My company throws a huge all-employee party every December. Until recently, everyone called it the Christmas Party. Two years ago, the name was changed officially to Holiday Party. For two years (around the time of the party), several employees have complained loud, long and frequently about the name change. They said it minimizes the true meaning of Christmas and insults their religion. It is time for our holiday party planning meetings to begin next month. I am in charge of them and am dreading a continuation of the whining. Do you have any advice for how I can put this issue to rest once and for all?
Dear Scrooge-ish –
Move the annual party from December to February. Duh.
– Evil Skippy
Actually, holding the annual party in a different month is a great idea unless there is some time-specific business reason for having it in December. I would certainly prefer big business parties to be in some month other than December. I am so busy with so many activities around the holidays that postponing one would be a relief. February and March are kind of slow – having a big party then instead of December would be a blast.
I understand that tradition and other factors may compel that the party stay in December. Like yours, many employers have started referring to these events as “Holiday Parties” rather than “Christmas Parties” and usually a segment of the employee population is upset about the name-change. Accusations of political correctness and anti-Christianity abound. This is sad. We are talking about a social event, not philosophy or spiritual activity. Who cares what we call it so long as there are lots of refreshments and good music?
Complaints about the name change will dwindle with time. They always do. If someone raises a serious complaint, remind him or her that the employer is not hosting a religious event so there is no reason to call the event a Christmas Party. It is just a party and no insult was meant to anyone. Then offer him or her an egg nog and find someone else to talk to.