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Having Trouble Planning A "Non-Religious" Office Party?

Having Trouble Planning A "Non-Religious" Office Party?

Photo by Pink Sherbet Photography,

Do you have trouble planning your holiday office party? Do you feel that there are too many people opposing to different things that you plan such as religious issues?

I am sure that this happens within many organizations and each year, everyone has something to say about what they feel would be the “best” way to celebrate the holidays. Of course, you also have people that do not celebrate the holidays as they don’t follow any religious followings and prefer not to have any religiousness tied into the celebrations.

Of of my readers asks:

I’m in the process of planning a Holiday Party for my office. It’s getting messy…really messy! Some people are very religious and have issues when others refer to their Christmas trees as Holiday trees. It’s been going further than that and someone brought up that Secret Santa is a Christmas event and shouldn’t occur during our non-denominational party. I’m not even sure what to plan for anymore, nor can I think of how to bring up these issues to those who aren’t aware of it.

How does one go about planning a holiday party without making people feel as though it is religious AND without making people feel as though it is doing an injustice to their religion?

My answer to this is:

What I’ve done in the past with these types of parties is to get everyone’s input on how they feel that the party would be best run, taking into account that there shouldn’t be any religious ties to it. This way, everyone will enjoy themselves and not feel that they are being ridiculed because of their religion.

If people are not in agreement to exchanging gifts, then so be it. I would tell them that it’s a nice thought, but there’s no religious ties to it. If they feel that they want to give gifts, it should be because it’s something that they want to share with the entire team, not because of religious reasons. It all depends on how everyone feels about this. You don’t want to leave anyone out.

If all else fails, tell everyone that due to the lack of consensus, you are forced to not hold a party at all. This way, the onus will not be on you, as everyone else could not make up their minds. I know that this sounds harsh, but you want to make sure you cover yourself. Remember that you are trying to do something nice for everyone and if people don’t pitch in, you can’t act Superman / Superwoman and take care of everything.

You can also do some further reading on catering for your office party on my post entitled “Let Your Staff ‘Cater’ To Themselves”, which talks about online catering that each individual staff member takes care of themselves. This helps you cut down on the number of tasks that you have to juggle.

Is there anything else that you can think of that would help people come to some sort of agreement with this issue? Please leave a comment and let us know.

Related Reads:
Do-It-Yourself Career Development
Earning Your Rightful Place at the Top
Are You Emotionally Intelligent?
Dying to Get Ahead? 10 Tips for Reinventing Yourself

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