Seriously, GAP, get over yourself.

A few weeks ago I opened my email and saw that One Million Mom’s is asking mother’s everywhere to boycott Old Navy, Gap and Banana Republic this Christmas season. Why? Because once again, Gap, Inc. is refusing to use the word Christmas in their holiday campaigning.

In their own words, Gap, Inc. says, “Gap recognizes that many traditions are celebrated throughout this season and we feel it is important to display holiday signage that is inclusive to everyone.”

On one hand, I like the idea that they want to include everyone. There are plenty of shoppers out there who put up a tree, swap items and still don’t believe in Jesus. Then there’s Hanuka and Kwanzaa to consider, both well represented holidays in the United States. There’s no doubt they have plenty of consumers to please.

But I don’t understand who they think is going to be offended by the word “Christmas”. It’s one of the biggest holiday selling seasons of the year, thanks to Christians, and it’s celebrated by a huge chunk of our population. That doesn’t mean businesses who promote Christmas shopping have to believe in Jesus, just that they recognize theΒ  millions of their consumers who do.

Refraining from using the word “Christmas” during the holiday season is kind of like saying we don’t want to offend non-Americans by posting the word “Independence” in association with July 4th. Heaven forbid the British get wind of that Old Navy campaign (and it is a big summer campaign), who knows what kind of havoc their hurt feelings could wreak on the economy.

I have never seen a “Happy Hanuka!” sign and found it offensive. If anything, I’m glad the Jewish kids out there have a holiday of their own to celebrate so they don’t feel left out of the gift giving season.

Besides, like everyone else, Gap, Inc. makes a killing off of Christians every year. The least they could do is acknowledge it. They don’t even have to wish people a “Merry Christmas”, instead why not post something like, “Hey! Buy your Christmas presents here!” That’s simply calling a spade a spade without wishing anyone anything.

It’s fairly obvious that Gap, Inc. headquarters are the ones who are really offended here. Plenty of stores post “Merry Christmas” signs and it doesn’t hurt their numbers. When I got the email, the answer seemed obvious: post a big fat sign that represents every holiday.

Fast forward two weeks.

I saw a Gap singing/dancing ad on television a few nights ago, and what do you think they did? They got smart and mentioned everyone in their ad–but is it any surprise that they only mention Christmas once, but the other holidays all twice? I rewound the commercial just to be sure. Talk about sore losers.

I’ll probably wait until December 26th to shop there anyway. (That’s when I’ll take them at the clearance racks for everything they’re worth.)


  1. Meh, I don’t really take issue with this. I think that people on both sides of the issue get too worked up. “War on Christmas” comes to mind. A lot of it is scare tactics.

    My boss is Jewish and I have a couple of atheist coworkers. When I give out Christmas gifts, I always use tags that say Happy Holidays. While I don’t think they would be offended if I said Merry Christmas, it’s not something I feel like I have to take a stand on or make it my hill to die on. I can still celebrate Christmas and the spirit.

  2. I was buying Hannukah coins once at See’s Candy, and the lady said, “Merry Christmas!” I almost died laughing.

  3. I refuse shop at Gap. It has nothing to do with whether or not they say “Christmas” in their ads (although now that gives me one more reason)…but their commercials (especially this year) just annoy me. They drive me nuts! I think they are “too cool” for my taste πŸ™‚

    ***on my soap box now…***
    (clearing my throat…for dramatic effect)

    As far as the whole trying to be politically correct thing…I think it’s all hog wash. Someone, somewhere will be offended no matter what is said or not said. I can’t control what they say, or how they say it…but I can control what I say, and who I say it to. The big companies’ bottom line is money. They want to appeal the masses. Happy Holidays is qhite simply, easier. (It still doesn’t make it right). It just reflects our society on a generalized scale. Christmas is about buying presents and maxing out credit cards, didn’t you know? (At least that is what they pressure us to think…) Yes, there are a lot of Christians out there…but are enough who care enough to change things?

    This “trend” is only found in stores…they are just following our government’s “policy”. For example, take the whole separation of church and state “by law” (or the interpretation of law) that is reflected in the schools. Christmas parties are now called “winter festival parties”, and the songs that are sang at the “winter” concerts sing about Santa, Hanukkah, Kwanza, and Rudolph…but rarely mention Jesus Christ because that is considered religious. When did “religious” become synonymous with just Christianity’s take on Jesus Christ? I would argue that there are many forms of religion or worship, some of which have nothing to do with a deity.

    ***okay – off the soap box for now….*** πŸ™‚

  4. I’ve always been an advocate of peer pressure. I use it on my grown boys all the time.

  5. I had a very awe inspiring thought, then I typed my thoughts down and it sounded pretty stupid (I’ve never been able to write an eloquent thought in my life) . My point was that I’d rather not have them use Christmas to manipulate me into buying some jeans.

