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How to Plan an Inoffensive Office Christmas Party


picture of the grinch

How can you plan an inoffensive office Christmas party? Read on....

Those of you who have been reading my iv's for any length of time know that I try to provide the best in good, clean humor. But you also know that in doing that, I am often not "politically correct." In fact, I have real issues with the direction that the PC crowd is striving to drag our society. I think of that right now because each year the attempts to remove Christ from Christmas become more blatant. (Imagine people trying to make some sort of connection between Christ and CHRISTmas! - tongue firmly planted in cheek....) With that in mind, I'm posting a satirical series of e-mail memos about one company's first annual "Office Christmas Party."

DISCLAIMER: today's instant vacation contains several things that I do not personally participate in, but I post this because illustrates so well why we wouldn't want a politically correct, pure democracy, especially in today's increasingly fragmented environment.

FROM: Pat Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: Everyone
RE: Office Christmas Party
DATE: December 1

I'm happy to inform you that the first of what we hope will become the annual Office Christmas Party will take place on December 23, starting at noon in the banquet room at Luigi's Open Pit Barbecue. There will be plenty of eggnog! We'll have a small band playing traditional carols ... feel free to sing along. And don't be surprised if our CEO shows up dressed as Santa Claus! Exchange of gifts among employees can be done at that time; however, no gift should be over $10.00 to make the giving of gifts easy for everyone's pockets. This gathering is only for employees! Our CEO will make a special announcement at that time!

Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Pat

========================================

FROM: Pat Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: Everyone
DATE: December 2
RE: Office Christmas Party

In no way was yesterday's memo intended to exclude our Jewish employees. We recognize that Chanukah is an important holiday which often coincides with Christmas. So we'll be calling it our "Holiday Party." The same policy applies to employees who are celebrating Kwanzaa at this time. There will be no Christmas tree present. No Christmas carols sung. We will have other types of music for your enjoyment. Everybody happy now?

Happy Holidays to you and your family.

Pat

========================================

FROM: Pat Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: Everyone
DATE: December 3
RE: Holiday Party

Regarding the note I received from a member of Alcoholics Anonymous, upset about the eggnog and requesting a non-drinking table ... you didn't sign your name. I'm happy to accommodate this request. But if I put a sign on a table that reads, "AA Only", you wouldn't be anonymous anymore. How am I supposed to handle this? Somebody?

Forget about the gifts exchange, no gifts exchange are allowed since the union members feel that $10.00 is too much money and executives believe $10.00 is a little chintzy.

NO GIFT EXCHANGE WILL BE ALLOWED.

Pat

========================================

FROM: Pat Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: Everyone
DATE: December 7
RE: Holiday Party

What a diverse company we are! I had no idea that December 20 begins the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which forbids eating and drinking during daylight hours. There goes the party! Seriously, we can appreciate how a luncheon this time of year does not accommodate our Muslim employees' beliefs. Perhaps Luigi's can hold off on serving your meal until the end of the party - the days are so short this time of year - or else package everything for take-home in little foil containers shaped like swans. Will that work?

Meanwhile, I've arranged for members of Overeaters Anonymous to sit farthest from the dessert buffet and pregnant women will get the table closest to the restrooms. We will have booster seats for short people. Low-carb and low-fat food will be available for those on a diet. We cannot control the salt used in the food, and we suggest that those people with high blood pressure taste their food first. There will be fresh fruits as dessert for diabetics since the restaurant cannot supply "No Sugar" desserts. Sorry!

Did I miss anything?

Pat

========================================

FROM: Pat Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: Everyone
DATE: December 8
RE: Holiday Party

So December 22 marks the Winter Solstice ... what do you expect me to do, a tap-dance on your heads? Fire regulations at Luigi's prohibit the burning of sage by our "earth-based goddess-worshiping" employees, but we'll try to accommodate your drumming circle during a break in the band music.

OK???

========================================

FROM: Pat Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: Everyone
Date: December 9
RE: Holiday Party

People, people, nothing sinister was intended by having our CEO dress up like Santa Claus! Even if the anagram of "Santa" does happen to be "Satan," there is no evil connotation to our own "little man in a red suit." It's a tradition, folks, like sugar shock from Easter candy or family feuds over the Thanksgiving turkey or broken hearts on Valentine's Day.

