We live in a culture where it has become increasingly difficult to celebrate holidays like Christmas due to the religious aspects that are involved. As a result, the holiday has become less about joy and hope and more about finding ways around ostracizing anyone in our celebration.
Now, let’s stop here for a moment. It can be easy to look at that previous statement and become filled with bitterness and get bogged down in the “death of Christmas,” the “war on Christmas,” or the ever-popular “taking Christ out of Christmas” campaigns. While there is certainly some truth in those ideas, the moment our focus becomes fighting a culture war and not celebrating the good news that Christ has come and will return, we’ve lost sight of what matters.
So bearing all this in mind, how can we celebrate Christmas in the workplace?
When celebrating Christmas in your workplace, don’t forget that it is a season of love, joy, peace, and hope. That’s a direct response to God’s display of love by sending his Son, the Prince of Peace, and offering us the joy and hope of a Savior who will one day return. So, when you are frustrated by people who have a problem with what you believe, remember that an angry response directly opposes the gift you seemingly want to celebrate.
You may work in a place built on Christian principles, and celebrating Christ at Christmas is something everyone on the team supports. However, you might work at a place where people from all different religious and cultural backgrounds have a very different view of the Christmas season, if they even observe it at all. This is the kind of situation where you need to remember the spirit of the holiday over the various practices. The more you show love to your employees by caring well for them, the more they may be willing to hear out what you believe in the future.
Consider everything you’ve learned with Christ at Work up to this point. From starting a Bible study to understanding the legal aspects of bringing your faith to work, all of these topics have prepared you for celebrating Christmas in your workplace.
Perhaps you already have a Bible study in place, and for the month of December, you focus on Christmas and Advent. Or maybe you’ve implemented chaplaincy, and you ask your chaplain to focus on helping those who may be struggling with the holiday season, whether because of beliefs or a difficult past.
Just like so many other aspects of Christ at work, the only chance you’ll have any lasting impact is if you lead with the love of Christ. You can have all the Bible studies you want, but if you force people to attend with a prideful attitude, not only is that illegal, but those people will never learn of Christ’s love with that attitude as the example before them. Celebrating Christmas is no different. Focus on showing compassion to those around you, to loving them as Christ would love them. That is how you begin to celebrate Christmas in the workplace.
As a final note, having a Christmas party or putting up a tree and lights in your office is okay! It’s a great way to spread some cheer. Yes, it may not be the point of the Christmas season, but it’s still a good way to embrace some fun and make it enjoyable for your team. Part of this may also be listening to the requests of your team. For example, let’s say you have a Jewish employee who sees a nativity set in your office and requests to have a menorah put out as well. These are the type of situations you must be prepared for because there are plenty of other people with other religions that may ask for their own symbols to be displayed. So while decorating is okay, be aware that it’s a careful line to walk.
Just remember that God sent his Son for all of us. That means if God loved us enough to sacrifice his Son, then we should seek to love others in the same way. For us, that may mean sacrificing our holiday traditions. Whatever it looks like, remember to encourage love, joy, peace, and hope in your workplace this Christmas.
“Don’t withhold good from someone who deserves it when it is in your power to do so.”
“Instead of each person watching out for their own good, watch out for what is better for others.”