Christmas party for ~1500 staff, plus onsite BBQ, plus departmental lunch, plus individual section lunches (although this last category are generally BYO or pay to play events, but we get time off to attend...)
I work for a not-for-profit health system, so there are limited company funds for social events. This was a rude awakening after working for various manufacturing companies where Christmas parties often included prime rib dinners and open bar (at least when times were good...it might be chicken and cash bar some years!).
We don't have a company-wide party, but each department is free to do their own party if they choose. Our little group - twenty or so programmers and systems analysts - have a lunchtime potluck. Some years we each draw a country/region to represent with the dish we bring. This year we're doing categories instead - food on a stick, food to dip, rolled food, stuffed food, or layered food. It's fun to have to stretch outside our comfort zones a bit, and the variety is always awesome. There are even prizes for the best dishes (we all vote) which adds to it.
"Every stupid thing I've ever done seemed like a good idea at the time." -- my Dad
My company goes all out for Christmas. The company is owned privately by the President and he gives HR a loooot of freedom to make sure we always have awesome parties.
Our Christmas party is always at a nice hotel or banquet room. Semi-formal. Everyone from around the world gets flown in to attend the party. You can bring a partner with you (Doesn't have to be spouse, could just be a friend). Open bar pretty much all night. Food is high quality. Entertainment is done partially by the employees themselves. We have our own rock band that practices for weeks before the party, complete with several different singers and even some awesome dancers that did some cool choreography!
On top of that everybody got brand new 8GB iPod touches. Even better than that, every year we get the usual stat holidays for Xmas and New Year's, but everyone also gets those annoying days in between off as well, without having to dip into your regular allotted vacation time. So no one comes into work between Xmas and New Year's!
Our Christmas parties are usually pretty awesome, but this year's party was definitely the best. That's probably why we have 90-95% attendance!
The over-boss turns up 30 min late and tells us lots of tedious stuff we already knew. Then we get to attack the buffet. Then there is a magician - that's fun. Then the old hands tell us how much more fun these parties were 20 years ago, and how much they drank then, and how they got home, and what their wives said...
Sometimes it defies logic - if this "holiday" wasn't created to celebrate Christ's coming to earth, then why did it start? Why do we give gifts? It's to show love to others like God the Father did by sending Christ to earth to save mankind. PC has definitely stolen some important things in American life!
The "holiday" was originally a Winter Solstice festival before the Christian church took it over.
Having said that, it's still an important time to celebrate with friends and family and even with colleagues. Christmas, (C)Hannuka(h), Solstice, whatever.
As for the PC brigade, I wonder if they ever actually *asked* the people they think are being offended? Personally, I'd be offended if somebody assumed I'd be offended about something without actually asking.
Agreed about the Winter Solstice. But how many people would be celebrating Winter Solstice which was a pagan holiday? The birth of Christ is what December 25th is all about; at least in this country.
I think you make a good point about asking those whom they think they are offending. Seems we're more worried about what people think than thinking ourselves.
Really, it's no one's birthday: just created to fit the calendar, for there is no particular record - or, for simplicities sake, ask a member of the Greek Orthodox faith the calendar date of your festival.
And that's what the December celebration was: the festival of Janus, the two-faced god of coming-and-going (amongst other things). Hence, the new year is this time of year.
The gifts, yule-logs, tree decorations? They're all from what you'd call pagan customs and rituals. The christian church adopted a tremendous amount of this stuff, decorated it to suit there needs, and went on celebrating them. It was a good way to get converts.
Other examples (sorry to burst more of your bubbles): easter bunnies and eggs? All are from the fertility festivities that were part of the coming of spring.
Before you reply, however, consider the following: you faith should secured by its philosophical teachings and values, and not the decorative trappings. If the above notes really do anything to harm the worthwhile aspects of your beliefs, then you should have a long and hard think. There are, indeed, christian sects who disavow all of the seasonal trappings in the practice of their faith: does that make them less christian?
Try Malachi 1:11 - and I suggest you try several translations, for some tend to distort this message, from a recognized prophet, which is that all believers, in all faiths, are acceptable.
