Guidelines from the University of California–Irvine advise the campus to avoid Christmas celebrations — and to celebrate “seasonal themes such as Fall, Winter, or Spring” instead.
“Focus on celebrating a special occasion, instead of a specific holiday,” states a list of guidelines on the college’s official website for “planning inclusive celebrations.”
“Consider having a ‘Year-End Celebration’ or celebrating seasonal themes such as Fall, Winter, or Spring,” it continues.
(Seems reasonable. After all, when December comes around, I’m definitely thinking that it’s time to pull out my sundresses for a bunch of Spring parties. Makes total sense! Honestly, I’m just shocked that the guidelines didn’t include explicit warnings about the danger of “Spring” parties reminding people of Easter.)
According to Campus Reform, UC–Irvine is far from the only school treating “Christmas” like a four-letter word. For example: The publication reports that “numerous institutions” have removed the word from their tree-lighting ceremonies.
Every time I see things like this, I really wonder what it would be like if the rest of the country operated this way. For example, what if Rockefeller Center were to replace its iconic Christmas tree with, say, a giant spring flower? Or perhaps just a simple sign stating: “We are focusing on celebrating a special occasion”? That would be dumb — and this is dumb, too.
It’s obviously a good thing to be sensitive to people of all religions, but a certain point, things can go too far. Many college campuses have certainly reached that point, and I’m saying this as someone who isn’t even religious.
If Christmas is the reason for the party, then it should be okay to do Christmas-like things to celebrate it. If the tree in question is a Christmas tree, then we should be able to call it that — because, well, that’s what it’s called. That really isn’t even a religious issue so much as it is a vocabulary one. Seriously, try it: Next time you see a pine tree with a bunch of lights and ornaments on it, ask the person closest to you to tell you what it’s called. I guarantee you that they will a) say “Christmas tree” and b) look at you like you’re an idiot, because literally everyone knows that.
Next time you see a pine tree with a bunch of lights and ornaments on it, ask the person closest to you to tell you what it’s called.
Perhaps the most idiotic thing about UC–Irvine’s guidelines, though, is their advice to “ensure that office celebrations are not indirectly celebrating religious holidays.” Um . . . that’s the entire purpose of your whole f***ing list! Literally all the list is doing is telling people how to have a Christmas party without making it seem like a Christmas party. You know it, I know it, and they sure as hell know it, or else they wouldn’t have put out any damn guidelines in the first place.
If you want to celebrate Christmas, great! If you don’t want to, don’t! It really should be that simple. But whatever you choose, I really reject the idea that, like, wearing Christmas socks (which, by the way, I wear year-round: Why do laundry if you don’t have to?) or playing “Carol of the Bells” at a party is going to have that much of an emotional impact on anyone.
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