A list of national companies that are "naughty" and "nice" when it comes to having the balls to say CHRISTMAS

Companies not only want your money, they count on your money.  Black Friday started as a way for companies to get 'out of the red' and 'into the black' by offering great sales to entice you to buy them.  They know Christmas gift giving is the bread and butter of their company but something sickening and scary has happened in the past ten years or so and it's getting worse....  companies want you to Christmas shop with them and spend as much money as you can but they don't have the balls to say "MERRY CHRISTMAS" and instead avoid the "C" word or wish the pansy-assed "Happy Holiday's" instead.

Considering 9 out of 10 Americans celebrate Christmas, these companies are pandering to the lowly little 1 out of 10 that don't celebrate this holiday which has it's roots in Christianity and celebrating the birth of Jesus the Christ. (And don't even get me started with the whole but noooo it's a pagan holiday crap.  You know as well as I do that is NOT what Americans are celebrating.  We are a Christian nation.  Sorry if you don't 'like' that but I don't care. Go find a little safe place to cry about it - which is not here.)  I'm here to talk about the fact that 9 out of 10 people in America celebrate Christmas yet the companies that want our cold, hard, Christmas cash are afraid to say "Merry Christmas" because they {gasp} offend someone.

Pew Research polling indicates that 81 percent of non-Christians celebrate the holiday. That's about a third of Jews, three-quarters of Hindus and Buddhists, and 87 percent of people who identify as nonreligious

About nine-in-ten Americans (92%) and nearly all Christians (96%) say they celebrate Christmas, according to a 2013 Pew Research Center survey. This is no surprise, but what might be more unexpected is that a big majority (81%) of non-Christians in the U.S. also celebrate Christmas. This includes 87% of people with no religion and even about three-quarters of Asian-American Buddhists (76%) and Hindus (73%). Roughly a third of U.S. Jews (32%)

"On the AFA’s “nice list” are 51 retailers: 1-800-Flowers.com, Ace Hardware, AFA Online Store, Banana Republic, Bass Pro Shops, Bath & Body Works, Bed Bath & Beyond, Belk, Big Lots, Books-A-Million, Cabela’s, Cracker Barrel, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Dillards, Do-It-Best Hardware, Dollar Tree, Fred’s, H.E.B. Stores, HSN.com, Hallmark, Harbor Freight, Harris Teeter Stores, Hobby Lobby, Home Depot, Hy-Vee Stores, JCPenney, JoAnn Fabrics, Kirkland’s, Kmart, Kroger, L.L. Bean, Lowe’s, Macy’s, Marshalls, Meijer, Menard’s, Michael’s Stores, Neiman Marcus, Pier One Imports, ProFlowers.com, Publix, QVC.com, Rite Aid, Sam’s Club, Scheels Sporting Goods, Super D Drug, TJ Maxx, Toys R Us, True Value, Wal-Mart, and Zappos.com.

According to the AFA, most of the companies on the nice list use “the term ‘Christmas’ on a regular basis” and are considered “Christmas-friendly.” Sam’s Club, Fred’s, and Bath & Body Works refer to “Christmas infrequently, or in a single advertising medium, but not in others.”

Seven of the companies on the nice list - Cracker Barrel, Michael’s Stores, Lowe’s, Kirkland’s, Hobby Lobby, AFA Online Store, and Wal-Mart - are considered “an AFA "5-Star" rated company that promotes and celebrates Christmas on an exceptional basis.”

The AFA considers five areas to determine whether a company is “Christmas-friendly” in their advertising: print media (newspaper inserts), broadcast media (radio/television), website, social media (Facebook, Twitter) and/or personal visits to the store."

Sixteen retailers top the “naughty list” of the American Family Association’s 2017 Naughty or Nice list.

"Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, Family Dollar, Foot Locker, Gap, The Limited, Maurice’s, Nordstrom, Office Depot, Office Max, Pet Smart, Staples, Stein Mart, Supervalu, UncommonGoods.com, and Victoria’s Secret are listed as “naughty.”

Thirteen of those “naughty” companies have that classification because the “Company may use ‘Christmas’ sparingly in a single or unique product description, but as a company, does not recognize it.”

Please 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. 



Two Gravy Flavored Gag Gifts.... (Gag is a great descriptive word in this case!?) PLUS Bonus Link of Flavored Larva to Eat

Once in a while here on It's Just the Coffee Talking, I find myself browsing Amazon and find something I just have to share over morning coffee with my readers.  Well, today I found a gag gift that actually fits in pretty well with the Thanksgiving holiday coming up this week;  GRAVY FLAVORED CANDY.

