Corporate Holiday Celebrations

The months of November and December bring much controversy to the multicultural organisation. Is it proper to simply hold a "holiday party" free of religious symbols, seasonal music, foods and traditions common to only one group of employees? Should you hold a number of parties, one for Christmas, another for Hanukkah, one for Ramadan, and one for Diwali? The definitive answer is...it depends. It depends upon what groups exist within your workplace, and what they wish to do in terms of celebrating their holiday.

To avoid stress, begin planning early. In mid-summer, email all staff asking them which holidays they personally celebrate. Additionally, ask for input as to how they would like the organisation to honour their holiday. Give four options to choose from;

1. Celebrate as a whole workforce by having a non-specific, secular company party.

2. Hold a party for each group represented, rich in significance to those attending.

3. Hold one party with that combines and features special segments for each group in attendance.

4. Abolish any and all holiday parties and use the money that would be allocated for a party to give a small monetary bonus to each employee.

The decision as to what, if any, sort of party to give will be determined by popular vote. If option 2 or 3 is selected, committees will be formed to plan the culturally specific elements of the party. Committee members will be knowledgeable in the customs and traditions of the group they represent. Parties will be funded according to how many employees will potentially attend each party by allocating a specific monetary amount per attendee.

Whatever the outcome, it is important to remember that the organisation has but one goal, and that is to honour the diversity of their workforce, and provide an opportunity for fellowship and celebration, regardless of ethnicity, race, culture or religion.


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