As we enter into the Christmas season, it's becoming painfully obvious that we as a society are lost. We're turning our back on the light and choosing instead to go fumbling about in the dark. Why, we don't even know the true meaning of Christmas anymore. It's sad, really. Too many people think Christmas is about family or friends or candy canes or celebrating the birth of Christ. But what Christmas is about, what it's always been about, is marketing. Do you know how many bulky red and white sweaters The Gap would sell if they marketed them as Christmas sweaters? So, so many. Instead, they're choosing to dilute the Christmas-only marketing message with a bunch of other lesser winter holidays (Hannukah, Kwanzaa, even winter solstice) and they're certainly going to feel the effects in their achingly empty registers this December. Right, American Family Association?
The American Family Association is calling on consumers to boycott Gap Inc. and its brands, which include Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic, this holiday season. The Christian organization alleges that the retailer's ads downplay the word "Christmas."
The boycott, according to the AFA, is in response to Gap's holiday advertising and in-store promotions over the years, which have stayed away from recognizing any specific religion. For instance, last year's campaign was themed "Merry Gap-mas," substituting the chain's name for Christ's…
The boycott is running from Nov. 1 through Christmas Day, and the AFA is urging consumers to sign a Gap pledge on its site. Gap was not available for comment at press time.
When asked if retailers might have a legitimate business reason to avoid using the word Christmas in ads, Sharp replied that he thought it was a valid concern, but cited polls showing very few people are actually offended by the use of the term. "The problem lies when you try to be politically correct and offend 80 percent or so of consumers," he said. "The reality is, most people are shopping for Christmas gifts."
So, just so we're clear: The Christian organization is boycotting The Gap because The Gap doesn't commercialize the birth of their lord and savior enough in the store's advertisments. Sounds, uh, what? Someone should start revising those bumper stickers to "Keep Christ in Door-Buster Christmas Sales."
But what makes this boycott even more duh is that the thoroughly annoying, brain-bleedingly awful Gap commercials do mention Christmas—they just mention it along with a bunch of other holidays. So the American Family people are really just angry that their holiday doesn't get to be the solo star of the Gap commercial so irritating it's like being punched in the face with a fist made out of itching powder.
There's a perfectly legitimate reason to boycott this commerical—the egregiously annoying use of cheer-speak—but it has nothing to do with Christmas.