Could we lighten up?

========================================

FROM: Pat Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: Everyone
DATE: December 10
RE: Holiday Party

Vegetarians!?!?!? I've had it with you people!!! We're going to keep this party at Luigi's Open Pit Barbecue whether you like it or not, so you can sit quietly at the table furthest from the "grill of death," as you so quaintly put it, and you'll get your stupid salad bar, including hydroponic tomatoes ... but you know, they have feelings, too. Tomatoes scream when you slice them. I've heard them scream, I'm hearing them scream right NOW!

I hope you all have a rotten holiday!

========================================

FROM: Teri Bishop, Acting Human Resources Director
TO: Everyone
DATE: December 14
RE: Pat Lewis and Holiday Party

I'm sure I speak for all of us in wishing Pat Lewis a speedy recovery from her stress-related illness and I'll continue to forward your cards to her at the sanitarium.

In the meantime, management has decided to cancel our Holiday Party and give everyone the afternoon of the 23rd off with full pay. Thanks to our politically correct celebration of "diversity," we will not be able to enjoy a simple party together! We hope that this change does not offend anyone. If it does, GET A LIFE!

Happy Chanuk-Kwanzaa-Solsti-Rama-Mas! Whatever!

divider

Soooo... the way to have an inoffensive holiday party in some places is simply not to have one at all! Sadly, for those who get up every morning with a chip on their shoulder that they long to have someone knock off that day, that solution is what would make them truly happy - they're happy when no one's happy. Bah Humbug!

If you have some inoffensive or offensive favorite holiday traditions to share, please add your comment to this post. How do you handle those in your life who seem to be so eager to be offended?

quotation...

"True adoration comes not just from lips, but from lives." - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

Life is just a phase ... and you will get over it!


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17 Comments on “How to Plan an Inoffensive Office Christmas Party”

  1. #1 David McGuire
    on Dec 15th, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    Rob, you have stirred the pot!

    What really frosts me [since it’s below zero this morning here in Minnesota] is when a school has a Christmas Concert without any Christmas music that is in any way religious. Or the fact that Christmas Vacation is now Winter Vacation, but it must ALWAYS include the days immediately before and after December 25.

    Historians have even contributed to this so-called “political correctness” by insisting that dates incorporating “B.C.” and “A.D.” must now be “B.C.E” [Before the Common Era] and “C.E.” [Common Era]. We would not want to subject our students to the notion that the birth of Jesus Christ was somehow an important event. We still use the same years, but we avoid violating the separation of church and state by leaving students clueless as to why there is a “B.C.E.” and a “C.E.” I wonder why?

    Frankly, I invite you to join my new group: People Offended by People Who Are Too Easily Riled (POPWATER). That acronym took me a while, but how impressive would it be to say that you were a charter member of a group called POPWATER? On second thought, let’s forget the whole thing. And while we are at it, let’s just send the “political correctly” crowd on their way to the ash heap of history. I have had it with those people!

  2. #2 Matt
    on Dec 15th, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    Did you see that the “I Believe” SC license plates were blocked in court on grounds of separation of church and state? And here I thought that the plates were so watered down as to be worthless to true Believers. And someone still found them offensive.

    I love the recent comments I saw by atheists and such that commented that Happy Holidays was really Happy Holy-Days and consequently more offensive then Merry Christmas.

  3. #3 Nancy
    on Dec 15th, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    I guess this explains why in our office we’ve also chosen not to offend the families who favor courtship for their children. We now truncate a favorite holiday song and sing “Everybody knows a turkey.”

    Wonder what other holiday songs could take on new meaning with punctuation alterations. Hmm.

  4. #4 Michael
    on Dec 15th, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    The fact that Christmas is being watered down and that other religions are demanding that their holidays be recognized as well does not bother me. It is simply the logical progression of a country that values freedom of religion while it becomes religiously diverse. If we don’t want the Jews, Muslims, or atheists to have their religious sensitivities considered, then we should amend the First Amendment to get rid of freedom of religion.

    And we believers in Christ need to be careful. Christmas, like Easter, actually began as a pagan holiday that was Christianized in the early medieval world.