  6. I agree, the commercials alone make me not shop there. That, and they don’t carry clothes that fit me! Now how PC is that?!? No clothing for the obese?? I’m calling NAAFA AND the ACLU! PC my eye…. πŸ˜‰

    If they would just go back to the days of swing dancers and khakis (GAP) and obnoxious talk-singing about performance fleece (Old Navy) I could be placated. (After I get my big settlement from them not carrying clothes that fit me, of course.) πŸ˜€

  7. The bummer about that is that they have DARLING little girls clothes that I like to buy my nieces. I suppose I’ll have to go elsewhere now.

  8. I hadn’t caught that–the twice versus once thing. That’s just . . . sour grapes or something.

    It does make me want to head over on Dec 26th just to clean up. πŸ˜€

  9. Sadly almost anything that anyone says can be supposedly not pc. πŸ™ I don’t agree with this AT ALL. Buuuut I don’t blame Gap. It’s everywhere. I can see where they are coming from. As much as I would love to see Merry Christmas everywhere I’m sure there’s someone out there who doesn’t, or someone out there who wants to see Happy Hannakkuh… (spelling, horrid, I know.)

    I had to write an essay for a class the other day and my professor marked me down because I said, “Mankind”. She wrote next to it, ‘what about woman kind?’ Oh gosh!!! Does she not see that woman has MAN in it! Stupid pc ness.

    Plus, I love Gap. πŸ™‚

  10. I am going to stick my head way out there with a religious comment as this, but what the heck!
    You can sure tell we are getting closer to the END!! (signs of the times)

  11. Hehehe…..*sheepish* I actually love those commercials! They make me wiggle in my seat when they come on, and I kind of want to choreograph a routine for my friends and family for Christmas, because I’m sure we would look just like the commercial.
    I think you make a good point, Annie. (as always)

  12. I don’t think Hanukkah was really invented so that Jewish kids don’t feel left out during Christmas time. Its a beautiful Jewish holiday celebrating the Jeruselem Temple being rededicated. Some families give gifts to their children during this time and some don’t. My neighbor who is Jewish doesn’t. They focus on the religious symbolism of the holiday and teach their children the same.

    I think one big reason that companies are focusing so much on Kawanza and Hanukkah is to commercialize their religious holidays now. They’ve got the christians and I think they want to peer pressure other groups as well.

  13. Don’t you just get SO. TIRED. OF. IT.
    I won’t be shopping there ( can’t find anything they carry that fits me) so there.

  14. I just watched the commercial on you tube several times and I can’t find the other holidays mentioned more than once. There is a part toward the end that I think says “do whatever you wantakah,” but I wouldn’t qualify that as a mention of the other holidays.

    In defense of the Gap and other stores that stick to the happy holidays, there is a lot of pressure out there to be inclusive. Here in WA state we have had many problems in the past created by “holiday” decorations at public places such as the airport or capitol building. You can’t call the tree a Christmas tree, it has to be a “holiday tree” and even then you may be asked to place a large menorah next to it. If I were the Gap, I’d probably make the decision to stay neutral just to avoid the hassle.

  15. I don’t know if this is really an issue for me. I think people make a big deal about nothing a lot of the time. Personally, I’d buy the store out year round if I could afford it. I LOVE the Gap. And the clothes look fabulous on me. They don’t have naked girls or violence on the commercials, so, what’s the big deal? I used to teach at a Jewish school and I think Hanukkah rocks. Eight days of presents, come on! That is sweet! Unfortunately, I can’t celebrate every holiday in December. I draw the line at St. Nicholas Day, Christmas and New Years.

    But back to Gap, who cares? It’s just a commercial.

  16. I just get all of our Gap and Old Navy stuff on ebay from the people who buy stuff during the non-Christmas sale, let their kids wear it once, and then sell it to me for $2. I feel like I’m totally outsmarting those Gap jerks. I AM outsmarting them, right?

  17. Hi Annie,

    I am pleased to say that after disappearing unintentionally, that your entries still make me laugh out loud! You are so creative with your horsies. Love them. I’ve got baby number 3 on the way and it’s a boy. So exciting. Hope all is well with you and your family. πŸ™‚

  18. I kind of feel the same way you do. My husband taught JR. high in CA for a year and they weren’t allowed to mention Christmas at all. There wasn’t a Christmas Dance, there was no Christmas break. They weren’t even allowed to wish their students Merry Christmas. I just think it’s kind of ridiculous and a bit over the top.

  19. I don’t buy Gap anyway… so I have been accidentally making a point for many years. Good for me.