As I may have mentioned, I am the Chair of our club's Christmas party. I volunteered to take over the position when the original Chair had to bow out due to a medical emergency within her family. I think I've done a pretty good job of planning the party, especially for doing it on short notice, and, especially for doing it when no one else would.
And, why wouldn't anyone else do it? Because, over the past three or so years, it has become increasingly uncomfortable to be the Chair, due to pressure placed on the club by a couple of individuals who don't recognize Christmas as a holiday.
The pressure has come in several forms; first, in the form of subtle "suggestions" that we call it a "Holiday" or "Seasonal" party rather than a Christmas party. Then, in the form of a vote on having the party after the first of the year, rather than in December (you know, around Christmas), a suggestion, which, for the record, was voted down 52-2 (SHOCKER).
I think that, as a group, we have been more than accommodating, for instance; our previous (and, long-held) tradition of singing carols upon the closing of the party was suspended the first year that one of the non-Christmas folks complained. The tradition has yet to be reinstated.
Likewise, the ornament exchange that we used to enjoy was cancelled since ornaments were deemed too secular. Decorations and decor in generic winter themes have replaced anything having to do with presents, angels, reindeer, or a certain jolly old elf, and, God forbid someone mention wise men, shepherds, stables or Jesus.
So, planning the party entails walking a delicate tightrope between pissing off the atheists and further disappointing the Christians; a tightrope that I really didn't want to have to navigate, but; here I am.
And, I think I have done a fairly good job of being sensitive to both camps. Granted, the decor will be decidedly "Christmassy" as the country club where we are being hosted is responsible for decorations and I'm relatively certain that evergreens will feature prominently. So, that's out of my hands, really.
The entertainment, however, will be in the form of a serenade by a local community glee club, singing seasonal favorites such as Jingle Bells and Frosty the Snowman, with no mention of Silent Nights, herald angels, or holy nights to be heard.
Despite these compromises, the planning has been a bit stressful.
So, I have to admit to being somewhat annoyed today when one of the minority camp made a point of cornering me in order to confirm that the party wasn't actually going to be, you know, a Christmas party, or anything.
And, I snapped internally, people. I actually entertained the notion of telling her that she had lucked out; the actors I had hired to play the parts of Mary and Joseph had developed laryngitis and would not be able to spout scripture while riding a rented donkey up the stairs and into our venue, after all. Sucks to be us, right?
In hindsight, I totally should have said that. I mean, what was she going to do, tell me to go to hell? She doesn't believe in hell.
I missed an opportunity, is what I'm thinking.