It just gets earlier and earlier every year doesn’t it? Still not even December and already everyone’s talking about being too scared to talk about Christmas.
Don’t laugh. This is, as Fiona Bruce MP (Congleton) pointed out at Prime Minister's Questions, an important issue. So important that the Equalities Commissioner has bravely intervened and told people “not to be worried about talking about Christmas at work”. And these comments, raised directly after a question on the atrocities in Aleppo were duly correctly described as “important”.
The Prime Minister agreed with her. “She raises an important issue that matters to her and to me,” she said. “It is important that people at work do feel able to speak quite freely about Christmas.”
On a personal note, I must say I am delighted someone has had the courage finally to raise this at the very highest level. As someone who has organised the office Christmas meal for almost half a decade, I spend most of December urging colleagues to speak more freely about Christmas, specifically to be more free with emailing me their choices from the set menu. And many, it cannot be denied, feel so unfree to talk about it they have to be emailed six or seven times. I mean I could name names, but that will only make the intimidation worse.
Keen to know more about this brutal suppression of Christmas-based discussion in the workplace, I put a request out on the usual social media channels just over an hour ago and have already received the following responses:
“Thank you Fiona Bruce for drawing attention to this important issue. Last week while standing on the production line, I merely observed that it is ‘only a month til Christmas’ and immediately eight of my colleagues set about me with wooden hammers. If they just put the graft in in January and February, like I always tell them, it wouldn’t come to this.
Eddie the Elf, Lapland.”
“Laugh if you like but talking about Christmas at work is a risky business. Only this morning, closing in on the sale of a Samsung Galaxy S7 on a 24-month contract, I told the hesitant customer, ‘Go on, it’s nearly Christmas,’ only for him to sprint for the exit in floods of tears. If only I had known it was X-Factor winner Joe McElderry, who cruelly lost out on the 2009 Christmas number one spot courtesy of a frankly cynical campaign for Killing In The Name by Rage Against the Machine? The wounds are still raw. I will think twice before mentioning Christmas in the workplace again.
Stan Smith, Carphone Warehouse, South Shields."
“It’s not a joke, this. If you want to bring up Christmas in my office you’d better get in quick. We’re already on Christmas 2031 and I don't think the ethereal blonde breathy pop nymph we will need to churn out the requisite Britpop cover in over accentuated estuary English has even been born yet. I've been scouring instagram for 18 months straight and I'll be honest, it's panic stations.
Tiggy Azalia-Walden, Digital Marketing, John Lewis.”
"I wouldn't say I'm scared to mention it exactly, but for the sake of an easy life, is it worth it?
Jihadi Jesus, Equalities Commissioner, Isis. Raqqa."
An important issue, then. Almost as important as Jeremy Corbyn not knowing the difference between the International Monetary Fund (the IMF) and the Institute for Fiscal Studies (the IFS), but unfortunately I’ve run out of time for that one.Reuse content