Monday, December 14, 2015

My Christmas PSA

So you've been put on the committee to organize your office Christmas party. I'm so sorry.

The food and drinks are the least of your problems, of course. While the clear majority of your fellow employees will celebrate Christmas when at home, you are not allowed to even refer to Christmas in your party.

I still shudder from the YEG (Year-End Gathering) or the BYG (Beginning of the Year Gathering), depending on when work loads allowed us to celebrate, where I spent a couple decades.

If you too are struggling with what to call your Anything But Christmas (ABC) party, let me repeat my what should be an annual bit of helpful wordsmithing acronym design that may allow you to avoid the Christmas wars as you celebrate Christmas:

I'm not offended if someone doesn't celebrate Christmas--either the buying or God version. But why shouldn't I wish you a Merry Christmas? I promise I won't get upset if you wish me a merry/happy/joyous something else. I'll thank you for including me in your celebration rather than being darkly suspicious that you are secretly trying to convert me.

But the war on Christmas will go on regardless of my preference. So let me add my traditional salvo to the war. You can't celebrate Christmas as work?

Fine. Celebrate C.H.R.I.S.T.M.A.S.

I'll repeat the back story. At my last job, we could not celebrate Christmas. We had the Year End Gathering (joyously called the YEG). At least once we had the Beginning of the Year Gathering (BYG) when time didn't allow a pre-New Year celebration.

One year, in response to a challenge, while I walked to my parking spot, I came up with an acronym to celebrate C.H.R.I.S.T.M.A.S.--Collective Holiday Reflecting Individual Sentiments To Mark Another Season. See? No religion involved. Not even in theory amidst the secular Santas and Reindeer and Snow Men.

I was widely saluted for the acronym. But the man in charge of the party that year did not have the nerve to use it. Nor did any of the people in charge of the next several celebrations, as I repeated the suggestion year after year.

I wasn't going to volunteer for the thankless job, obviously.

It has yet to catch on, as you know. But I'll keep promoting it.

I'm still hoping this might catch on.

So Merry Christmas out there. Or C.H.R.I.S.T.M.A.S., if you have to.