Friday, December 3, 2010

Enjoy the end of December

It’s almost that time of year again. The time when we wind up our work and take a well earned break.

I’m talking of course about Christmas. But maybe I shouldn’t.

Recently I had the tricky task of writing about the Christmas break without using the word Christmas. After ‘festive season’ and ‘holiday break’ I ran out of synonyms.

Despite my best efforts the written piece had a strange ‘beat around the bush’ tone to it. Not surprising really when the subject I was writing about could not be written.

The reason I couldn’t write the C word is still a bit unclear to me. The client was an American company. Apparently in the US some people are concerned that saying Christmas at Christmas time will offend non-Christians.

It’s an interesting concept. And one I thought was confined to the US, until yesterday when an unnamed NSW bureaucrat gave directions on Christmas office decorations. She issued an email saying, ''Be respectful of other cultures and religious beliefs. Do not select religious decorations such as nativity scenes.''

As a child living in Singapore I can assure you I was never offended by alternative religious holidays. I gladly took the day off school for Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Deepavali and Chinese New Year. I had no idea what they all meant. I just enjoyed the dangerous fireworks and bean flavoured lollies.

My (Aussie) mate Troy who resides in Shanghai has chosen not to take holidays at Christmas, preferring to take off Chinese New Year with the rest of the office. I’m pretty sure he isn’t offended either.

And while I was shooting in Japan, progress was slowed by the annual ‘ride your bicycle into Tokyo’ holiday. We weren’t insulted at all. Delayed, yes. Perplexed, yes. Offended, no.

To quote consultant Alan Weiss, “You don’t have to “believe” in anything other than good will to others to have a happy and renewing time during the holidays.”

I think that’s the best advice of all.

So, I wish all AdNotes readers a wonderful and relaxing festive, occasion, season, break, holiday … um… thingy.

If you have a creative advertising problem call Tony Richardson on (02) 9929 0588 or visit Tony Richardson Advertising or

You are welcome to reprint any AdNotes article on your website and in your e-newsletters for FREE. All I ask is that you attribute me, Tony Richardson and include a link to