Millions of Americans Are Not Celebrating Christmas This Year

Dec. 14, 2006 – ALBANY, Calif. — Tuesday December 12, 2006.

Millions of Americans Are Not Celebrating Christmas This Year
How to have a very merry diverse holiday
Berkeley, CA–
Contact: Simma Lieberman
Simma Lieberman Associates
1-510-527-0700
simma@simmalieberman.com

Millions of Americans who don’t celebrate Christmas, because they are Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, Jews, or have no religious affiliation, interact and work with people who are Christian and who celebrate Christmas.

“This holiday season can be a great opportunity to learn about other cultures and holidays, share yours, and have a very merry diverse Christmas” says Simma Lieberman consultant and co-author of the book “Putting Diversity to Work, how to successfully lead a diverse workforce,” (Thomson Learning, 2003)

“If you take the time to include other people in your celebrations and celebrate some of their traditions, you can expand your holiday cheer and build long lasting relationships”, Lieberman said. She offers several ways that people can use to be more inclusive with friends, and at work this season.

1. Learn about other celebrations. Carve out some time from online shopping, to watch a TV special on other celebrations, do a Google search on a holiday, or check out books at your local bookstore while gift shopping.

2. Make no expectations. Don’t assume that everyone celebrates what you do or understands your holiday and traditions, whether it is Christmas, Kwanza, Hanukah, Eid-Al-Adha or any other one. Take the time to talk with other people and answer their questions. Realize that people celebrate a variety of holidays during this time of year, and some people choose to celebrate none. Be respectful of these differences by taking interest in other people’s traditions and making them feel welcome in yours. Don’t be afraid to ask people what holidays they celebrate Find out what they do during this time of the year that is special.

3. Mark your calendar and your address book or PDA so you can acknowledge different holidays to people who celebrate them, and use their traditional greetings.

4. Be willing to try some of the food that people associate with their holidays. While people may celebrate the same holiday, they may not celebrate the same way.

5. Respect the fact that there are people who do not celebrate any holidays and don’t lecture them if they don’t.

Here are a few extra things employers can do to make their workplaces more inclusive during the holidays:

• Make sure your Holiday party isn’t a Christmas party in disguise. Get input from employees so you can include decorations and food from many traditions and religious beliefs.
• Consider having a New Year’s Party instead of a Holiday party. This type of party can get everyone on board with the company’s mission and vision for the New Year.
• Post holiday greetings on your webpage and intranet for many religious holidays. .
• Display a multi-cultural calendar to help all employees stay aware of important cultural events for the rest of the year.

“And finally,” Simma Lieberman adds, “Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, when someone says Merry Christmas it is their way of saying a special hello and wishing you well.”

If you would like more information about this topic or to schedule an interview or speaking engagement call Simma Lieberman at 510-527-0700, visit www.simmalieberman.com or e-mail simma@simmalieberman.com

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