It is that time again – the time in which reasonable, wonderful business people suddenly get indignant that their holiday isn’t being celebrated properly. It doesn’t matter what holiday you celebrate (or if you don’t celebrate one), “everyone else” gets it wrong. It is awful!
The one common feature of all the holidays are what they are to celebrate in each other – unity, understanding, peace, etc. NOT exclusion, criticism, or an expectation that they should do what you do because you do it. So please – be kind to each other. Understand that not everyone celebrates the same holiday in the same way or for the same reasons. Recognize that in a business context, you need to be neutral so that business can continue.
My solution? For the next couple days I wish people a wonderful holiday season. Starting December 8th, I switch to happy new year. Everyone in our country celebrates the new year on the same day (and yes, I know there are cultures where they celebrate a different new year but everyone still is a part of the standard one too) and that way I can say something without offending. But, if I have to talk about a party or event, it is a holiday event. Not because I am opposed in some way to Christmas. I collect santas after all! Instead, it is because we are getting together to celebrate this time of year – we are celebrating “holidays” in the generic as it is a business event.
I know I know – you are going to tell me that “if people don’t want to do business with me because I wish them a Merry Christmas, then they shouldn’t!” and be all proud of yourselves. But what about the person who doesn’t celebrate Christmas and doesn’t stop doing business with you, but feels you are insensitive and small minded for not realizing there are other things going on? Â Do you think that person will be a good referral source? Â Or, if that feeling continues, don’t you think your competition will get them? They will tell you it was for the price or something else when in reality it was about their perception of YOU. So I’m not worried about the people who will tell you to your face they don’t like what you are doing. Â I’m worried about the ones who won’t.
So now I wish you all the best this holiday season and hope you enjoy it in whatever way you see fit. Â We are adding a new tradition this year and celebrating the solstice. Â We are thinking to commemorate the shortest day of the year we will eat short food. Â Should be fun!