'For, from the rising of the sun to its going in, Great [is] My name among nations, And in every place incense is brought nigh to My name, and a pure offering, For great [is] My name among nations'
"As far as we know, our computer has never had an undetected error." - Weisert
I understand about the acquisition of some pagan holidays after the conversion of Constantine. My faith in Jesus Christ is not based on my feelings about Christmas and Easter. I do know that Jesus Christ was born on earth, was crucified and rose three days afterward. I have no particular feelings about a specific day.
Regarding Mal 1:11 - people are certainly free to believe what they want, thanks to our fighting men and women and our constitution. In reading verse 1 of Malachi 1, the audience is Israel, which was practicing Judaism.
I don't really want to get into a religious argument. My salvation through Jesus Christ is very real experience. There's an old saying - A man with an argument is always at the mercy of a man with an experience.
I respect anyone's right to practice their beliefs. Not withstanding, I hold fast to my faith as a Christian and would encourage anyone to read John 14:6 where Jesus says, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life - no one comes to the Father but by me.
Again, I respect everyone's right to their own beliefs. In America, we owe thanks for that right to those who held to Judeo-Christian beliefs and founded this country.
In my office we have muslims, hindus, jews, christians (of several different denominations), budhists, agnostics, atheists. Some of them fall into more than one category. Everyone is celebrating Christmas, both personally, and as an office.
As a programmer and a Pastor of a small church (two full time vocations is a pain) I have had many conversations recently about celebrating or not celebrating Christmas, and personally I feel the most important question is, "why are you celebrating Christmas"?
I am celebrating, remembering the coming of the saviour of the World, 2000 years ago (day irrelevant), and some of my collegues are celebrating another year in their families without killing each other.
Aside from the 'company' party, there are numerous local parties on (usually) Dec 24th - in my group, it is put on by a group who are Buddhists.
It's really a holiday party, rather than a christmas party. This is not due to "PC" fears, but rather to what this time of year is (at least in the urban parts of the US) - the holiday season.
We're together - having a good time - the corn, the wine, and the oil of plenty - and doing it together. That is the cause for celebration. Those in your office who are not christians - that's what they celebrate with you. This short period when people are nicer to one another (even to strangers) Were these people to debate this (with you), it would certainly be considered bad taste on their part (Why did they come? is then overheard). There are many times when minorities have learned to smile and nod their heads in agreement. They are celebrating with you - perhaps even for you and your joy - but celebrating christmas, per se? Hmmmm . . .
The above is just opinion; what follows, however, is food for thought. All the complaints about Political Correctness - how disingenuous! It is (almost invariably) the words of those who are in ownership of the expression that was changed. Were that shoe on the other foot - perhaps they'd want a little consideration for their sensibilities.*
It's really a matter of considering the context: if you send holiday cards, is it not inconsiderate to send a non-christian a deeply religious christian theme? The question, really, is how does one take into account other's sensibilities?
Unfortunately, one can always find absurd 'PC' examples and use them to try discredit the concept of considering the feelings of others . . . by giving them a label. For a christian church to avoid calling its party a 'christmas party' would be absurd. For a municipality with a diversity of citizens, who are equal partners, it really does make sense. Context. Context. Context.
There's a Native American saying: 'Let me not criticize another man until I have walked a mile in his moccasins'.
A favorite theme in Mid-America: Put prayer back in schools. These half-wits think that the prayer will be to their liking - but what if the teacher leads in a daily praise of satan?
Funny that, just about a week ago, there was a secret party on in Dublin - a banking organization, but they have named it as "Employee Awards" party, the crowd were caught all dressed to the nines having a crafty smoke outside a building when really it was a "Christmas Party" but they were all told to keep quiet and not let members of the public know!!!
They did not call it as such as to not cause an outrage when the recession is going on as a lot of companies have cut out christmas parties...sad I know...
The only hitch to the affair was that the bar was closed while speeches and presentations were going on. We started with over 1200 people, but by the time the bar re-opened it was down to less than 500.
I am Canadian. [heard in a local bar]
In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is. [Yogi Berra]
Last Visit: 31-Dec-99 19:00 Last Update: 20-Feb-24 15:13