Now, I love gravy.  LOVE gravy.  As in just give me a plate of stuffing and gravy for my Thanksgiving meal and I'm a happy camper.  But gravy candy? Ummm...

And while I was checking out the gravy candy I saw a link for gravy flavored candy canes.  Awesome - a gravy flavored gag gift for Thanksgiving followed by a gravy gag-gift for Christmas!   And last but not least (oh, not least in the least!) was a link from that page to real larva, flavored with bbq, cheddar cheese and Mexican spices available in a 3-pack sample order.

You may be braver than I.  I am not trying these.

Gravy Candy
  • With the look of old-fashioned candy and the taste of herb-infused gravy
  • You get a 3-1/4" x 2-1/2" x 2" (8.3 cm x 6.4 cm x 5.1 cm) tin with 2.5 oz. (72 g) of individually wrapped brown and white striped candy.
  • Shrink wrapped.

Gravy Candy Canes

  • GREATEST GAG GIFT AVAILABLE: White Elephant? Secret Santa? That scrooge on your Christmas list that is the hardest to buy for? Problem solved! Get them fun candy canes they’re guaranteed to love, and if they don’t… well do you really want someone in your life who doesn’t enjoy gravy?
  • ACCOUTREMENTS PROMISE: For over 30 years we've created products that provoke, challenge, and entertain. We pride ourselves on being less disappointing than other companies by producing things we love in an original way. Each item has a fresh twist that makes it just a little bit better.
  • PRODUCT SPECIFICATIONS: Package contains (1) Accoutrements Novelty Christmas Candy Cane Gag Gift - Gravy Flavor - Pack of 6. Six 5-1/4" (13.3 cm) tall, flavored candy canes in illustrated box. Individually shrink wrapped. Ingredients: sugar, syrup, water, citric acid, artificial flavor and coloring.

Larvets Sampler Gift Pack- BBQ, Cheddar Cheese, & Mexican Spice

  • Sampler Gift Pack of 3
  • 100% REAL Worms
  • 1 BBQ
  • 1 Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 Mexican Spice

You might also be interested in crickets, silk worms, grasshoppers and ants.... all available through Amazon;

Crick-ettes Sampler Gift Pack- Sour Cream & Onion, Bacon & Cheese, & Salt N' Vinegar
Assorted Ant Sucker Lollipop - Pack of 4 - Blueberry, Apple, Banana, Watermelon
Edible Insects Bag of Mixed Edible Bugs. Grasshoppers, Crickets, Silk Worms and Sago Worms



What is left of the original 'War of 1812' Flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the Star Spangled Banner

Star-Spangled Banner and the War of 1812

The original Star-Spangled Banner, the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the song that would become our national anthem, is among the most treasured artifacts in the collections of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.


In the late 1800s, souvenirs, or relics, of important events and people in American history became highly prized and collectible objects.  The Star-Spangled Banner, historic and celebrated, was subjected to this practice.

The Armistead family received frequent requests for pieces of their flag, but reserved the treasured fragments for veterans, government officials, and other honored citizens.  As Georgiana Armistead Appleton noted, “had we given all that we have been importuned for little would be left to show.” Despite efforts to limit the practice, however, over two hundred square feet of the Star-Spangled Banner was eventually given away, including one of the stars.

By giving away snippings, the Armisteads could share the Star-Spangled Banner with others who loved the flag.  The citizens who received these mementos treated them with reverence and pride.  Some framed and displayed these pieces of history in their homes; others donated them to museums.  Today, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History has thirteen Star-Spangled Banner fragments in its collections.  Since conservators and curators cannot be sure from which part of the flag these fragments were taken, the pieces cannot be integrated back into the flag.  However, they can be analyzed, allowing conservators to document changes in the condition of the flag’s fibers and better understand how time and exposure to light and dirt have affected the flag.

By the time it arrived at the Smithsonian in 1907, the Star-Spangled Banner was already in a fragile and tattered condition. In 1914, the Smithsonian hired Amelia Fowler, a well-known flag restorer and embroidery teacher, to “resuscitate” the flag.  Working with a team of ten needlewomen, Fowler first removed a canvas backing that had been attached to the flag in 1873, when it was displayed and photographed for the first time at the Boston Navy Yard by Admiral George Preble.  The women then attached the flag to a new linen backing, sewing approximately 1.7 million interlocking stitches  to form a honeycomb-like mesh over the flag’s surface.  Fowler’s work took eight weeks (mid-May to mid-July 1914), and she charged the Smithsonian $1243: $243 for materials, $500 for herself, and $500 to be divided among her ten needlewomen.

