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The Grinch who Stole our Christmas Party

By 23 September 2011 74

Who thinks it fair and equitable that after many, many years of successful, fun and safe Christmas Partying, our Govt Dept Executives have now banned our Dept. Christmas Party, to be replaced with an End of Year party?

At this gathering there will be no Christmas decorations, no Santa, no carols, no bons bons, no plum pudding, no roast turkey and ham, no pavlova. No Christmas hats, bobbly earrings or Santa adorned t-shirts. In short, no Christmas festivities at all.

Oh, you can have your party, even hold it in the Christmas festive season, just don’t say it’s for Christmas. Lest someone who doesn’t celebrate Christmas feels unwelcome, and unable to end the year at a party with their workmates, put on by their Social Club. And we won’t tell you you can’t call it a Christmas Party until right at the last minute of organisation. And by the way, you have absolutely no say in the matter, as on the complaining of a few who don’t want a “Christmas Party”, we’ve made our final decision.

ED – Berraboy also sent in this view of this tale. Can anyone name the department?

A good friend of mine is ranting furiously this evening about her department’s decision to  name their Christmas party the ‘End of Year Event’, thereby removing any reference to Christmas.  A few inquiries about this today turned up a curious bit of information that the re-naming is due to a number of complaints from a few people who  didn’t feel welcome to attend as they don’t celebrate Christmas.   As a result, the whole party will now be non-denominational.

While urban legends on such issues abound, these are mainly centred on similar decisions in the US or UK.  This is the first time I’ve heard such a story in Australia, let alone Canberra.  Personally, I’m torn on the issue.  While I love multiculturalism and the positive benefits it has brought us, I also believe that those who come here and enjoy all we have to share should accept us for who we are… customs, holidays, yeast based food products and all.

While a large part of me feels like emulating  William Wallace by throwing on a kilt, painting half of my face blue and joining an anti-PC horde shouting “they may take my fireworks, but they will not take my Christmas!”, another part of me thinks maybe we should just suck it up.

So, dear Rioters, is this turning our back on ‘Christmas’ a fair thing or simply PC gone mad?  Should we adjust our holidays to suit the views of those in the minority or should we be more inclusive?

I await your thoughts.

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74 Responses to The Grinch who Stole our Christmas Party
#61
Watson1:03 pm, 25 Sep 11

Bramina said :

What is important is that we all get drunk.

Too true, but the statement needs some fine-tuning, I reckon. “What’s important is that we all get drunk before 3pm.” Surely that is ultimately what makes Xmas parties special. So maybe it should be called a “midday piss-up party”? I’d be happy with that.

#62
Deref1:21 pm, 25 Sep 11

Mysteryman said :

Deref said :

Mysteryman said :

I hear the “pagan midwinter festival hijacked by Christians” from a lot of people, but none of them have ever been able to provide any evidence of this

Let’s start with the fact that Jesus himself is an entirely mythical character. There is no contemporary evidence whatsoever – absolutely none – of Jesus…

And with that, you proved you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about, and demonstrated that the rest of your post isn’t worth the electrons required to display it. No historian worth his salt has denied the existence of Jesus the person.

Evidence, please.

#63
dixyland3:59 pm, 25 Sep 11

Boycott the end of season event. Organise your own christmas party to conicide with their bullshit eventand go all out. Make the miserable blighters regret being who they are by having fun despite their best efforts at being douches.

#64
jayskette7:30 pm, 25 Sep 11

Stop it you whinger. Be happy that your employer actually throws a party. We have no such luxury

#65
Bad Seed9:11 pm, 25 Sep 11

Deref said :

Mysteryman said :

Deref said :

Mysteryman said :

I hear the “pagan midwinter festival hijacked by Christians” from a lot of people, but none of them have ever been able to provide any evidence of this

Let’s start with the fact that Jesus himself is an entirely mythical character. There is no contemporary evidence whatsoever – absolutely none – of Jesus…

And with that, you proved you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about, and demonstrated that the rest of your post isn’t worth the electrons required to display it. No historian worth his salt has denied the existence of Jesus the person.

Evidence, please.

Oh for goodness sake! Haven’t you heard of Google? – and please, not sites beginning with http://www.evidence thatJesusdoesnotexist (I just made that up btw but I suspect it would exist!)

Start with Josephus, move onto Tacitus then some non religious Biblical scholars. There’s enough impartial evidence out there. You might not believe in the resurrection, fair enough but theres enough evidence to validate the existence of the historical Jesus.

#66
farnarkler9:35 pm, 25 Sep 11

In seven years of living in London I never had an employer do anything like change the name of the Xmas party for fear of upsetting the imports.

#67
EvanJames9:02 am, 26 Sep 11

Who gives a crap what the origins of Christmas are? It’s our festival, our tradition, part of our culture. For some department, or any entity, to declare that we have to change it so someone isn’t offended is a bad joke.

We have been a secular country and many of us tend to celebrate Christmas as a family time, and a time for being nice to others, with certain traditions vis a vis carols, decorations, food that we have grown up with. We get together with others, maybe help others, to celebrate the occasion. In this way, I think that the tacking together of Christian tradition and european Pagan tradition works quite well.

