My humble opinion on
December 10, 2001
Tis the Season
It's that wonderful time of year
again, jam-packed malls, crowded parking lots, short tempers, rude
shoppers, ruder employees. Fake Santas, overpriced toys, shoddy service,
Christmas trees turning into torches, spiked eggnog, and Christmas
Wait a minute. Strike that last one.
At least where my wife and I work.
I've been at my company since April
1994. For the first couple years, it was indeed a Christmas Party,
complete with Christmas trees and decorations. One year, an employee
even played a Christmas carol (a Christian one!) on the
Then it turned into a Holiday Party,
but the trees and decorations were still there. Until a couple years
ago, when those went away too.
Finally, this year, the Holiday Party
is dead, replaced with something called the First Annual Employee
Appreciation Party. It just happens to occur on December 21. Merely a
coincidence, I'm sure. The posters plastered all over the building show
no Christmas or even Holiday decorations or even references.
It may be worse at my wife's place of
employment. She's a health inspector. She's been working at her
regional office for six years. Every year, she and her colleagues
decorate the office with Christmas decorations, and host a potluck for
the entire department, including other regional offices. For the past
three years, my wife and another colleague have planned this party.
This year, her co-workers gave her a
break, and someone else is planning the Christmas party. Only it's not a
Christmas party. This year, years and years of tradition at that
regional office will be shattered. It will be a "Western
Lights" party. The office will put up lights but no Christmas
decorations. It is not a Christmas party.
The organizers have done this because
one employee is a Jehovah's Witness, and does not observe or celebrate
Christmas. They did not want this one person in an office of about 20
employees to feel offended or excluded.
Never mind that this person has worked
there for two or three years and never uttered one peep of protest or
complaint about the annual Christmas party. The employee just didn't
attend. My wife and her colleagues never hassled their colleague for
this. They accepted the decision. In no way have they made the employee
feel excluded or not a member of the team because of this absence from
the Christmas party.
But that didn't matter to the
organizers. They wanted to be tolerant and open-minded, and not give
offense. Of course, they've actually offended most of the people in the
office, who wanted a Christmas party. But they don't count. Their
feelings don't matter.
Civil libertarians and some on the
left often speak of the tyranny of the majority, in which 51% of a
voting body can trample the rights of the other 49%. In this case,
though, we have the tyranny of the minority, in which an even smaller
group of people can dictate to the vast majority how a holiday can be
A few years ago, during Christmastime,
my wife and I were eating dinner in the Olive Garden. Christmas carols
were piped in over the loudspeakers, and it struck me that this is the
only time of year in which explicitly Christian songs are heard in the
I wonder how much longer this will
last when I see what's happened to the office Christmas party. It really
is a farce, and even a denial of reality. The only reason companies
throw parties this time of year is because it's Christmas. Not because
of Hanukah, and certainly not because of Kwanzaa. Not that Hanukah is
not important and cherished by many (don't get me started on Kwanzaa).
It's because of Christmas, and Christmas alone.
So I say bring back the Christmas
party, and stop denying reality. We celebrate because it's Christmas,
and for no other reason. And there's nothing wrong with that.
So Merry Christmas everyone.