There's something in the air at Christmas.
And that something is the campaign to get rid of Christmas parties. And Hanukkah parties, and all other kinds of parties that could conceivably have some religious connection, no matter how vague and tenuous.
Colleges and universities, being epicenters of political correctness, are the most zealous in their efforts to eradicate the jolly from the season to be jolly (all in the name of muliculturalism, of course).
Let's start with the University of Tennesee-Knoxville, whose diversity office posted guidelines for "inclusive" holiday celebrations saying that it's okay for people on campus to throw parties in December–but they'd better not feature any hint of Yule. The guidelines are now down after state legislators called for the removel of UT-Knoxville's chancelor, Jimmy Cheek, but the Christian Science Monitor reports this language:
“Holiday parties and celebrations should celebrate and build upon workplace relationships and team morale with no emphasis on religion or culture,” the memo reads. “Ensure your holiday party is not a Christmas party in disguise.”
Furthermore (according to Campus Reform🙂
The school says these parties should never include religious or cultural games such as “Dreidel.”
Additionally, if a gift exchange is planned, the university says calling it “Secret Santa” is inappropriate. Instead, the exchange should be referred to in a more general way, such as “practical joke gift exchange” or “secret gift exchange.”
Campus Reform continues:
At Cornell University the beloved tradition of mistletoe is under attack, with the school claiming the parasitic plant, under which lovers are expected to kiss, doesn’t create an "environment of inclusion."
Students and staff are encouraged to be “thoughtful in [their] decorating choices” at Ohio State. Greenery, white lights, snowflakes and bows are deemed appropriate. The school, however, would prefer they avoid the colors red and green to convey an “inclusive holiday spirit.”
When holding holiday parties, food should be general and not privilege any religion. Groups should strive for consensus and seek decisions on party themes that “everyone can live with.”
Cornell University was slightly more conspicuous with its “Guidelines for Inclusive Seasonal Displays,” burying the list at the bottom of the “Fire Safety Guidelines for Holiday Decorations.”
The guideline first lists decorations that are consistent with the school’s “commitment to diversity.” Among these items are snowflakes and trees decorated with snowflakes.
Decorations that are consistent with the school’s “assembly guidelines,” but should be a “basis of dialogue” include bows, garland and lights, wreaths with bows, a combination of snowflakes with Santa Claus figures and dreidels, and holly.
OK, a tree (but probably not a Christmas tree!) decorated with snowflakes, and no fruitcake, please. Hide that dreidel. and no kissing under the mistletoe! So why bother having a party at all? That's the question that New York magazine's Heather Havrilesky asks, in an article laced with more F-bombs than there were pipe-bombs in Tashfeen Malik's basement:
A HOLIDAY PARTY. Because that's just what you need in chilly mid-December, more than anything else. You need to choose between three or four weak-sauce holiday parties all happening on the same night. You need to hire a f—ing babysitter or worse yet, drag your kids out of the house with you, just so you can stand around sipping mulled wine and nibbling stale cookies and smiling a pained smile as you watch some little kid in a green velvet dress twirling and twirling and twirling by a Christmas tree. You need to smash some Brie onto a tasteless cracker and break the stupid cracker and then shove the whole mess into your mouth in the middle of a strained conversation with some dips— from your friend's office whose lackluster baritone drone blends seamlessly with Perry Como's baritone crooning of "The Little Drummer Boy," so that you can’t make out a single dips—– drummer-boy word.
So there goes December. Well maybe after New Year's, it will be politically safe to have a party.