Merry Christmas.” Wal-Mart officials are making the media rounds this season, publicly admitting the company made a mistake last year with its ban on the word “Christmas.”
Supermodel Heidi Klum and her husband, pop singer Seal, featured in this year’s holiday ads for the Gap
Others which have restored “Merry Christmas” greetings include Macy’s, Target, and Kohl’s, but others, such as Best Buy and Crate & Barrel, remain steadfast in their exclusive use of the word “holidays.”
“We are going to continue to use the term ‘holiday’ because there are several holidays throughout that time period, and we certainly need to be respectful of all of them,” Best Buy spokeswoman Dawn Bryant was quoted as saying.
According to a new Zogby poll, 95 percent of Americans say they are not offended by being greeted with a “Merry Christmas” while shopping; but greet them with a “Happy Holidays,” and 46 percent say they take offense.
Today, followers of ancient paganism strive to remind the public about the heathen origins of traditions that many may never have questioned.
Wiccan high priestess Selena Fox
CircleSanctuary.org is among the Internet addresses run by nature-worshipping pagans. Wiccan high priestess Selena Fox discusses the state of being pagan and celebrating the lengthening of days during the Northern Hemisphere’s darkest time of year.
“Yule, the winter solstice, is a festival of peace and a celebration of waxing solar light. I honor the new sun child by burning a[n] oaken yule log in a sacred fire. I honor the great goddess in her many great mother aspects, and the father god as Santa in his old sky god, father time, and holly king forms. I decorate my home with lights and with holly, ivy, mistletoe, evergreens and other herbs sacred to this season. I ring in the new solar year with bells.”
Fox even provides a list of suggestions on how 21st century citizens can take part in the ancient rituals, to “re-paganize” Christmastime:
Have gift exchanges and feasts over the course of several days and nights as was done of old
Adorn the home with sacred herbs and colors; decorate in druidic holiday colors of red, green and white
Hang a sprig of mistletoe above a major threshold and leave it there until next yule as a charm for good luck throughout the year
Have family/household members join together to make or purchase an evergreen wreath
If you choose to have a living or a harvested evergreen tree as part of your holiday decorations, call it a solstice tree and decorate it with pagan symbols
Reclaim Santa Claus as a pagan godform by decorating him with images that reflect his various heritages ranging from the Greek god Cronos (father time) to Odin, the Scandinavian all-father riding the sky on an eight-legged horse
Place pagan mother-goddess images around your home, possibly including one with a sun child, such as Isis with Horus
Honor the new solar year with light – light candles, burn a yule log and save a portion for the following year, put colored lights outside your home, and with the popularity of five-pointed stars, consider displaying a blue or white pentagram.