"Christmas" or "Holiday"? : 5 Scenarios - U2 Feedback

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Old 12-10-2005, 11:43 PM   #1
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"Christmas" or "Holiday"? : 5 Scenarios

I've tried to make these as realistic as possible, but I have no direct experience with any of these situations, so please excuse any wildly unrealistic elements I may have included.

I am curious to see what FYMers would actually do in concrete situations, when the issue is brought out of the epic-battle-for-the-future-of-our-culture stratosphere.


1) You're a public elementary school teacher planning your annual ____ classroom party, including a note to be sent to parents briefly describing your plans and requesting volunteers. You know two of your students celebrate Chanukah, while one celebrates Kwanzaa; you're *pretty* sure all the rest celebrate Christmas. But, there's only time and money for one party, so do you:
a) describe it as a "Christmas" party and have only a tree, Santa decorations, etc.
b)describe it as a "Holiday" party and have symbols present from all three traditions.
c)describe it as a "Christmas/Chanukah/Kwanzaa" party and have symbols present from all three traditions.
d)describe it as a "Holiday" party and have only completely non-religion-associated decorations, such as snowflakes.
e)opt to skip the party altogether.

2)You're the Christian owner of a software company in an urban area with a large Muslim population. Recently, you've hired two Muslim employees. In previous years, you've written Christmas cards to all your employees, the rest of whom celebrate Christmas. You happen to know the major Muslim holiday, Eid al-Fitr, won't fall in December this year, but in early November. So this year, do you:
a)send out only "Christmas" cards to all employees, as before.
b)send out only "Holiday" cards, to all employees.
c)send "Eid" cards to your Muslim employees at Eid, and "Christmas" cards to the others at Christmas.
d)send "Eid" cards to your Muslim employees at Eid, and "Christmas" cards to all employees at Christmas.
e)send "Eid" cards to your Muslim employees at Eid, and "Holiday" cards to everyone at Christmas.
f)opt to send no cards to anyone.

3)You're in charge of ordering and mailing out ____ cards to the faculty and staff of a large public university. They come from various religious backgrounds, but you don't know precisely who falls into what category, nor is there any legal way to ascertain that. So, do you:
a)order and send only "Christmas" cards.
b)order and send only "Holiday" cards.
c)opt to suspend the program altogether.

4)You're the events coordinator of a large shopping mall in a culturally diverse urban area. For Black Friday, you're planning a children's event where kids can color and help hang their own paper ornament on your _____ tree. When it comes to wording the posters advertising this event, do you refer to it as:
a)our Christmas tree
b)our Holiday tree
c)...or do you avoid the issue by not advertising the event.

5)You're the first Jewish President of the United States, and the time has come to send out your first 700,000+ mass mailing of ____ cards. Obviously, you have no way of knowing which holiday traditions are observed by each individual recipient, so will you:
a)send out only "Christmas" cards.
b)send out only "Chanukah" cards.
c)send out only "Holiday" cards.
d)opt not to send any cards.

6) Brief comment qualifying any of your answers above, or responding to another poster's comment.
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Old 12-10-2005, 11:49 PM   #2
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1) c
2) d
3) b
4) a
5) c
6)
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Old 12-10-2005, 11:59 PM   #3
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1) b
2) b
3) b
4) a
5) c

6) For 1 I answered b, but to me, there is no real difference between b and c. I guess laziness won out. For 2, I was trying to decide between b and d, but ultimately, I thought, well then what, send Easter cards to all the Christians at Easter as well (certainly it's the most important holiday to a Christian, religiously speaking anyway) because you're sending Eid cards out? It feels counterintuitive to me, so I say send out Holiday cards with their annual bonus, and wish them all a prosperous New Year.
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Old 12-11-2005, 12:00 AM   #4
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I'd probably opt "not to" in all cases.

Because I'm a cranky bitch. That's why.




Actually for the mall one (# 4) I'd just call it our tree and let people call it whatever they want to. Make 'em use their imagination. Why should I have to spell it out for 'em?
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Old 12-11-2005, 12:13 AM   #5
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1)d
2)b
3)b
4)a
5)c
6)
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Old 12-11-2005, 12:37 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by anitram
For 2, I was trying to decide between b and d, but ultimately, I thought, well then what, send Easter cards to all the Christians at Easter as well (certainly it's the most important holiday to a Christian, religiously speaking anyway) because you're sending Eid cards out?
I anticipated this one might create some confusion. I chose Eid because it *often* falls within the late-Nov.-to-early-Jan. "holiday season," not because of its religious significance per se (though I am told it's the holiday on which Muslims are most likely to send cards to one another). However, in checking the Islamic calendar for 2005, I was reminded that Eid indeed fell outside the "holiday season" this year, which I thought might make for an interesting twist, so I worked that in.

