Trunk's idea extreme

In her December 9 column entitled "Skipping Christmas: Erase holiday from the office," Penelope Trunk urges employers to do away with all holiday-related celebration. Apparently, religious diversity means that nobody should celebrate in public.

As an agnostic who celebrates the holiday, I find this assertion absurd.

She says that at Christmas Christians "feel they have authority over the holiday– it's theirs." Not to me, it isn't.

Quite frankly, I just can't give Christians, or anyone else, that much power over how I celebrate. The only way anyone "owns" a holiday is if you let them.

Furthermore, Trunk might be surprised to learn that there is great disagreement over the birth date of Jesus, and many believe that the holiday was co-opted from the pagan celebration of the winter solstice. And when she finds it "absurd how much Christmas cheer Jews endure just to fit in at the office," it strikes me as a great day when the worst thing we have to worry about is having to "endure" cheer.

No, the fact that Christians celebrate Christmas does not make the season a religious holiday– for me. It's a secular celebration of giving and receiving, and of family and friends.

"The Holidays" means different things to different people. However, this does not mean that one should be offended if others wish to publicly celebrate in different ways. Nor does it help to "sterilize" the workplace.

Personally, I can't think of a worse way to "help minorities fit in" than prohibiting everyone from celebrating this great season in their own way – whether it's with a wreath, a menorah, or nothing at all.

And hey, if you really want to work on December 25, then tell that to your boss.

Lastly, I'm not a Christian, yet I get every "sabbath" off from work. Is the author also offended by this weekly "religious" celebration?

Evan Williams
Charlottesville
evan.williams@vt.edu

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