Dear Urban Diplomat: I’m a Jew. Do I really need to participate in the office Secret Santa?
Dear Urban Diplomat,
I don’t want to participate in my office Secret Santa because, ta-da, I’m Jewish. I’m not offended by it; I just don’t feel right taking part. Unfortunately, the organizers did the draw without asking and, of course, I got my boss. Any tips on backing out without attracting all kinds of weird attention?
—Who Wants a Dreidel?, Markham
Secret Santas tend to be religious in name only, so you could request a secular rebranding along the lines of “gift exchange” and just cross your fingers that you don’t receive a glazed ham. If you’re still set on opting out, just tell the organizer as much. You’re Jewish, not a Raelian or a brony (Google it), so your decision shouldn’t kick up much discussion with your colleagues—or, for that matter, with your boss, who probably won’t care where the latest World’s Best Boss mug came from.
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6 thoughts on “Dear Urban Diplomat: I’m a Jew. Do I really need to participate in the office Secret Santa?”
Don’t be a douche – just buy a damn gift.
Dick D, don’t be a douche by calling him a douche!
Who Wants a Dreidel – btw, Santa is down with it ’cause it is 2013. He promotes consumerism across all religions, races, genders, orientations and ages.
My 19 votes over your two says I’m King Douche.
If you’re as religious as you try to sound – and in turn an advocate of love, you should recognize a tradition that is inspired by caring for one another. If you care more about the title than the intent, you really should re-examine what faith and goodwill is about.
I would have made the gift limit ($20.00?) as a donation to a Jewish charity in my boss’ name. Everyone is happy.
You know what? I think your religious background is irrelevant here. No one should be forced into a Secret Santa, or whatever you want to call it. It should be voluntary for EVERYONE. There are all kinds of reasons why someone might not want to participate- yes, even a Christian someone- and your name shouldn’t have been put into the draw without your permission. I celebrate Christmas and I love it, but if there’s anything that ruins yuletide cheer, it’s the obligatory stress-filled expense-causing gift-giving. But, the deed is done, so I say suck it up for now by sucking up to your boss with a boss gift (warning: hitting peak pun!), and suggest that next year’s Secret Santa be *optional*.
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