Wal-Mart is welcoming "Christmas" back to its stores this year after being blasted by its customers last year for its avoidance of the word.

"This year, more than ever, our shoppers will see and hear more about Christmas," said John Fleming, executive vice president of marketing.

The world's largest retailer said it has produced a Christmas-specific television advertisement scheduled to break next week. Also, Wal-Mart will feature a series of television advertisements with a key charitable partner, the Salvation Army, that mention Christmas.

In stores, Wal-Mart's specific references to Christmas include:

• "The Christmas Shop", previously known as "The Holiday Shop" -- the location for shoppers' Christmas decorating needs.

• "Days 'til Christmas" signing will provide a countdown for customers.

• Gift card designs -- Customers will see Santa and "Merry Christmas" gift cards

• A number of seasonal merchandise selections renamed from 'Holiday' and labeled with 'Christmas' -- at an increase of over 60% from last year.

• Christmas carols ringing out in stores throughout the holiday season.

• Encouraging employees at Wal-Mart and Sam's Club to greet customers utilizing various glad tidings inclusive of, but not limited to, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Hanukkah and Feliz Navidad, to name a few.

• The company's Website, Walmart.com, will include dedicated pages for Christmas and other holidays, including Hanukkah and Kwanza.

• SAM'S CLUB membership magazines, including the upcoming December/January 06 Source Magazine, reference specific holidays, Christmas and others.