Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Naughty Or Nice Stores 2012

American Family Association's NAUGHTY OR NICE

2012 listing of top retailers and how they recognize Christmas

Color Code: 
BLUE: An AFA "5-Star" rated company that promotes and celebrates Christmas on an exceptional basis.
GREEN: Company uses the term "Christmas" on a regular basis, we consider that company Christmas-friendly.
YELLOW: Company refers to Christmas infrequently, or in a single advertising medium, but not in others.
RED: Company may use "Christmas" sparingly in a single or unique product description, but as a company, does not recognize it. 

List updated on 11-28-12 
Companies For "Christmas"
AFA Online Store
ACE Hardware
Bass Pro Shops
Bed Bath & Beyond
Best Buy
Big Lots
Collective Brands
CVS Pharmacy
Dick's Sporting Goods
Dollar General
Dollar Tree
H.E.B. Stores
Hancock Fabrics
Harris Teeter Stores
Hobby Lobby
Home Shopping

L.L. Bean
JC Penney
JoAnn Fabrics & Crafts Stores
Michael's Stores
Neiman Marcus
Office Max
Pier One Imports
Rite Aid
Sam's Club
Scheels Sporting Goods
Super D Drug Stores
TJ Maxx
Toys R Us
True Value
Companies marginal on "Christmas"
Bath & Body Works
Hy-Vee Stores
Whole Foods
Companies AGAINST "Christmas"
Banana Republic
Barnes & Noble
Family Dollar
Foot Locker
Gap Stores BOYCOTT!
Limited Brands
Office Depot
Radio Shack
Victoria's Secret
Based on current advertising, above is a list of companies that avoid, ban, or use the term "Christmas" in their advertising. AFA will continually update the list, so check their site often.
Criteria - AFA reviewed up to four areas to determine if a company was "Christmas-friendly" in their advertising: print media (newspaper inserts), broadcast media (radio/television), website and/or personal visits to the store. If a company's ad has references to items associated with Christmas (trees, wreaths, lights, etc.), it was considered as an attempt to reach "Christmas" shoppers.
If a company has items associated with Christmas, but did not use the word "Christmas," then the company is considered as censoring "Christmas."
Want to report on a company? Send your detailed report to christmas@afa.netPlease know that AFA receives hundreds of reports (emails) each day. They are unable to respond to each one personally, but your report will be read by one of their staff. 
Note: AFA does not list local or regional companies. Only nationally-recognized companies will be listed. This list only reflects a company's "Christmas" advertising and does not take into account other corporate policies AFA may not agree with.

SPECIAL ALERT! Legal group offers valuable resources 
If you hear of instances of hostility toward Christmas expression, please let AFA know. AFA is working with the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) to provide resources for government and public school authorities laboring under the misimpression they must censor Christmas. You can contact ADF at (1-800-TELL-ADF ) for a copy of their legal analysis and memo on rights of seasonal expression at Christmas. AFA wants to inform public officials about the law, and then encourage them to take a stand for Christmas. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

America IS a Christian Nation

Thanksgiving Proclamation by George Washington
3 October 1789
(bulletin cover-St. Peter's RC Church, DeLand, Fl)
Contrary to what Liberals and President Obama would like us and the rest of the world to believe....America is a Christian nation. She is a country built on God's principles and laws. Are we a diverse nation? Yes. Do we accept all beliefs? Yes. Freedom of Religion. It is what makes us great and why faith-filled pilgrims made the arduous journey here. And what thousands have died for.

We have the right to build a church, a synagogue, a temple anywhere, even a mosque on the sacred ground of the World Trade Center. Are all religions given equal respect or political correctness? No. One wouldn't dare put a Torah scroll in a jar of body fluid. One wouldn't depict Fatima, the daughter of Portugal's last Muslim chief, wrapped in a condom...rioting would erupt. is perfectly acceptable to do all this and worse to a replica of Christ, the Holy Eucharist and the Blessed Mother. The MainStream Media praises artists for doing so. It is Art(less).

