The American Family Association has made it its mission for nearly eight years to coordinate a major grassroots email campaign targeting retailers that replaced “Merry Christmas” messages with the politically correct “Happy Holidays.” But this year, the group is claiming a major victory.
Bill Chandler, Gap Inc.’s vice-president for global corporate affairs, sent a personal letter to the association announcing its policy has changed this year for Gap and Old Navy stores:
As we near the holiday season I want to update you on how Gap, Inc.’s family of brands will celebrate the Christmas season. As a global retailer, we embrace the diversity of our customers and respect a variety of traditions and faith during the holidays, including Christmas.
Starting today, every Gap Outlet window will have signs that say “Merry Christmas” along with Christmas trees and wreaths throughout their stores.
Chandler said in the letter that a “special Christmas-themed event” was being planned for all of its Old Navy stores in mid-December, adding that the stores’ websites will also include “Christmas-related products.”
American Family Association President Tim Wildmon said in an email to supporters that
eight years ago, nearly 80 percent of retailers abandoned Christmas for a non-offensive, generic holiday approach. The group attributes some retailers’ turnaround to the grassroots pressure the assocation’s supports have put on companies waging a “war on Christmas.”
“AFA began working with GAP Inc. about five years ago when it adamantly refused to use the term ‘Christmas’ in any of its seasonal advertising,” Wildmon said in the email. “For that reason, AFA asked you to boycott Gap stores during the Christmas shopping season last year. Your efforts have paid off.”
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