Friday, December 12, 2008

PC on sharing your holiday spirit - informal survey


I'd like your feedback today on these two related question:


  • Is it appropriate to sing Christmas carols at community events not billed as Christmas events?

  • Should you send business Christmas cards?

Here's the background for my questions. I was at a community event a few days ago where the opening ritual typically includes a patriotic tune and the Pledge of Allegiance. After the patriotic tune this week the song leader spontaneously burst into "We Wish You A Merry Christmas." Simple enough.


Except wait. The next person on the agenda came to the podium and announced, "Next year I'm going to teach you 'I Have A Little Dreidel.'" He said it with good humor, but whoops! An assumption had been made that we would all be celebrating Christmas. I guess that Jewish gentleman finds a lot of occasions where he has to exercise his wit and choose not to take offense. I think he did a pretty graceful job of calling the situation to everyone's attention without hammering anyone with it.


A similar discussion has arisen regarding holiday cards. Should you and your business demonstrate your faith stance by sending Christmas messages? Is it OK to assume that non-Christians will receive them in the spirit in which they were intended - to spread the joy of the season? Or is it offensive in its presumptuousness? According to adherents.com, Christians only represent 33% of believers worldwide.

This goes for more than religion and holidays. Other big topics come under this "what is appropriate?" umbrella - politics, abortion rights, gay marriage - the list goes on and on. So what do you think? Is it better to steer clear of potential controversy, or do you think it's important to speak up (or sing out, or send) according to your values and let the chips fall where they may?

I welcome your comments. I'd like to hear what you think. Happy weekend.

1 comment:

-- Don said...

So much to say about.

People SHOULD NOT be offended when someone of another religious persuasion offers their blessings or wishes. It's meant in the spirit of good will.

But SHOULD NOT and reality can be far apart.

So, given that, I'd say go ahead and sing but do be inclusive if possible. At least let your INTENT to be inclusive well known.

Easy: Don't send cards to those who would be offended. Only send cards to people you _know_.

Personally, I find it a bit hokey to send out Christmas cards to all your customers "just because it's Christmas".

In the end, though, we do what we feel is best, with good intentions, and let things pretty much sort themselves out.