I do not know why Eid jumps around so much more than Chanukah, chronologically speaking. Chanukah always starts on 25 Kislev (in the Jewish calendar), which always falls in December. Perhaps someone more knowledgeable about the Islamic calendar could explain?
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Old 12-11-2005, 10:44 AM   #7
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1. D
2. C
3. B
4. A
5. C

6. In regards to #4, I would refer to the tree as a Christmas Tree because the other holidays don't have a tree so what else could it be?
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Old 12-11-2005, 11:10 AM   #8
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Re: "Christmas" or "Holiday"? : 5 Scenarios

1) B or C, but I'd probably have consulted my legal counsel first to see which one is acceptable. I have no problems with "C," personally, but I'd have to frame it from an educational POV, rather than basing the party solely on the religious traditions of the specific students.

2) B, because I'm unsure of the traditions of "Eid ul-Fitr" even involve cards, and I still wouldn't want to leave anyone out.

3) B. Absolutely no question about it.

4) A. Despite my rather vocal objections to people making a big fuss out of this, I would call it a "Christmas tree," because that's the tradition where it comes from.

5) C. Again, no question about it.

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Old 12-11-2005, 11:14 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by yolland
I do not know why Eid jumps around so much more than Chanukah, chronologically speaking. Chanukah always starts on 25 Kislev (in the Jewish calendar), which always falls in December. Perhaps someone more knowledgeable about the Islamic calendar could explain?
The Islamic calendar is 12 lunar months or 354 days. The Koran, as well, forbids "leap days," so there's absolutely nothing that can be done to stop the 11 day slide every year. So that means that, theoretically, "Eid ul-Fitr" could be in June some year on our calendar, while always being on the same month and date in the Islamic calendar.

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Old 12-11-2005, 01:39 PM   #10
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1. b- "holiday" is easier to say than the other. I probably would not include Kwanzaa unless I knew a child in my class celebrated, in which case it would only be a small effort to include the kid.

2. d- If I knew they were the only non-Christians, I would send them a card for their holiday and just do Christmas in December. Not sure on this one though...

3. b

4. a

5. c

Don't think the last 3 need much explaining
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Old 12-11-2005, 02:10 PM   #11
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1. c
2. d
3. b
4. a
5. c
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Old 12-11-2005, 04:05 PM   #12
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1) a or c
2) a
3) c
4) a
5) any

6) The question contains one false dilemma. A party with a tree and Santa, called a Christmas party, is secular. It is part of the local tradition and is celebrated by up to 90% of the country (where the percentage of Christians in this country is far lower). If the school was to throw a party, I would expect some educational aspect to it. Learning about the varied cultural differences of secular Christmas around the world would be just as important as understanding Chanukah and Kwanza. Actually, I don't know how to teach Chanukah without a religious message, and it would be perfectly fine with me.

As for the office Christmas cards, I think it would be disingenuous of me to send an Eid card. But I would be more than delighted to receive an Eid card from my Muslim employee.

Regarding the public university, what is the point of sending out the cards? Besides, tuition is high enough.

The shopping mall example follows the school example. It is a secular symbol, so calling it a "holiday" tree doesn't really accomplish anything.
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Old 12-11-2005, 05:14 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by yolland

1) c
2) d
3) b
4) a
5) c
6)



hi yolland,

since you started this thread

(for discussion purposes)

I will grade your quiz

1) c is acceptable, but not the best answer. Is it really possible to know all the backgrounds of the students. What if next year there is a wiccan, Hindu, and Buddhist child added to the mix.

b is the best answer
and do not go overboard worrying about symbols
just tell the students that there are many different beliefs.


2) c may seem most correct but assumes one is able to know everyones beliefs and practices.

b is the best answer, Muslims and any other adherents to belief systems will take them with the goodwill they are intended.

3) b
4) a
5) c

are all the best
and most correct answers.
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Old 12-11-2005, 05:19 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader


As for the office Christmas cards, I think it would be disingenuous of me to send an Eid card. But I would be more than delighted to receive an Eid card from my Muslim employee.


Could you not sincerely send and wish a "Happy Holiday Season"?

Interesting to know that a Muslin card would delight you

when we have a large portion of the country throwing shitfits about receiving "Holiday Greetings"
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Old 12-11-2005, 05:20 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by deep
when we have a large portion of the country throwing shitfits about receiving "Holiday Greetings"
And a small portion of the country throwing "shitfits" about sending "Christmas Greetings".
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