The holidays are such an amazing time to celebrate who we are and show our appreciation for each other. The holidays can also be a very stressful time for many due to different beliefs, societal expectations, microaggressions, financial issues, family circumstances, health, etc. Our goal is to make sure that everyone feels part of the community by acknowledging and celebrating each other.
These are the basics of inclusive behavior during the winter holiday festivities:
- Be inclusive by showing appreciation for the diverse background that everyone around you brings to your community.
- Be mindful of food choices when hosting a party. Providing an alternative for those who don't eat meat or drink alcohol will make the experience more welcoming.
- Don't mock other people's beliefs, even if it is a joke with your own friends. Don't be that person.
- Be aware that socio-economics plays an important role for some folks around the holidays. We assume that everyone will be willing to participate in gift exchanges, but that is not always the case. This puts people in awkward positions. If you do a gift exchange, please make it a voluntary part of your party.
- Create awareness of other's beliefs. Encouraging folks to share their stories to celebrate and acknowledge their backgrounds is a great inclusive practice to strengthen organizations and communities.
- Choose decorations carefully and be inclusive.
- If you are an employer, understand that some people don't attend parties and that is okay too.
- Be careful with physical demonstrations of affection. Yes, I know. This is so hard for me because I love to hug people but some people are not into that.
It is okay to say these terms:
- Merry Christmas
- Happy Hannukah
- Happy Holidays
The whole point of inclusive behavior and practices is to open a dialogue. This dialogue will allow us to create more meaningful connections with everyone around us. It is okay if you don't know what the right to do is, just ask in a very meaningful way and people will help you.
Feliz Navidad and Happy Holidays!