The flag was then displayed in a glass case in the Smithsonian’s Arts and Industries Building.  It remained on view there for nearly 50 years, except for two years during World War II, during which time it was housed in a government warehouse in Virginia, to be protected from possible bombing raids on the nation’s capital.  In 1964 the flag was moved to the new National Museum of History and Technology (now the National Museum of American History), where it was displayed in the central hall on the second floor.


For detailed and illustrated stories of the British attack on Baltimore, the bombardment of Fort McHenry, and the writing of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” you find books available through these Amazon affiliate links;

Walter Lord, The Dawn’s Early Light (New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Co., Inc., 1992)
Scott S. Sheads, Fort McHenry (Santa Barbara, CA: Sequoia Press, 1989)
Scott S. Sheads, The Rockets’ Red Glare: The Maritime Defense of Baltimore 1814 (Centerville, MD: Tidewater Publishers, 1986)
Lonn Taylor, The Star-Spangled Banner: The Flag that Inspired the National Anthem (New York, NY: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 2000)

The argument for the voting age to be raised to 25 years old.....

Young people reacting to Hillary losing the Presidential election to President Donald Trump

Not only does the medical science behind the brain's development and lack of decision making and long-term consequences come into play on needing a minimum age 25 voting age; but it explains the lousy 'journalism' splashed all over the internet being touted as real news.  I often find 'news' articles written in the same voice and style as if the author of the bit was writing on their own personal blog - which is fine on a blog - but not if it's being passed around as real news.

They weren't THINKING as much as they were FEELING.  Good judgement and awareness of long-term consequences don't come into play until around age 25 or so.

"It doesn’t matter how smart teens are or how well they scored on the SAT or ACT. Good judgment isn’t something they can excel in, at least not yet. 

The rational part of a teen’s brain isn’t fully developed and won’t be until age 25 or so. 

In fact, recent research has found that adult and teen brains work differently. Adults think with the prefrontal cortex, the brain’s rational part. This is the part of the brain that responds to situations with good judgment and an awareness of long-term consequences. Teens process information with the amygdala. This is the emotional part.

In teen’s brains, the connections between the emotional part of the brain and the decision-making center are still developing—and not necessarily at the same rate. That’s why when teens experience overwhelming emotional input, they can’t explain later what they were thinking. They weren’t thinking as much as they were feeling."

Source:  University of Rochester Medical Center

Daylight Savings Time Makes A Second Twin Older Than His First Born Brother

Source: Facebook/Cape Cod Hospital Maternity

This morning I was sipping the last of my coffee and getting ready to brew a second when this story caught my attention.

When it comes to twins being born and having interesting stories about the timing of their birth, the most interesting I've heard of is when one twin is delivered for medical emergency reasons and the second twin is still ok so the mother's womb is closed up with the hope of keeping the baby in Mom as long as possible to allow for more growth and development and the 2nd is born weeks or even a month or so later... (I don't remember all the details to that one and don't feel like getting off topic and looking it up right now) OR one is born before midnight on December 31st and the sibling is born after midnight; making it a January 1st baby.  One more 'odd' birth circumstance is if the birth(s) are on a leap year.  You could have one born on February 29th and the next born just over midnight making it March 1st.  The 'twins' would not only have different birthdays, but one of them would only have an official birthday once every 4 years!

Ok... so that was all going through my head in about 3 SECONDS when I saw the headline of this news story, but it took much longer to type out. 

From the news this morning in  Hyannis, MA (WWBT) - Two little baby boys are born.


Little Samuel was born first, but his twin brother Ronan is older.

How is that possible?

Daylight savings!

Samuel was born at 1:39 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 6 
Ronan was born 31 minutes later. However, Daylight Saving Time ended and the time fell back one hour, making Ronan's official time of birth 1:10 a.m.

Cape Cod Hospital Maternity nurse, Deb Totten, said it was the first time she's ever seen this happen in over 40 years of nursing.



The t-shirt series: FUNNY COFFEE T-SHIRT (for men or women)

I love t-shirts and I love coffee - so it's only fitting that I sometimes browse Amazon to see what new coffee t-shirts they have.  And then of course, I share some of them!