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Merry Christmas Greetings Turn Merry Winter at UCI

Merry Christmas Greetings Turn Merry Winter at UCI

A "Merry Christmas" sign is seen here on a Christmas tree. | (Photo: The Christian Post)

Ho, ho, ho! Merry ... Winter?

Guidelines issued by the University of California, Irvine's Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity say that holiday celebrations are best avoided. Instead, the office is urging the college's departments and administrators to hold "year-end celebrations."

Celebrating seasonal themes such as fall, winter, or spring are acceptable by this group — but those that celebrate "religious holidays" (even indirectly) are a definite thumbs down.

Christmas falls squarely into the "religious holiday" category. So if you're a faculty member, a student, a patient, or a staff member on UCI's campus or medical center, you're out of luck for Christmas-specific holiday cheer this year.

UCI's guidelines appear to contain some inherent inconsistencies. For example, the university encourages stakeholders to "be inclusive and sensitive to the cultural and religious practices and celebrations of their employees, students and constituents." A few sentences later, however, the guidelines say that units should "focus on celebrating a special occasion, instead of a specific holiday."

In the guidelines, UCI also provides two resources for ferreting out cultural and religious celebration dates. The resources include an interfaith calendar and the "official Kwanzaa website."

To add to the Christmas confusion, the guidelines also offer the following advice: "Ensure that office celebrations are not indirectly celebrating religious holidays." What constitutes "indirect" celebration, exactly?

Let's be blunt. Which is it, UCI? Campus departments are supposed to guess which of the dates listed on your resources are acceptable to directly celebrate — and which are not acceptable?

To add to the Christmas confusion, the guidelines also offer the following advice: "Ensure that office celebrations are not indirectly celebrating religious holidays." What constitutes "indirect" celebration, exactly?

A Christmas tree with an inappropriate ratio of Christmas to non-Christmas ornaments? A tray of party hors d'oeuvres shaped suspiciously like a Star of David? A dorm lounge festooned with colorful streamers that look just a little too Diwali for comfort?

At least one faith-based organization, Acts 2 Fellowship, held an "End of Year" gathering on campus. The campus Christian fellowship and ministry's event took place Friday night in UC Irvine's Pacific Ballroom (Student Center). Per their Instagram posts, the festivities were a smashing success and included a Christmas tree, Christmas presents, a colorful banner that read "Merry Christmas" — and unspecified "shenanigans."

Shockingly, there were no reports of students suffering irrevocable harm during this wanton act of Christmas cheer.

Michele Blood is a freelance writer based in Flemington, New Jersey.

Originally posted here at Lifezette.

 

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