Happy winter to you

Posted in: Comment, New Publications

I noticed last year just how many 'Christmas' greetings messages from NGOs failed even to mention Christmas.  "Season's greetings", "Festive greetings", "Happy holidays", "Merry yuletide", etc were common themes.  I even had a "Happy winter" email.  It said:

"Dear ... Colleague, 2022 has been a fantastic year in many ways, the return to face-to-face [conference] being a major highlight for us.  It brought us many challenges as well, including the urgent need to actively remember what we have learned about ourselves, our communities and the planet in the previous couple of years.  We wanted to wish the ... community a very happy winter and a merry festive season as the year draws to a close."

So, why  no mention of Christmas, I wondered.  Was it for fear of offending someone – presumably not atheists as we are used to enjoying other group's festivals, having so few of our own.

More likely it was a misplaced concern for the sensibilities of those following other religions, but how you promote inclusion by excluding people is beyond me.  I thought that the idea was to live together and value each other.  "Happy Winter" indeed.  Well meant, perhaps, but tone-deaf and patronising nonetheless.

I guess the more "progressive" the organisation is, the less likely it will be to mention the C word, but I have no data to support this notion.

Either way, let me just say an inclusive "Happy New Year" as 2023 dawns.

Posted in: Comment, New Publications


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