Tuesday, November 28, 2006


My first Christmas Overkill post since this time last year.

I've boycotted three stations so far - WSNE-FM (aka "Coast 93.3", Providence), WWLI-FM (aka "Lite 105", Providence), and WODS (aka "Oldies 103.3", Boston) until December 26. Mind you - the first two are normally soft/lite rock stations, the third is normally 60's and 70's pop rock. All three started playing "Holiday favorites" (not even "Christmas favorites") 24/7 since November 13. Come on! How many times in one day can one possibly play "Rockin' around the Christmas Tree" and other such ilk?! At one time, you only heard this stuff 24/7 a day or two before Christmas, and before that, maybe one cut an hour. Now people get sick of Christmas by the time it gets here! Besides, if you're going to trash a Christmas song, for cripe sakes, at least be funny about it. If I want to hear that crap (especially in November), I'll walk the freakin' malls. (Oh well - there are still seven other stations out of the ten preset on my van radio - five of my wife's favorites, three soft rock and two country, five of mine, mainly classic rock and oldies.)

But even the malls (and other retail venues) aren't too polite, though some have improved. (Hat tip to Gerald, who got this from this)

Partial "Naughty List"
Lowe's - Employees cannot say "Merry Christmas" to customers. Lowe's corporate advised that only when customers initiate a "Merry Christmas" greeting can employees respond in kind. (I'll have to make sure I jump in first then.)
Toys 'R' Us
- "Holidays" are in, "Merry Christmas" is out. (And Toys'R'Us is out!)
Banana Republic - Web site has "Holiday Gift Guide" with no mention of Christmas. (Why do you think they call themselves "Banana Republic"?)
Bed Bath & Beyond - No mention of any holidays. (We're going to have a sale like December 25 is just another day!)
Barnes & Noble - Web site says "Gift Guide," "Holiday gift baskets," "Holiday sled," "Holiday delivery," but no Christmas. Stores not allowed to put up Christmas trees, and employees are not allowed to say "Merry Christmas." (Luckily, Borders is closer to home for me.)
Best Buy - Web site says "Unique gifts for the season," "Holiday gift ideas." Spokesperson said the use of "Merry Christmas" is disrespectful. (I've yet to lose my respect for someone who says "Merry Christmas".)
Dick's Sporting Goods - Web site says "gifts" and has images, but no mention of Christmas. (But of course not. It's one less day they get to go golfing.... I'M BEING SARCASTIC HERE FOLKS!!!)
Eddie Bauer - Customer service would not recognize Christmas, they "don't want to offend Jews, those who celebrate Kwanza and those who have no religious preference." (Sure! So screw the majority instead, right?)
Gap - "Holiday Survival Guide" with no mention of Christmas. (But how in the sam hell can you survive the holidays without CHRISTMAS???)
Home Depot - Web site says "Holiday Store" and "Holiday Lighting" and only at bottom of site says "Make your Christmas decorations complete." Stores have "Holiday Home Accents." (It's amazing they even mention Christmas somewhere.)
K-Mart - Selling "Holiday trees" and "Holiday wreaths." (singing - O holiday tree, O holiday tree, I think you're so annoying!)

Partial "Nice List"
Dillard's - Advertises "Christmas Catalog."
JC Penney - Web site has "Christmas Shipping Countdown."
Joann Fabrics - Offers Christmas and Holiday fabrics.
Kohl's - Christmas is all over TV, print and radio ads.
L.L. Bean - Advertises and distributes "Christmas Catalog."
Linens 'N Things - Has a "Christmas Shop" and "Christmas Checklist."
Macy's - "Merry Christmas!" on its home page.
Michaels - Web site has a Christmas section.
M&M-Mars Candies - Will have red and green candies with pictures of Christmas trees and angels among other images.
Target - Web site says "Christmas Decor," although the physical store has "Holiday entertaining." TV ad says "Merry Christmas."
Wal-Mart - Has a "Christmas Shop," plays Christmas carols, and employees can say "Merry Christmas." (BIG IMPROVEMENT over previous years!!!)

Those store personnel who wish me "happy holidays" will be simply quizzed, "which one?" The chance of getting CHRISTMAS out of their mouths might just be 50/50. (There is one doctor in the same practice as our regular doctor who wears his yamika (sp) on duty. I make it a point to wish him "happy Hanukkah".)

Finally, here's some politically correct crud I made up:
Take rest, you merry human-folk, let nothing you dismay,
Remember, Christ our Savior was born this holiday,
(That's what the ACLU and similar ilk want it to come to, you know.)



Gavin said...

Eventually I'll put something on my own blog about this, but the more I think about it the more I like "happy holidays" better than "Merry Christmas". I think I'm just going to stop saying "Christmas" altogether, and stick to "The Solemnity of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ" this year. It's not that I don't celebrate the cultural Christmas of trees, gifts, Santa, and particularly strong beer; it's just that I make a distinction between those two and the holy celebration of God Himself becoming Man. I'd never expect Target or Walmart to join me in THAT celebration. Find me a store with a sign that says "Have a blessed Nativity" or involves Jesus at all in Christmas, and that'll impress me.

Brian Michael Page said...

Find me a store with a sign that says "Have a blessed Nativity" or involves Jesus at all in Christmas, and that'll impress me.

That will still take quite some time, I fear. But with enough prayer and push, we could get our CHRISTMAS back (in full). Linus got his great pumpkin, didn't he? (albeit Snoopy LOL).

Gavin said...

Well, I will at least agree with you that it is ridiculous when they sell "Holiday trees". Because NO ONE knows what holiday you're going to use that for... I do see it two ways: on the one hand, this is a season during which people celebrate many holidays, not necessarily or exclusively Christmas. ESPECIALLY Catholics! (Sts. Nicholas, Lucy, Stephen, to name a few) On the other hand, when they sell things CLEARLY for Christmas as "holiday" items, that's just going out of your way to be stupid. Actually, I will say there's a year-round Christmas store in Frankenmuth, MI (my state) which is very Christian-centered. Actually, it is reasonably hard to draw the line between "culture Christmas" and "Christian Christmas", since the idea of Christmas being a civil celebration is rather ancient. Case in point, my choir's singing "The Holly and the Ivy". Is this really appropriate? People could argue forever perhaps, but it's certainly traditional for Christmas.

In that vein, you should run a betting pool and see which bishops will dress as Santa Claus for Mass.

Puff the Magic Dragon said...

Up here in Toronto, Ontario I did see the Hudson's Bay (ESt. 17??)have posted at the entrance of the store, "Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays"

Brian Michael Page said...

Up here we do have a store called "Christmas Tree Shops", which is open year-round.

At one time, "Happy Holidays" pretty much covered a whole season. What gets me is when people go out of the way just to avoid the word "Christmas" (like in many cases today). You gotsta know it's about as blatant as they come.