  5. #5 Rob
    on Dec 15th, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    @David – I sense I hit a hot button…. 🙂 You have made some valid points – Christmas programs without a thing about Christ and the initials B.C.E/C.E. that still use Christ’s birth as the turning point. Let me know how your new group POPWATER does, OK?

    @Matt – Yes, “I believe” is pretty nebulous. Evolutionists could say that concerning evolution, Buddhists could say that about Buddha, etc. What does “I believe” mean exactly?

    @Nancy – I’m glad that the mistletoe got snubbed and not stubbed. I can see the people in your office being extra careful in what they say or sing. If your creative mind does some work on other songs, I’d enjoy seeing them. For instance, you could come up with something like God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen.

    @Michael – I understand what you are saying. It does get to the point, though, as my satirical post points out, that no one can do much of anything because it’s not even always just about religion. Notice the other points such as dietary preferences/quirks, lavishness vs. frugality in lifestyle, etc.

    One of my friends in junior high and high school was a boy from a Jewish family. His parents ran a jewelry store in our small town, as did the grandparents from whom they’d inherited the store. In my naïveté at that stage of life, I didn’t even think about things like Christmas vs. Chanukah since they were the only Jewish people that this redneck kid knew. I would often buy gifts in their store at Christmas time and would wish them a Merry Christmas as I started to leave their shop. They smiled and wished me a Merry Christmas too, taking it as a friendly greeting rather than a slur. I think that if they had wished me a Happy Chanukah before I had a chance to say Merry Christmas to them, I probably would have said, “Thanks. Same to you!” (I have no way of knowing because they never did that.) I think that their act of gracious and tolerance seems to be a lost art in a day of people lusting for offense. But I realize I could be wrong….

  6. #6 Vikki
    on Dec 15th, 2008 at 3:51 pm

    I got over being upset by the world taking Christ out of Christmas a long time ago. It used to upset me, but now it only makes me sad. The true meaning of Christ’s birth was lost decades ago to a vast majority of our population. Just look around at the decorations – a Santa standing right next to a nativity scene. (What’s wrong with this picture?) And what are the kids taught? That Santa can be everywhere on Christmas Eve, that he’s watching you all the time, and he keeps a book with everyone’s name and what they do! (Do these attributes sound familiar?) The important thing is that Christians remember what the celebration is all about (and it isn’t the fat man in the red suit!).

  7. #7 Sherry
    on Dec 15th, 2008 at 4:07 pm

    I agree! A funny post–even if its resemblance to real life is all too accurate! 🙂 I’m glad I’ve always been privileged to work in politically incorrect environments!

    Joyeux Noel, M. Loach!

  8. #8 Bill Lowry
    on Dec 15th, 2008 at 5:19 pm

    Hey, what about the “mas” (=Mass) at the end of Christmas? How come nobody gets upset about that part? 🙂

  9. #9 Rob
    on Dec 15th, 2008 at 5:20 pm

    @Vikki – Thanks for your comment. It is really sad. I know that, as Michael pointed out, back in church history Christian elements were added to a pagan holiday that already existed to turn it into what we now celebrate as Christmas. Yet, there are centuries of wonderful traditions, many of them built on Biblical accounts of what happened before/at/following Christ’s birth. It’s truly sad to see that erode. Yet, believers have allowed many of the newer pagan trappings of Christmas to crowd Christ out too – as you pointed out with Santa standing at the nativity scene.

    @Sherry – Thanks for seeing the humor in the post and for being unabashedly un-PC! Joyeux Noël to you too!

  10. #10 Dave
    on Dec 16th, 2008 at 2:37 am

    Look at what you started, Rob.

    Bottom line for me: The Angel of the Lord didn’t come down and say, “And there is to be a holiday. And ye shall call it Christmas.”

    On a side note… If I were to find out that Christopher Columbus wore fur and was generally cruel to animals, could I have Columbus Day renamed?

  11. #11 Rob
    on Dec 16th, 2008 at 5:50 am

    @Bill Lowry – I think you’d get mixed reviews on the -mas part of Christmas. And how ’bout Xmas?

