As we prepare for the holiday season we must be conscious of ways we can celebrate all people, not only those who’s celebration and traditions are familiar to you.

Before we start with three suggestions on how to make the holiday celebrations more inclusive, let’s ask ourselves this question:

Who am I designing our plans for, by, with and without?

It’s important anytime that we put together a program, work on a newsletter for our company, and add programing to our diversity, equity and Inclusion strategy that we ask ourselves first who we have in mind when we are designing our plans, what does that person look like, talk like and from what socio-economic background they are form? Then we also recognize who are the people in the room that are designing this experience, whose opinion is not being considered? And lastly who are we leaving completely out of the program?

This is often such a simple question, yet if we consciously made the space and time to ask it ourselves and be mindful and aware of how we are planning our work. You’ll be surprised how many times you left a specific group of people completely out of your plans. Again, not intentionally but you just didn’t take the time to work on your awareness while planning such programming.

Now, after you’ve asked yourself this question, thought it through and made sure everyone was included. Here are three ways you can make your holiday celebrations even more inclusive:

  1. Be Aware. the goal of end-of-year celebrations is to show appreciation for employees. There are holidays and celebrations that happen throughout the year and don’t get the same kind of attention. A more inclusive approach is to recognize that employees come from a variety of faiths and traditions that mark special days at many different times. Not everyone celebrates Christmas, be mindful of holidays happening around the world and within your pool of employees.
  2. It’s personal. for many people their religion defines them as people.In order for your employees to “bring their whole selves to work” you must acknowledge and celebrate all holidays. See list below to again include them as part of this time of year, making the effort to recognize all celebrations as well as to learn about them.
  3. A better way. create diverse planning committees and involve people with varying beliefs when your company is preparing to celebrate a holiday event. Going back to the question, who am I to plan this without? This is such an important step of every person’s process because we often don’t include everyone because we don’t have them involved with our process.

Celebrate all people! Here are some Fall and Winter Holidays you should know.

  • Bodhi Day. This Buddhist holiday, which commemorates the day that Siddhartha Guatama, the historical Buddha, experienced enlightenment, is traditionally celebrated on Dec. 8.
  • Christmas. This celebration of the birth of Jesus, the central figure of Christianity, takes place on Dec. 25. For Eastern Orthodox Christians, it takes place on Jan. 7.
  • Diwali. This five-day Hindu Festival of Lights begins Nov. 6 in 2018 and Oct. 27 in 2019.
  • Eid al-Fitr. This celebration that marks the end of Ramadan in the Muslim faith has shifting dates and can sometimes fall in December. However, in 2019, it will start at sundown on June 4.
  • Hanukkah. In 2018, this eight-day Jewish Festival of Lights will start at sundown on Dec. 2 and end at sundown Dec. 10.
  • Kwanzaa. This weeklong secular holiday honoring African-American heritage is celebrated Dec. 26-Jan. 1 each year.
  • Lunar New Year. This traditional Chinese holiday marking the end of winter falls on Feb. 5, 2019.
  • Yule. This Wiccan or pagan celebration of the winter solstice takes place every year between Dec. 20 and Dec. 23.

Now you have a complete guide and calendar of holidays that you can include as part of your work this season. Share with us any thoughts or comments, and ways this guide helped you!
Don’t forget that we customized programs for companies and design experiences for Diversity Awareness Months. Make sure to contact us to learn more about our work!