I cannot believe that our cultural cringe is so strong as to find excuses for smothering christmas.

#68
Ben_Dover10:05 am, 26 Sep 11

dixyland said :

Boycott the end of season event. Organise your own christmas party to conicide with their bullshit eventand go all out. Make the miserable blighters regret being who they are by having fun despite their best efforts at being douches.

Well said!! Good idea.

#69
infamosity10:27 am, 26 Sep 11

I work for this department and this is just a blatant exageration. The food will likely remain the same, decorations were never denominational and there was almost no reference to religious or cultural beliefs in any of the undertakings at the event. There hasn’t been a christmas tree, but a charity “giving” tree, and it was only called a Christmas party in the first place because in western culture, a “christmas party” is an end of year work event that everyone does, and is only called that because of the season its held in.

We’ve never had carols, bon-bons are hardly religious and will possibly remain, we’ve never had plum pudding (as its not very popular) and people are encouraged to dress in the years dress-up theme. No-one’s prohibited from dressing in any festive/religious way, just like people who aren’t prohibited from wearing head-scarves or other adornments derived from some cultural or religious origin.

Only the name of this party has changed but the event itself is still the same. This party was never in any way religious and is a Government function. So re-naming it has only brought it into line with what it always was, an end of year event. The only people concerned are people who are attaching more meaning to the name than was already there.

#70
watto2310:57 am, 26 Sep 11

As a completely non religious person, I actually don’t see this as a religious issue myself. Many Australians use Christmas as a time to be with friends and families and very little to do with the actual real meaning or origins.

On one hand getting upser about calling an end of year function is a bit silly. Most people really go because its a party and its the time of year people have parties. I also stringly doubt the changes will mean more muslims, hindus and buddhists will attend. It really depends on the workplace and the people. I’ve worked with many people with different beliefs and some attended christmas functions and even after work drinks.

In fact its a bigger turnoff for many people seeing their workmates get drunk and make a fool of themselves. That said I’m a social drinker myself, but there is nothing more boring than a party where everyone is drinking to have a good time, rather than talking etc, if you are a non drinker.

#71
powerpuffpete11:11 am, 26 Sep 11

I think it’s appropriate when you consider that most government agencies have a large number of staff. You don’t really know who might feel excluded because of some dumb party’s title but it makes sense to remove the remaining religious elements to be respectful. Christians gear a lot of their interactions towards being inclusive, so it doesn’t really contradict their views. Furthermore it doesn’t make sense to tie the word “christ” to what is usually a drunk-fest and not in any way religious.
It is, as everyone has put already, more of a secular event.
I don’t see it as being too different to having soft drinks/juice/mineral water as an option for those who prefer not to drink alcohol.

Personally, the end of year or CHRISTMAS parties I look forward to are the ones I have with my friends outside of work. Work parties are not the be-all and end-all of events. Unless you’re working for some swish private firm which forks the bill for the booze and food and holds the party on some roof-top.

This is a mountain-out-of-a-mole-hill scenario. This isn’t going to escalate into more restrictive work or work party environments or a loss of culture.

What I don’t understand is why there won’t be ham or turkey or bon bons or plum pudding at the event. What is the religious affiliation with these?

It sounds like a pretty boring party to me. I just wouldn’t go…

#72
powerpuffpete11:13 am, 26 Sep 11

PS: I think this is happening across a lot of the public service by the way. It happened where I worked previously and has happened (from last year) where I currently work.

#73
chewy1411:14 am, 26 Sep 11

infamosity said :

I work for this department and this is just a blatant exageration. The food will likely remain the same, decorations were never denominational and there was almost no reference to religious or cultural beliefs in any of the undertakings at the event. There hasn’t been a christmas tree, but a charity “giving” tree, and it was only called a Christmas party in the first place because in western culture, a “christmas party” is an end of year work event that everyone does, and is only called that because of the season its held in.

We’ve never had carols, bon-bons are hardly religious and will possibly remain, we’ve never had plum pudding (as its not very popular) and people are encouraged to dress in the years dress-up theme. No-one’s prohibited from dressing in any festive/religious way, just like people who aren’t prohibited from wearing head-scarves or other adornments derived from some cultural or religious origin.

Only the name of this party has changed but the event itself is still the same. This party was never in any way religious and is a Government function. So re-naming it has only brought it into line with what it always was, an end of year event. The only people concerned are people who are attaching more meaning to the name than was already there.

If the event was indeed already so secular, then why did they need to change the name? Was anyone really offended that it was called a Christmas party?

#74
dundle5:28 pm, 27 Sep 11

chewy14 said :

If the event was indeed already so secular, then why did they need to change the name? Was anyone really offended that it was called a Christmas party?

Apparently yes people did and that’s why it was changed.
I find it weird, I’ve never been religious at all nor was I brought up in any religion but I don’t feel left out and these events aren’t religious anyway and they’re just named after the public holiday they’re linked to – while it still remains a public holiday while other religious holidays do not (which I think is the real issue, though I’m not sure of my opinion) then I think it’s fine to call the Christmas party that.

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