Corporate Christmas?

Holidays are usually perceived as a happy, carefree time of year, however, when reaching the holiday season corporations have to discuss and agree upon the appropriate way to acknowledge the different holidays. This is especially true in public school systems. In a school system such as a catholic school it is to be expected which holidays will be celebrated and even taught. However, in the case of UNCW, a public, non-denominational university special considerations must be made in order to not offend or exclude different beliefs. Instead of putting up specific decorations UNCW puts up things like wreaths with pretty red bows and some simple white lights. In my opinion they do a very tasteful and appropriate display of festivity without any favoring of a certain holiday or religion.

This same phenomena can be seen in large business setting corporations. Many times instead of Merry Christmas you will see “Happy Holidays” or instead of hosting a Christmas party it will be titled as a Holiday Party. This sensitivity to others beliefs is respected in the office I work in, instead of sending Christmas cards to the donors and committee members the secretary sends out Thanksgiving cards that are very general and just say how appreciative our office is of our donors.

This is not to say that the holidays are overlooked. There are still things such as holiday grab-a-dates, tacky Christmas sweater parties, decorations, holiday breaks from school, delicious food and even some festive weather to look forward to!
-Emily Hunter

7 thoughts on “Corporate Christmas?

  1. I think holidays pose a problem for many corporations today. Companies are more concious of what they “sell” because they do not want to offend any specific race or religion. I find myself often thinking twice about what I say when I talk about religion or cultures because I fear I may affend someone. We are seriously walking on egg shells. Although I feel it is of utmost importance to respect different cultures and their beliefs, I also fear that we are becoming to concious… especially because I feel as a country we are more racist then we have ever been.

  2. I think it’s a great idea that many corporations and public schools have changed from representing one holiday like Christmas to representing all holidays. You pointed out the typical “Merry Christmas” signs have now changed to “Happy Holidays.” I see it everywhere. I believe that it makes everybodys day better because nobody is offended and everyone can smile when they see it.

  3. I think that it is really nice that companies respect all religions when talking about the holiday season. It is also a good way to make more people spend more money if you support all holidays. If cards just said Merry Christmas then they wouldn’t appeal to everyone.

  4. I think that companies have definitely expanded to include broader psychographics which is essential in business today. Not everybody is the same religion and by saying things like “Happy Holidays” it can include everyone. Some customers and clients may feel isolated if they don’t get included in holiday celebrations. But with this tactic it makes everyone feel included and everyone can celebrate their own holiday.

  5. Before coming to college, I attended Catholic, private schools all my life. In these schools, we said prayers every morning and every afternoon, had religion classes, and we even wore uniforms. We celebrated Catholic holidays including Christmas and Easter and we never got off of school for any other holidays like Rash Hashanah or Yom Kippur. So, coming to a public college was very difficult for me. Not only did I actually have to buy real people clothing other than uniforms, but I also had to deal with the fact that no one says “Merry Christmas”. Instead, to be more politically correct, people say “Happy Holidays”. I don’t find it offensive whatsoever – just different from what I’m used to. I understand that businesses have to look at holidays like this too in order to please all of their customers, not just a select few.

  6. Holidays are a very difficult time of year for companies to try and celebrate without offending any of their employees or their cleintele. Trying not to be objective and being careful in how they set up decorations for parties and office cubicles is a process that must be thought out carefully. For me, I don’t mind seeing “Merry Christmas” banners and signs hanging up everywhere, or even signs that say “Jesus is the reason for the season.” But I know this is not a safe concept for most corporations. Keeping the decorations and holiday greetings as vague as possible is probably the best way to go. I think it might be interesting to try and cover each religion’s beliefs through each holiday, such as putting up Christmas and Hannuka decorations. However, that is still risky considering the feeling of atheists and the risk you run of leaving out a religion. The best policy for companies is to keep it simple and non-controversial, which can be good or bad depending on your outlook of the holiday season.

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