Monday, November 29, 2004


Boscov's, a $1 billion department store chain based in Pennsylvania, is a 91-year-old, privately held company. It "is focused on bringing the latest styles and trends in fashion and home decor" to you. But it won't sell you a Christmas card. A reader writes: "Boscov's displays gift cards for sale throughout the store. The Christmas gift card only says "Merry", because any reference to the word "Christmas" is banned at Boscov's. However, it is side-by-side with a "HAPPY HANUKKAH" card. Please encourage all Christians to boycott Boscov's. Please help spread the word soon, as Boscov's makes the bulk of their annual profits selling the very Christmas gifts they refuse to acknowledge."


My reader clarifies what is happening: "Actually, I think you may have thought I meant "greeting card" by "gift card". What I'm talking about is the credit-card sized gift cards sold in different denominations (the modern version of gift certificates). Boscov's has these on display throughout the store. You take one to a cashier, pay for it, and the money is encoded into it. One has generic Christmas-style decorations on it with the word "MERRY". They have another with confetti-style decorations, evidently for New Year's Day. Since they refuse to use the word "Christmas" on the "MERRY" card, they evidently tried to establish some sort of symmetry with the New Year's card, so that one only says "HAPPY". However right next to both cards is the "HAPPY HANNUKAH" card. They have no problem proudly proclaiming that holiday.

Here is a link to the gift cards on their website, but please note that the website does not show all the cards. It only shows a picture of the New Year's "HAPPY" card, with a dropdown list to select the "MERRY" card. They are evidently not yet selling the Hannukah card online.

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