A Texas professor is telling students saying the word “holiday” is not inclusive enough anymore.
Featured in a letter to the Texas Woman’s University community, TWU professor Mark Kessler explains how to plan an “all-inclusive” holiday party at the office-- only without using the word “holiday” to name the party.
“‘Holiday’ connotes religious tradition and may not apply to all employees,” the statement instructs. “For educational institutions, a December gathering may instead be called an ‘end of semester’ party. For a business office, an ‘end of (fiscal) year’ party may be more appropriate.”
In order to include the non-Christian employees who might be at an office Christmas party, Kessler advises, the party should be stripped of any Christmas-related connotations as much as possible.
“Avoid religious symbolism, such as Santa Claus, evergreen trees or a red nosed reindeer, which are associated with Christmas traditions, when sending out announcements or decorating for the party,” another instruction reads. “Excellent alternatives are snowflakes, snowmen or winter themes not directly associated with a particular holiday or religion.”
Additionally, TWU community members were advised to avoid playing Christmas carols or Christmas holiday music, and make sure the menu does not symbolize Christmas in any way, for example, by avoiding red and green sugar cookies.
Another alternative to a Christmas-less Christmas party, Kessler says, would be to include traditions from all religions in the office party and make it a “multicultural” event featuring a variety of holidays from different faiths. If there are atheists or agnostics in the office, the party should feature “what their holidays or perspectives mean to them.”
In order to be “all-inclusive,” Kessler says, the holiday menu should be replaced with a menu that reflects the “dietary preferences” of all religions in the office, including kosher and halal. Fox News’ Todd Starnes sums up his reaction to this perfectly:
Just imagine the festive scene at TWU’s all-inclusive winter shindig. Instead of scarfing down Little Smokies and shrimp cocktail, guests would be stuffing their faces with gluten-free hummus and Gefilte fish. So if you are one of the unfortunate souls who received an invitation, you might want to drop by the Chick-fil-A drive-thru before the party.
The co-educational public Texas college made headlines last month after holding a joint event calling for the school to be made a “sanctuary campus” in protest of Donald Trump’s November 8th win.
Follow Pardes Seleh on Twitter.