    @Dave – You’re right about there being no clear revelation that we should have such a holiday as Christmas. But I do enjoy many aspects of it, even though any of the meanings attached to it are lost for the majority of the people who celebrate it. When you think about it, though, we have a lot of holidays that have lost their meaning to most of the celebrants, including Columbus Day which is rich in its original intent. Since we have Christmas and it does have some sort of vague connection with Christ and His birth, I like to see His followers use that opportunity to celebrate the absolute miracle of His incarnation and the reason that He came – Easter – when we remember His death on the cross for our sins and celebrate His victory over death and the tomb. But going back to your original premise, we have no clear revelation that there should be one particular holiday for that – it’s what we are supposed to be doing every Sunday.

  12. #12 Vikki
    on Dec 18th, 2008 at 8:37 am

    In the above, I was commenting on the comments. Now, let me comment on the blague.

    I loved it! You can’t make everyone happy and you’ll drive yourself nuts trying.

    Unfortunately, our society has become a group of “me first” thinkers. Remember the book that came out about 30 years ago, “I’m OK, Your’re OK”? Maybe it needs to come back around again.

    Let just say, Merry Christmas to all!

  13. #13 Rob
    on Dec 18th, 2008 at 9:25 am

    @Vikki – Thanks for stopping back by. I always appreciate your comments and understand the spirit in which they are made. You have a great ability to contribute much to the discussion. I agree about the “me” generation. I’ve had a blog post simmering on a back burner for a while about narcissism. As great as it is to be concerned about whatever minority it might be, it does seem that the demands made by some rob the huge minority of a lot. This is just an example and not possibly the best since it’s one of literal life and death ramifications, but it’s the only one that comes to my tired exam-week brain, so here goes…. Just because a child in a school is allergic to peanuts, it seems a bit much to forbid the rest of the children to bring anything with peanuts to school. But that’s the kind of over-reactive mentality that exists out there. No one should enjoy it if I don’t or can’t. I know if it were my child, I would want and expect that child’s teacher to be aware of it and to try to protect my child from coming into contact with it. But to ban it from an entire school because of my child, I don’t know.

  14. #14 Mrs. Troop
    on Dec 18th, 2008 at 9:30 am

    Great post – and discussion. I was so blessed to be raised in a home where my parents taught me the true meanings of the holidays – and discouraged things like Santa and the Easter bunny. Just the other day we had a discussion about the time of year when Jesus really was born. We shouldn’t take for granted the privilege of teaching our own children what we believe – or the option of having them in a school where those beliefs are echoed. Maybe we should take that responsibility more seriously – lest we lose it.

    On another note – some people are just out looking to be offended. I don’t want to be one of them. However, we need to remember that the gospel, itself, is offensive. 🙂

  15. #15 Rob
    on Dec 18th, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    @Mrs. Troop – Thanks for the good comment, Karen. I’m thankful for the upbringing that you had and that your kids are enjoying. With our kids, we had fun with Santa and the Easter bunny, but we made it clear that they are just make-believe, constantly highlighting the real reasons for the holidays. As far as offense is concerned, you’ve undoubtedly heard the old truism – it’s .to move without producing friction. There are times when offense is the only option, as in the truth of the gospel. In cases like that, we should not shrink from the offense. To do so is to disobey. We just need to make sure that it’s the truth itself and not our manner of delivering it that is the cause of offense.

  16. #16 Sue
    on Dec 19th, 2008 at 7:36 pm

    From what I’ve read, when “Xmas” first came about, it was not meant disrespectfully or to take “Christ” out of Christmas. The Greek letter Chi stood for “Christ” in the ancient Greek. See
    http://www.snopes.com/holidays/christmas/xmasabbr.asp However, in our current culture, I prefer not to see the abbreviation, since this is a lesser known fact and does seem to be edging away from including our Savior on His birthday.

    Merry Christmas to all!

  17. #17 Rob
    on Dec 20th, 2008 at 7:07 am

    @Sue – Thanks for the comment and the link. That’s the way with languages – what has a meaning and usage now may abruptly change or be used so infrequently that the original meaning is lost, as in the case of the “X” of Xmas. Even if it originally was the Greek letter Chi standing for Christ, that is totally lost on the bulk of humanity for whom it’s all Greek. It now seems more like a way to remove Christ from Christmas. Some are reluctant to use a newer Bible translation where archaic terms are replaced by what the original Greek was actually saying, but in current terms. There are perfectly good terms that I no longer use because of the current connotations. That’s life! Thanks for adding the insight, Sue.