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Now Xmas tinsel is banned for religious reasons

Businesses afraid of upsetting other faiths have banned Christmas decorations in the workplace. Two out of three bosses questioned felt they could not take the risk.

Does this also mean they will not be sending out Christmas cards to staff and associates? Will bosses also ban staff from sending cards to each other?

These bosses are obviously terrified of putting a foot wrong following the row over the veil and cross. But I can’t recall other faiths being upset with the sight of tinsel in my previous workplaces. Have they expressed these views to you?  Will your office be banning tinsel this year? And what if shopping centres banned Christmas decorations for the same reason, what a cheerless festive season it would be – as well as having lots of empty tills.

Peninsula, an employment firm, surveyed more than 2,000 employers and found many were “succumbing” to political correctness measures.

About 70% of bosses questioned said they would not allow Christmas trees or decorations to be displayed in offices over the festive season.

Peter Done, of Peninsula, said:

“The workplace is now the latest in an increasing number of places affected by the wave of political correctness being imposed on festive traditions.

“To ease fears of offending other faiths and excluding minorities, firms are increasingly banning Christmas decorations and traditions from the workplace.”

Hopefully they will have a change of heart, or do you feel bosses are right, and that decorations could even detract from productivity?


23 Comments

  1. One of my enduring memories of University was how many national days, religious festivities and other celebrations that I participated in. (Mexican Independence day was a real standout occasion, mainly due to the Tequila)

    One Christmas, together with the only other English person on my corridor in the residence, I cooked Christmas dinner.

    It was enjoyed by 3 Malaysians, a Japanese, a Dane, a German, a Taiwanese, 2 Koreans, a Turk and someone from Hong Kong (not China at the time). We all had a great time.

    How people can take offence at others enjoyment is beyond me. None of my friends showed any sign of discomfort at celebrating Christmas.

  2. H&S would have a fit if they could see me and my colleague using a carving knife to cut bits off the over-sized tree (bought because it was cheaper than the size we actually wanted), perching precariously on stepladders to dangle baubles, and forgetting to switch off the lights before checking fuses etc.

    BTW I’m a church administrator and I intend to send hand-written cards out to people who support us, saying very clearly, Happy Christmas and thank you.’

  3. This comes just a day after the Bank Of Scotland banned the putting up of deckies on health and safety grounds. They have said that if staff require decorations then facilities staff must be called to put them up. I would think that this could only be done after a proper risk assessmet and work order have been raised.

    I wonder if this was done to avoid the fallout of political correctness.

  4. Jim,

    Well, I’m very much a multi-faith sort of person, so I’ll add the 21st to my list of pissups important religious festivals.

  5. Jim, I can see it’s going to be a very long celebration for you, coming straight after your birthday. What a knees up you will be having later this month!

  6. Tim Almond: There is no mention in the bible of tinsel (so far as I know), or of gathering winter fuel, of bleak midwinter, or see amid the winter snow, or three ships sailing by and much else. Jesus was supposed to have been born in the Middle East, probably in swealtering heat!

    We celebrate Chrsitmas when we do because the old pagan Solstice festival was hijacked by the Christians, so it’s a bit of a hybrid affair! I’ll stick with my sun-worshiping, a good deal more reliable! For those interested, the exact point of the sun returning is 22.00 hrs on December 21st. That’s when the first dram will pass my lips…

  7. Gavin [and you] are so right on this:

    These companies are using the cult of political correctness as an excuse for abiding by unnecessary Health and Safety excesses and their own desire not to have a happy workforce.

    Apoplectic.

  8. I think those bosses are over reacting. They are taking a very pessimistic view of human relations. Generally any human being would like to share his neighbour’s happiness. Whether it’s Christmas, Diwali or Eid, all the people like the celebrations,decorations and participate in them freely. So, without imposing any rules or resttriction people should be allowed to celebrate their festivals, even at office places.

  9. ridiculous.. considering the muslim countries do not even allow the celebration of other festivals.. someone should have the balls to tell them islamic imams that; look you trouble making pest, which one of the countries you come from allows other people to even practice their religion? Actually forget that; Im tired of their cr*p, jst tell em to go f*** themselves..