Regardless of the Christian symbols embroidered onto America's tapestry, certain groups stand firm that our nation is not Christian. They disregard what our Founding Fathers wrote and spoke regarding God's imprint on America. They are conveniently oblivious to the Christian symbols on our currency, post office buildings, court houses....that the heart of Washington D.C. is arranged in a Cross or the dozens of biblical references on monuments. Somehow, the Intolerants think if they say we aren't a Christian nation often enough, loud enough it will be true. George Washington would bellow a protest at this notion. Perhaps the Holy Spirit, knowing what would come to pass, prompted him to write the above Thanksgiving Proclamation.

Our All-Knowing God foresaw the moral decay of a country dedicated to Him. Stores that remained closed on Sunday, the Sabbath, would be ridiculed because "those people" wanted a day to worship enjoy a day of rest with their families. Malls would be open on sacred days...Easter and Christmas....forcing many to labor so that business owners can vacation in Aruba on the 26th of December each year. We are a nation on the precipice of losing our soul. Yet there is hope, for Washington interceded for America with the words, "that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions." Our merciful God will honor the request of this great leader, a president to be proud of, a president blessed by God to bless His nation.

So here it is...Thanksgiving, a holiday of gratitude for countless blessings, both personally and as a country. It is a time when being a Christian nation is tolerated.  It is a great time to remind everyone that the United States of America IS "One nation under God"....and I pray she will always remain a Christian nation hugging all faiths to her bountiful bosom.

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Scent of New Normal

New Normal. I first read those words in  90 Minutes In Heaven by Don Piper. Pastor Piper had survived a horrific accident, and life as he knew it, ended. Each day, whether a day of struggle, pain or doubt or a day of joy, was now his "New Normal".  Forget about the life we are familiar with...when it changes, it becomes the life we now have. Embrace's yours.

My New Normal is wonderful, so why the belly-jitters? I had prayed for twenty years that my husband and I would retire to Florida. We have. I dreamt of hibiscus flowers. I have three trees. I'm healthy, fit, happy and content.

So? Why the butterflies? Why the gut-tightening feeling? Two days ago, I dedicated my walk not to my daily rosary, but to sorting the whys. It was a glorious autumn day...mid-seventies, sunny, breezy. I walked the mile to Victoria Commons, then made my way around the community pond.

I took a deep cleansing breath. Ah, autumn without leaf raking and anticipation of snow-rutted roads or black ice. The sun was warm on my face. Another deep breath. A whiff of smoke passed under my nose. Local farmers were control burning somewhere in the distance. I knew this, yet I pictured a roaring fireplace instead.  It triggered half-forgotten memories that could be tasted. My stomach flip-flopped. The scent of pine rose up before me. Around me were dozens of pine trees, their needles a carpet on either sides. The sun dappled on the pond. That's how God must smell, like pine...clean, woodsy. A masculine scent. Prayers drift up to Him like incense, the fragrance like the smoke around me, earthy and pungent. I closed my eyes. How could this be Florida? Smoky air, pine trees with pine cones of gigantic proportions? But it was Florida. And the reason for my excitement.

Thanksgiving and Christmas were peeking around the corner. I couldn't wait to prepare my first holiday dinner in my new home. God had gotten me here by way of a bumpy road. My New Normal was being a retired Floridian living in a community I love. I felt like a new creation, a kid again. I was filled with sheer excitement.  My tired decorations--straw pumpkins, baskets of silk flowers and a pine cone turkey that Jared made in kindergarten-- now looked perky and fresh. I saw this all with childlike vision. It's the way God sees children. In His eyes, we are innocent and apt to fall in a pile of pine needles. He plucks them off us and steadies us on our feet.

 Every day can be a new normal if that's what we desire. Or it may-- just happen. For me, it took years of waiting, an abundance of prayers, much faith and many falls. God dusted me off and set me back on my feet. He gave me the desire of my heart. I knew it when the well-beloved scents of the north  became a familiar fragrance of the south.

New York will always be a part of me. It's can take the girl out of the Bronx but can't take the Bronx out of the girl. It isn't the snow storms or ice slick roads I will recall, but the scent of a crackling fire and huge, sticky pine cones. It's autumn at home. Autumn in my new normal, Florida.
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