The “Best Practices for Inclusive Holiday Celebrations in the Workplace” holiday resource guide is mostly meant to ensure that supervisors aren’t accused of endorsing any particular religion, but the list itself makes that seem like a rather difficult task.
- Consider having a New Year’s party and include décor and food from multiple religions and cultures. Use it as an opportunity to reinvigorate individuals for the New Year’s goals and priorities.
- Supervisors and managers should not—as well as, not be perceived as—endorsing religion generally or a specific religion.
- If an individual chooses not to participate in a holiday party or celebration, do not pressure the person to participate. Participation should be voluntary.
- If a potluck-style party or celebration is planned, encourage employees to bring food items that reflect their personal religions, cultures, and celebrations. Use this as an opportunity for individuals to share what they brought and why it is meaningful to them.
- If sending holiday cards to campus and community partners, send a non-denominational card or token of your gratitude.
- Holiday parties and celebrations should not play games with religious and cultural themes. For example, “Dreidel” or “Secret Santa.” If you want to exchange gifts, then refer to it in a general way, such as a practical joke gift exchange or secret gift exchange.
- Décor selection should be general, not specific to any religion or culture. Identify specific dates when décor can be put up and when it must come down.
- Refreshment selection should be general, not specific to any religion or culture.
So, you can’t celebrate a religious holiday, but feel free to bring religious foods and talk about them. And feel free to decorate using decor from multiple religions, but don’t endorse religion. How does any of this work? Christmas is a religious holiday.
This headache of a list shouldn’t come as a surprise to those who recent read the University of Tennessee, Knoxville Office of Diversity and Inclusion’s “gender-neutral pronoun guide”. This is what a America has become. We’re so afraid of offending people that we have to create offices with long names to make suggestions on how to keep people happy.