    Ppl sorry for being rude, but it pisses me off that there are so many religions peacefully co-existing and it is rather odd that people say minorites are offended, no not the minorities, merely them muslims f***’s or atleast the clerics who claim to speak for them are the only people making a fuss…

  10. Anyone care to tell me which version of the bible mentions tinsel?

    Seriously, though, I’ve worked all over the country with Sikhs, Hindus, Muslims, atheists and not once has anyone had any problems with anyone else’s religion practises.

    And Heather… lighten up, it’s chrrriiiissstttmmmmaaaaassss!

  11. When these people try to prevent Christmas celebrations for fear of ‘offending’ anyone, they only succeed in offending everyone.

    At our office it has been decided (not by me) not to send cards to each other, but to donate £5 to the office charity instead. Why can’t people do both?

  12. Blast – HTML!!

    Chanukah starts this Saturday.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanukkah

  13. Just for a change try this this year.

  14. Heather Yaxley,

    That is a bit of a miserable attitude you have there, don’t you think?

  15. IT, I must confess I had to look up the word, I would say “no change”, but then I am trying to be diplomatic!

    http://www.kabalarians.com/male/kwanzee.htm

  16. Christmas. Bah, humbug. Surely you mean Winterval….Is Birmingham City Council still using the phrase to describe its programme of festive events over Christmas and the New Year?
    Say what you want about them, at least, the Mohammedans are not shy of celebrating their faith. BTW,has Kwanzaa caught on Ely?

  17. From the “Quick Takes” column in this morning’s Chicago Sun-Times:

    A local council in East London has banned Christmas decorations in its office because there is the “concern that people might hurt themselves” while hanging the decorations.”

    From yesterday’s “Quick Takes” column:

    News Item: Mary, Joseph and the infant Jesus are removed from a manger scene in a St. Albans, W. Va., park on legal advice from the city council.

    News Item: St. Nicholas is banned from Vienna kindergartens because a large man with a beard might “create fear” in small children.

    Look, if it’s fear of offending Muslims that drives this anti-Christmas stuff, would somebody please tell the PC Police that Jesus is accepted as a major prophet by Islam, and that there are more references in the Koran to the Virgin Mary than there are in the Bible?

    The celebration of Jesus’ birthday would therefore probably not give offense to an observant Muslim. So who are we afraid of offending?

  18. I celebrate the Winter Solstice (Dec 22). Much simpler 🙂
    Holly, ivy, crackers, lights, candles, tinsel, turkey, cake, festive songs, evergreen trees (with fairies, syphides or anything else) within several days either side of the Solstice are all allowed!!

    I note that in Leicester, where I used to live, the City Council takes great care to have lights, decorations etc through the city to celebrate non-Christian events like Diwali and Eid, as well as Christmas.

  19. What a miserable lot these companies are! For goodness sake, if you live in Britain, have a bit of respect for and interest in its traditions! As a secondary school French teacher I used to delight in teaching about that country’s Xmas traditions – I don’t suppose I’d be allowed to now. Later as an adult ESOL tutor I felt I had to tread very carefully at this time of year. We are not doing ourselves or anyone else any favours by caving in to this sort of pressure.

  20. Personally I couldn’t care less if I never received another corporate Christmas (or Seasons Greetings) card – and would be quite pleased if organisations didn’t waste time or money on sending them out (or informing me they have donated to charity or sent two goats and a cow to Africa instead). The sad office Christmas decorations also won’t be missed by me – nor the false jollity of the corporate party.

    I tend to think the whole thing has become far too commercialised and omni-present for weeks in advance.

    I know – bah humbug – but maybe Scrooge had a point about Christmas and the workplace, long before it was PC or not to object.

  21. I have one word for this – pathetic

  22. I don’t think it’s so much political correctness running riot, but more the fear of causing ‘offence’ to whatever section of society. The fear of causing offence is slowly paralysing our society, by sanitising our way of life.

    Such a sanitised society has thin-skin, today, it’s Christmas decorations that ‘might’ cause offence. Tomorrow, it will be the very idea of Christmas itself which is seen to be a ’cause’ of ‘offence’. A thin-skinned society slowly seems to see causes of ‘offence’ everywhere – even in places where the cause of offence is not entirely self-evident.

  23. These companies are using the cult of political correctness as an excuse for abiding by unnecessary Health and Safety excesses and their own desire not to have a happy workforce.

    Christmas should be celebrated by all faiths and none. I am not offended (such a strong word so misused) by Christmas despite having no belief — no-one else has a right to be ‘offended’ by the country’s predominant religion.

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