Hobby Lobby Shoppers Threaten to Boycott Over Christmas Ornaments

Customers were up in arms for the second time this holiday season.

Christmas is officially 10 days away, meaning it's time to finish decorating your tree, if you haven't already. Lights and ornaments are also a must—and if you're looking for some updated decorations, they might also be on your shopping list. While Hobby Lobby is normally a go-to store for these products, some shoppers say they're no longer heading in this holiday season. Customers weren't too pleased with some of the retailer's ornament offerings, taking to social media to call the retailer out and even suggest a boycott.

RELATED: Hobby Lobby Shoppers Threaten to Boycott Over Pulled Holiday Merchandise.

After receiving reader inquiries, Snopes looked into claims that Hobby Lobby was selling different ammunition-themed Christmas ornaments. When looking on Hobby Lobby's website and searching "shotgun," many ornaments show up, including several different shotgun shell ornaments, many of which are "out of stock online."

Snopes highlighted social media outcry surrounding the ornaments, including a Nov. 16 Facebook post with a photo taken at a Hobby Lobby store. The picture shows the "Shotgun Shell Wreath Ornament," as well as other ammunition ornaments.

"I shop at the [Hobby Lobby] somewhat regularly, but this baffles me," the text overlaying the picture reads. "They don't stock Halloween items [because] evil, but do sell ammo ornaments for the birth of Christ?"

In the caption, the poster noted that they had taken the photo from a friend, but cited it as "one of the MANY reasons why I don't do Hobby Lobby."

In a Dec. 7 post, another shopper wrote, "Some of us didn't need one more reason to never set foot in a Hobby Lobby store but they just gave me one more," attaching what appears to be the same photo of the in-store shotgun shell ornaments. The text overlaying the picture also says that the decorations are "another reason I boycott Hobby Lobby."

In response, other shoppers decried the ornaments, with one writing, "From day one I have refused to step foot into that store due to the very things just mentioned. You can bet that I will continue to do so."

Snopes did point out that the ornaments were meant to appeal to shoppers who enjoy hunting and fishing. The investigative website looked at the Hobby Lobby page's source code, concluding that when people searched for hunting ornaments or fishing ornaments, these ornaments would populate. When searching for hunting ornaments, for example, the shotgun shell ornaments came up, even though "hunting" isn't noted in the ornaments' product names or description.

Best Life reached out to Hobby Lobby for comment on the situation and will update the story with its response. However, this isn't the first backlash that the retailer has faced. Read on for a look back at some of the store's biggest controversies over the past few years.

RELATED: Target Shoppers Threaten Boycott Over Shocking Age Restriction.

Hobby Lobby was enmeshed in controversy just last month.

christmas decorations at hobby lobby
Retail Photographer / Shutterstock

Earlier this holiday season, shoppers were outraged and threatened to boycott over the fact that Hobby Lobby wasn't selling any Hanukkah merchandise. Snopes again confirmed the rumors that the arts and crafts retailer stopped selling these products, as well as Mardi Gras and Halloween products.

"The decision on what to offer our customers are based on many factors, including customer interest and what sells well," a statement read to Snopes by a Hobby Lobby corporate customer service employee reads.

The statement continued, "Our seasonal merchandise assortment carried at Hobby Lobby is constantly changing, and they evaluate it annually. Due to the need to find additional space for some of our stronger categories as well as our newer ones, the decision was made over the last couple of years to discontinue several seasonal product lines, including Mardi Gras, Halloween and Hanukkah."

On its website, the arts and crafts retailer writes that it is committed to "honoring the Lord in all we do by operating the company in a manner consistent with Biblical principles," and identifies itself as a "Christian Company."

RELATED: Walmart Shoppers Threaten Boycott Over Self-Checkout Policy.

They ran into similar issues a decade ago.

wooden menorah with lit shamash and first night candle
iStock/amite

While shoppers were up in arms over the lack of Hanukkah merchandise this year, it's not the first time this issue has come up.

In 2013, the retailer was under fire when a shopper in Marlboro, New Jersey, noticed that Hanukkah merchandise wasn't available. When the shopper asked an employee about the situation, they were allegedly told, "We don't cater to you people," NBC News reported.

When another Marlboro resident, Ken Berwitz, called Hobby Lobby about the situation, they were told that the lack of Hanukkah merchandise was due to the religious beliefs of Hobby Lobby founder David Green.

"Because Mr. Green is the owner of the company, he's a Christian, and those are his values," Berwitz alleged he was told.

Hobby Lobby's president Steve Green did end up issuing an apology, stating that Hobby Lobby "has a deep respect for the Jewish faith and those who hold its traditions dear." At that point, Hobby Lobby also confirmed it would be selling Jewish holiday items at stores in New York and New Jersey "due to overwhelming demand in the Northeast."

Hobby Lobby ran into issues during the COVID-19 pandemic, too.

A sign hanging on a businesses door telling customers they are closed due to COVID-19
iStock

The COVID-19 pandemic was a rough time for retailers, many of which closed in order to prevent the spread of the virus. However, Hobby Lobby reopened early on, in March 2020, arguing that it was an essential retailer, Business Insider reported. Green also told employees that his wife, Deborah, received a message from God that compelled them to leave stores open.

Hobby Lobby did eventually have to abide by state orders to shut down, but in April 2020, they reopened multiple locations, per Business Insider. Subsequently, in light of criticism about endangering employees by staying open, the company told them it would temporarily close and furlough employees.

RELATED: 5 Secrets Hobby Lobby Doesn't Want You to Know.

Hobby Lobby was caught up in issues with the Department of Justice.

Art auction
ART STOCK CREATIVE/Shutterstock

Back in July 2021, Hobby Lobby was in the hot seat again when the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) seized a portion of the Epic of Gilgamesh from the Museum of the Bible, which Hobby Lobby owns, Business Insider reported.

In a press release, the DOJ confirmed that the Gilgamesh Dream Tablet—one of the most ancient works that originated in modern-day Iraq–entered the U.S. "contrary to federal law" and was sold to Hobby Lobby by an auction house for display. Law enforcement agents took the tablet from the museum in Sept. 2019, and Hobby Lobby "consented to the tablet's forfeiture based on the tablet's illegal importations."

"This forfeiture represents an important milestone on the path to returning this rare and ancient masterpiece of world literature to its country of origin," Jacquelyn M. Kasulis, Acting U.S. Attorney at that time, said in the press release. "This Office is committed to combating the black-market sale of cultural property and the smuggling of looted artifacts."

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Abby Reinhard
Abby Reinhard is a Senior Editor at Best Life, covering daily news and keeping readers up to date on the latest style advice, travel destinations, and Hollywood happenings. Read more
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