Many people enjoy celebrating the holidays. In doing so, their celebration often spills over into their workplace, which can be a tricky proposition. Today let’s talk about the correct way for you to show your spirit for the season in a professional environment:
Play it safe: say Happy Holidays. Lots of Christians are gung-ho about this one. My take? If you know someone celebrates Christmas, say Merry Christmas. If you don’t, say Happy Holidays. Simple. Why do people get mad that other people don’t want to hear “Merry Christmas?” The whole point of a greeting is to say something pleasant to someone else, not to say something you want to say. If that was the point of a greeting, I would go up to everyone on the street reciting Hit Em Up just to see their reaction. But it isn’t, so I’ll stick with “hello.” Or I’ll stick with nothing, because what kind of psychopath says hello to strangers in this today’s society?
Bake shit. Cookies, cakes, pies, whatever. Just don’t make a fruitcake. At this point, I don’t think anyone eats or even makes fruitcakes. They’re just a punchline. Were they ever even real to begin with? They just sound like one lame food infringing on a fun one’s good time. Like the veggieburger.
Don’t go overboard on the decorations. It’s hard for others to get their work done when you’ve got a creepy life-size animatronic Santa outside your office spitting out more ho’s than a strip club after a shift change.
Be careful buying presents. Cards and small gifts are okay, but don’t be the guy who gets everybody something really nice. You know what you’re doing to me then? You’ve indebted me to buy you something. Now I have to go out at the last second, waste money on something you won’t like anyway, and give it to you after the fact. Oh and also – it’s clear to you and everyone I only bought this because you got me something. But if I don’t get you anything, I look like an even bigger dick. Either way, I come off looking like an asshole all because you got me Sherlock Holmes 2 on Blu-ray. You know what else? Sherlock Holmes 2? Not even that good. I mean, it was entertaining, but hardly captured the rapport Downey and Law had in the first one. The other thing I didn’t even think about is I don’t even have a Blu-ray player, so now I have to go buy one of those to watch a movie I didn’t even like that much. So if you’re keeping score at home, now I’m on the hook for a gift to you AND a Blu-ray player. Thanks.
No mistletoe. Public displays of affection are frowned upon in the workplace so best to stay away from this and any other types of intimacy-inducing flora.
Play Christmas music on an appropriate level. Be respectful. Not everybody wants to hear crooning about boptails and figgy pudding. And if you’re going to play holiday music, stick to the classics. If you want to rock some Sinatra, some Como, some King Cole – go for it. But don’t play garbage. Nobody wants to hear Ke$ha’s take on O Come All Ye Faithful. Also, not many people know this, but if you play any Christmas song from the cast of Glee, I’m legally allowed to take the device your using to play music, submerge it in water, then walk outside and throw it into oncoming traffic.
Here’s something else related to Christmas music that always bothered me – why is the Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire song referred to as The Christmas Song? That’s the official name for it. Who views that as the definitive Christmas song to the point where you’d title it that way? Nobody I know. Why doesn’t the music industry just give up and refer to it as Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire already, like we all want you to? The jig is up.
I really should move on to the next paragraph, but this really gets to me. I did a little research, and the song was written by Bob Fells and Mel Torme in 1944. Can you imagine how arrogant that writing session was? They finish writing it and both agree, “Well, we did it. This is THE Christmas Song. Nothing else will ever touch it, so we might as well name it definitively.” Then they clink champagne glasses together, light up a couple cigars, and laugh maniacally.
Be all-inclusive, but don’t overdo it. Don’t alienate people, but you don’t have to go out of your way. For example: saying Happy Hannukah to a Jewish coworker? Cool. Going up to your black coworker decked out in Kwanza garb when he doesn’t even celebrate it? Probably not cool.
Get wasted at the Christmas party. Why not? It might make for some good stories, and everybody loves the crazy guy at the office. Plus when it comes time for your yearly performance review, nothing says “outside the box thinker” like “hey, isn’t he the guy who got up on the bar and wore his boxers for a hat?”