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Putting the Christ Back in Christmas


Everyone seems to be in the Christmas spirit. But not everyone understands the true meaning of the season. In fact, some people, some intentionally, try to spoil this season of goodwill towards mankind. Don’t be one of them; don’t get labeled as an office Scrooge. Be better than that and convey a Christmastime message.{{more}} Use the meaning of the season to steer around or clear of the following awkward situations.

A colleague did something to offend you earlier this year and you just happen to draw their name from the Secret Santa pot—please refrain from giving them a gag gift or worse forgoing any gift as the payback for whatever agony they put you through. That is just p-e-t-t-y. Be the bigger person and give a good gift.

On the other hand, don’t turn a simple gift exchange into a gift-buying competition. It is so sad to see someone trying to out buy and show up their colleagues. Just sad. Christmas is about one gift, and that gift is Jesus. It should never be about exquisite leather binders, expensive pens, or gift certificates. Don’t go overboard and show off your wealth by buying extravagant gifts for the purpose of impressing others.

If you are invited to a work colleague’s home party, do not come back to the office and talk about how their house was poorly or richly decorated. Do not criticize the host’s or hostess’s family or the food. If you have nothing good to say, be quiet!

And, speaking of parties. Someone always makes a fool of themselves at the office party. Don’t be the person who spoils it for everyone else. Be disciplined; and stay away from the bar if you cannot stop after one drink. You don’t want to be the company’s mascot for embarrassment.

If year-end bonuses are based on performance or seniority, take what you get and be happy. Do not go around asking everyone else how much they received or what they got on their performance appraisal. That is private information. If you think you were not fairly compensated, deal with the matter discreetly through the proper channels; don’t fill the office grapevine with ill will because you feel you got cheated or were dealt with unfairly.

Do you say Happy Holidays, Season’s Greetings, or Merry Christmas? The original reason for December 25th is to celebrate the birth of Jesus. So, if someone says “Merry Christmas” to you even though you do not celebrate Christmas, do not use your reply time to wage a debate about the political correctness of what to say. The person might not know you do not celebrate Christmas, or that you just don’t believe in the holiday. You can inform the person in a polite way, but don’t start a heated debate about the issue.

Karen Hinds is “The Workplace Success Expert.” For a FREE SPECIAL REPORT on Avoiding Career Killers in the Workplace, send an email to [email protected]

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