You know the “holidays” are drawing near when the American Family Association begins the annual “war on Christmas” warnings, and when you see the vouchers (to be dropped into the kettle) protesting the Salvation Army’s anti-LGBT position.

First, the mythical “war” story, beginning with AFA warning:

Scrooge Alert: Boycott Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic this Christmas

AFA is calling for a limited two-month boycott of Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic, the three stores owned by San Francisco-based Gap Inc., over the company’s censorship of the word “˜Christmas.’ …

Need proof? Go to www.gap.com or www.oldnavy.com and type “˜Christmas’ in the search bar. As of today, the websites bring up zero results. In fact, Old Navy’s site gives an error message. …

Gap and Old Navy are censoring the word Christmas, pure and simple. Yet the company wants all the people who celebrate Christmas to do their shopping at their stores. Until Gap proves it recognizes Christmas by using it in their newspaper, radio and television advertising or in-store signage, the boycott will be promoted.

For a couple of months, anyway. Then apparently it’s okay to spend your money with Gap Inc.

Jeremy Hooper, at Good As You, noticed something else.

But who still isn’t using the word “˜Christmas’? Yup, that’s right-the AFA’s beloved Chick-fil-A. One finds lots of mentions of “˜gift shopping’.

…and those “˜holiday shakes’ are still there …

for everyone on your “˜holiday wish list’ … .

But just try to find the word “˜Christmas’ or even a reference to something like Santa or jingling bells in any of the company’s promotional materials. You won’t. In fact, the only references to Christmas on the entire website come in the form of personal stories that customers have shared with the company.

Actually, I found one other, in the “operating hours” section “” they’re closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and Sundays. I agree with Hooper when he emphasizes that he’s not “picking on Chick-fil-A,” and “fully understand why they would use the more inclusive “˜holiday.’” It’s AFA that needs to check their boycotting list, at least twice.

And about the Salvation Army vouchers, from John Aravosis, Give Salvation Army anti-gay bigots vouchers instead of money:

Salvation Army Has Been Advocating Against Gays for 40 Years …

The Salvation Army considers itself an evangelical Christian church – i.e., a religious right church – and therefore says it has the right to discriminate against gays (who the Salvation Army says should be celibate for life). And that’s their right, to be religious right bigots – and it’s our right not to give our Christmas donations to religious right activists.

Along with Aravosis, I don’t know who first created the “vouchers,” though I do remember seeing them years ago. The idea is to drop them in the kettle, or bucket, instead of cash, as a way, hopefully, to do some educating.

I’d be quite happy to read about any holiday traditions you’d like to share. No queer connection required.

(Salvation Army Voucher via AmericaBlogGay)