Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Christmas Controversy at Work

So I work at a small business and our owners went away on a ten day cruise. They left us no Christmas Decor and no money for me to purchase decor. I wanted our place to be holiday friendly so I took $10 form the cash box and headed over to the good ole dollar tree. There I purchased a few non- controversial holiday items. I didn't get any Santa stuff, or Hanukkah stuff, or anything else that I thought could be tied into a religion. Why? because parents, especially the wealthy one we serve can and will complain about anything. I can recall my first year working in childcare and I brought in Easter Bunny pics for the kids to color and the parents had a fit! I got reprimanded and told that you have to be sensitive to peoples beliefs, and not offensive. Gasp! I was shocked I didn't see the harm in coloring the Easter bunny. It was a church based center so I chalked it up to that. Then a couple years later at another daycare that was not church orientated we made Santas. A parent was very offended and complained. Again. Uggh. So needless to say although I disagree with this I have learned my lesson and try to keep holiday crafts mutual. So that is also how I decorated.
A poinsettia- Just a flower right?
A golden mini tree- Just a tree right?
Hard to see, My camera sucks. But here is the tree, poinsettia, and penguins (conveniently cut off the top of the pic)
Snow flakes and penguins.
I chose the method of celebrating winter opposed to Christmas per se that way I stand no chance of upsetting anyone. Oh, by the way keep in mind I had  $10 budget for the time being. Here's some pics of my decor.

We have this huge silver snowflakes floating in each of our lobby windows

I thought I did just fine. Then one of my coworkers shows up and says "seriously? This is our Christmas decor?"
"Uh yeah" I say. What were you expecting?"
"Santa, a big tree, some angels etc."
SO I explained to her why we did not have any for that stuff. She wasn't buying it. She felt that the parents/customers must just get over it and if they do not celebrate Santa that doesn't mean we should not. I agree but I also pride myself in learning from my past. So that was that. Until l this morning when I arrived at work and this was taped to the computer on the front desk.

My funny little coworker clipped this article out and left it for me. The article is basically about the same thing we had just discussed yesterday. And the author is saying that the joy of Christmas is embracing and celebrating many different traditions of Christmas. I AGREE! But I am only the manager not the owner.

I thought her approach was subtle yet direct, funny yet serious. I commend her complaint tactics. I love my staff.


  1. Second blog I've read today about this topic. I don't begrudge the whole "Happy Holidays" thing, it is all-inclusive, but I do think people are ridiculous for complaining about being wished a Merry Christmas, or whatever. The sentiment is the same whether we say Holidays, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or whatever. How can we know what religion everyone is, or what holiday they're celebrating? The point is, I want it to be a happy, Merry, Jolly, festive one, and it shouldn't matter which word is tacked on to the end of it. That we are so offended so easily by something like that... it's just silly.

    That said, in the work place like that, I totally get your reasoning and would probably make the same choice.

    " There's only two things I hate in this world. People who are intolerant of other people's cultures and the Dutch." -Nigel Powers ;)

  2. You will never make everyone happy. People like to complain about *everything*! Makes me want to be more of a hermit! LOL.

  3. ETW said it all - You will never make everyone happy. - Ever.

  4. I'm perfectly happy with Christmas and Santa and all that stuff until someone tries to force it on me. I think some people just feel it's being forced on them even when it isn't.

    And some people are just so damn touchy. haha

  5. Santa has nothing to do with any damn religion that I am aware of. Christians believe it's Jesus birth right? Where does Santa fit in? It can all be so confusing.

    I say Merry Christmas to everyone.
    I have a Jewish friend who told me people wish her Merry Christmas all the time and it doesn't offend her one bit because she understands the sentiment. She never corrects them.

    I think we all need to lighten up. Or have Hanukkah and Christmas pictures to color and decorations. That solves everything but Kwanza I suppose. :-)

  6. Seriously, you can't do anything without pissing off someone. I love your decor. Pretty good job with $10.

  7. I can give you some suggestions about exactly how you can return that clipping to your co-worker.

  8. Great job! Sometimes people can just be so overly sensitive.

    I never really understood the whole principle that if ONE person complains then it must be listened to. I have many complaints that are just out-right crazy, I'll admit. Like why doesn't Wal-mart smell like a vanilla bean? and why can't we celebrate any other of Jesus' birthdays...like his 21st? Why always with the birth?

    YET....I don't expect to tell anyone or anyone to listen. All it does it reinforce that opinionated, loud-mouthed, busy-body to complain everywhere they go. Bah!

    Great job with your decorations by the way! The dollar tree has some pretty cool things.

  9. People love to complain! I don't know how you can do anything at all without hearing someone complain about it. Seems pretty sad to have the children coloring POINSETTIAS at Christmas time, right? Ha! People are out of control.