Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Just Call Me the Grinch

So not to get up on a soapbox, but I need to vent for a minute...

My love/hate history with the #1 shopping holiday of all time is well-documented in my family. Going back to Kindergarten, where I was briefly SUSPENDED for writing in my first journal at school, "I hate Santa Claus", I've always had a tough time accepting our culture's excessive preoccupation with all things Christmas, especially the early start of decorations/music/red&green (usually before Halloween).

But what really sets me off more than anything else about Christmas, is the presumption of my office buildings to set up their festive holiday decorations in our lobbies and common areas. I'm not talking about the generic "winter" decor... snowmen, holly, or poinsettias. Those are all great.

No, specifically I can't stand the 12 foot tall christmas tree and stacks of empty boxes wrapped in Santa paper and bows that I have to pass two to four times a day on my way to/from the parking garage. This isn't even a "bitter Jew" thing either. I don't particularly want them to display a menorah or blue/silver everywhere (for the record, they're not). It's the assumption that everyone celebrates Christmas and therefore wants to see the tree, presents, Santa, etc...

I would never presume that everyone celebrates the same holiday, or even follows a religion that celebrates a holiday at all. So why is it okay to push that decor in common areas that we all have to use? If a coworker wants to decorate her door or office, more power to her, that space is his/hers. But that lobby is used by Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Atheists, and countless other employees. We have 2,000 employees in our HQ building alone. I can't be the only one who feels like a plain "Winter Wonderland" display would be far more appropriate.

So ask you, my readers (if there are any of you left), am I grossly overreacting, or is it fair to assume that my place of employment should be more temperate and moderate in their pageantry?


Anonymous jamy said...

Tree, I like--it's pagan so should be offensive to everyone, therefore ok? Empty present boxes are stupid but not religious. Santa (though I like him) is based on a saint and therefore religious and probably not ok. I bet you could get them to dump Santa if you asked nicely.

5:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen, brotherman! You may be familiar with a certain blog post I recently wrote on that very topic. I don't make Christians eat matzah for 8 days or starve for 24 hours OR listen to a fucking grogger during Purim. It's just not my holidays.

4:03 AM  
Blogger Ashburnite said...

I don't think you're being overly sensitive- in the US, Christians seem to assume everyone is Christian. My boss keeps asking my Muslim coworker (as well as everyone else) how their Christmas shopping is going.

I do, however, think that it's a losing battle and the only thing you can do is brush it off. Letting it bother you is only affecting you; and if you say anything about the tree, you'll be "that guy." It sucks, but such is life.

7:45 PM  

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