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USA Today reports that one year after Wal-Mart got grief from some quarters because it downplayed the Christmas part of the end-of-year holidays, it will make sure that Christmas themes are visible to consumers during the 2006 holiday season.

"We, quite frankly, have learned a lesson from last year," Wal-Mart spokeswoman Linda Blakley tells the paper. "We're not afraid to use the term 'Merry Christmas.' We'll use it early, and we'll use it often."

USA Today writes that what was called the ‘Holiday Shop” last year will be called the “Christmas Shop” this year, that signs in-store will count down the days until Christmas, and that “about 60% more merchandise will be labeled "Christmas" rather than "holiday" this year over last.”
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