Reflecting on 21 Centuries of Faith

Advent Cometh: Exploring Our Catholic Culture

Advent is one of the most recognizable liturgical seasons of the year. Granted, it looks and acts more like the Christmas season but there is something about this “most wonderful time of the year.” Of all the liturgical seasons, this season is replete with signs and symbols that illuminate our Catholic traditions and the mystery of the Incarnation. The beauty is that most people have no idea what they are seeing or doing. We seem to have forgotten what symbols are meant to convey.

As you know, one of the great tragedies and victims of the Second Vatican Council’s aftermath was the loss of Catholic identity and meaning. Catholicism is incarnational – we understand that the material reveals the spiritual. We are suppose to surround ourselves with things (res) that lift our hearts and minds to heaven. Advent/Christmas is a perfect example of this principle. The most common symbols we see include:

  • Creche
  • Evergreen tree
  • Candles
  • Colored lights
  • Presents
  • Music
  • The big man himself: Santa

Ethnic traditions are part and parcel in America’s celebration of this holiday. I would love to learn more about (and share) your traditions with our digital community. Below, I have created a link to a survey. I want to encourage you to take a few minutes and fill it out. I hope to share a little history about your tradition(s) and more importantly, spread the wealth of your spiritual heritage over the next four weeks. Click here to take survey

We should also mention today’s Holy Day of Shopping Obligation. It of course is Black Friday. Among retailers, there is a love/hate relationship with Christmas. Some love the money but hate the Christ. The American Family Association has developed their 2010 Naughty and Nice list. This list shares with consumers those retailers that mention or avoid the term “Christmas” during this shopping season. Pass on a note of thanks on to those that do. Society has become quite intolerant of our beliefs though they have no problem exploiting them. Here is the article:

Naughty or Nice?

AFA’s 2010 listing of top retailers and how they recognize Christmas

Based on current advertising, below is a list of companies that avoid, ban, or use the term “Christmas” in their advertising.  We will continually update the list, so check back 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.”

Color Code:

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.

A company may be removed from the “bad” list by providing documentation to AFA.

SPECIAL ALERT! Legal group offers valuable resources

If you hear of instances of hostility toward Christmas expression, please let us 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. We want to inform public officials about the law, and then encourage them to take a stand for Christmas.

Companies FOR “Christmas”
updated 11-17-10
Bass Pro Shops
Bed Bath & Beyond
Best Buy
Big Lots
Collective Brands

Dick’s Sporting Goods
Dollar Tree
Family Dollar
Dollar General
H.E.B. Stores
Harris Teeter Stores
Hobby Lobby
JC Penney
JoAnn Fabrics & Crafts Stores
Michael’s Stores
Neiman Marcus
Pier One Imports
Rite Aid
Super D Drug Stores

Toys R Us
Wal-Mart/Sam’s Club

Companies marginalizing “Christmas”
updated 11-17-10

Banana Republic
Bath & Body Works
Gap Stores
Hancock Fabrics
Hy-Vee Stores
Old Navy
Limited Brands
Whole Foods

Companies against “Christmas”
updated 11-17-10

Barnes & Noble
CVS Pharmacy
Office Depot
Radio Shack
Victoria’s Secret

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