A Crafts Community For Craft Ideas & DIY Projects - Craftster.org
Help | About | Contact | Press | Advertise | Cookie Policy | Terms | Site Map
Welcome, Guest.
Please login or register.
Random Tip: You can organize your bookmarks into folders!  Read more here.
Total Members: 308,220
Currently Running With Scissors:
373 Guests and 13 Users
Home Craftster Community Crafting Articles Craft Tutorials My Craftster Crafting Calendar City Guides Craft Shop


Pages: 1 2 3 ... 5 [All]
Jump to page:
  Show Images Only     Send this topic  |  Print  |  Bookmark  
Topic: Culturally neutral holiday symbols  (Read 9171 times)
Tags for this thread:  Add new tag
Share the love... Pin it Submit to reddit add to Wists
1+
 
smokingmonkey
« on: September 07, 2005 10:55:39 AM »

Hopefully I didn't miss if this has been discussed before:

For a few years now I've run into issues on holiday projects/cards that have to be fairly religion and culturally neutral. What are holiday symbols that fall into that category of inoffensive? For me, personally, I don't mind symbols that don't fall into my personal beliefs, but there are others who do.

Things like tree lights, candles and holly and berries come to mind. I'm also talking northern hemisphere so snow/snowmen are in there too. Anything else?

I've done some research on this but figured there's a lot of people here from different backgrounds who would have some suggestions.
THIS ROCKS   Logged

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
http://www.secondaryhighway.com
http://2ndaryHighway.etsy.com
pibbgirl
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2005 10:59:53 AM »

candy canes, holiday cookies...that's all I can think of right now
THIS ROCKS   Logged

Mishabelle
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2005 11:02:31 AM »

I have blended holidays on cards before....like making a christmas tree decorated with lil menorahs and dreidels and a dove carrying a twig with a blue and white ribbon hanging from it. I have also done lots of generic winter scenes with moose and presents..
THIS ROCKS   Logged
laureg
Offline Offline

Posts: 178
Joined: 15-Jun-2005

*alchemist extraordinaire*


View Profile
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2005 11:11:45 AM »

i usually go with something winter themed and i only use cards that say happy holidays or mention the spirit of the holidays. it's safe, i know- but that way no one gets left out or offended in any way.

i usually make my own holiday cards and have used themes of trees, snowflakes, pine boughs with snow and/or decorations, angels, a gift, etc. i try and keep it pretty general, but still nice. hth!
« Last Edit: September 08, 2005 09:04:24 AM by laureg » THIS ROCKS   Logged

you are not the boss of me
DithMer
Offline Offline

Posts: 673
Joined: 14-Dec-2003

Have a good one, and learn everything you can.


View Profile
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2005 11:36:50 AM »

speaking as a jew (oh, it's so hard to be a jew at christmas) i definitely pay attention to that stuff. there's a lot that isn't particularly neutral around the holidays.  i feel no attachment to candy canes, tree lights, candles, holly, berries, boughs, angels.... that stuff all feels christmas to me.  i've seen cards that make me giggle around the holidays, that combine holidays - like a jewish santa, or matzah ball berries on a wreath (actually, i think i just came up with that one Smiley)  i definitely am sensitive to receiving cards with "christmas-y" stuff on them - i know other jews who are too.

though... on the other hand... the way i look at it is i give the card of my holiday.  i give all my friends chanukah cards, even though very few of them are jewish.  so i expect to get christmas cards. i just don't like christmas cards that try and play it off as "holiday" cards when they have blatantly christmas-y stuff on them. 

oh the turmoils of PC religious craft making.  will it ever end? WILL IT EVER END???
THIS ROCKS   Logged
loves2experiment
Swap Moderator
Image Reproduction Techniques Moderator

Friend of Craftster Friend of Craftster

Irreverent. Indomitable. Incorrigible.
Online Online

Posts: 9150
Joined: 09-Aug-2005


View Profile available for personal swaps
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2005 11:41:27 AM »

I've pretty much adopted "Snowflakes" as my neutral winter holiday symbol.  For Christmas cards winter holiday cards, I stick with the snowflake theme and handwrite each card (Best wishes for the holiday season, Happy holidays, etc).  It's tough having to keep track of all my friends' beliefs and try not to send out winter greeting cards that might be construed as being insensitive to their religious beliefs  Tongue  There was a particularly embarrassing incident when I sent a Christmas card to a friend who had just converted to Judaism (she was previously Catholic).  I didn't realize my faux pas till she sent me a Happy Hanukkah card, wishing me all the best for the winter holidays.  Point taken.
THIS ROCKS   Logged

loves to experiment...not a monogamous crafter...

STS Winter Market 2016
rumrasin033003
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2005 11:52:53 AM »

Thing is, for me and my family, we are not religious at all, and when we get a card from a friend of a diffrent (or well any) faith, I just feel nice that one of my friends took the time to write me a card, and put it in the mail! That goes double if he/she took the time to make it him/herself!  Smiley
THIS ROCKS   Logged

LivinEasy
Offline Offline

Posts: 660
Joined: 03-Feb-2005

Eat Cheese. Be Happy.


View Profile WWW
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2005 11:57:47 AM »

I think peace related symbols like the dove with ribbon make great neutral holiday cards. Who's offended by peace? I'm not religious at all and like to think of the holidays as a good time to spread good will to wards my friends and family and I think the hope for peace falls into that feeling. That being said, I love getting Christmas cards from my Catholic side of my family just as much as I love receiving the Hanukkah cards from my Jewish side. I do wish someone would send me a Kwanzaa card to round my card wall out though...
THIS ROCKS   Logged

sacrdplce
Offline Offline

Posts: 137
Joined: 02-Sep-2005
Roadrunner ... the coyote's after you ...


View Profile
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2005 12:04:38 PM »

I like peace themed holiday cards too. For my home decor, I like snowmen... no, I LOVE snowmen. I also like snowflakes. I made some last year for my front window out of colored construction paper. Pretty basic, but my then 2 year-old loved them. Oh, and I live in California where it hardly ever snows. (It gets cold enough to though.) We still like to imagine snow for the holidays though.

DithMer- What do you think about menorahs displayed as part of the holiday decor? For example, a store with a combined Christmas and Hanukkah display, or maybe a Christian's home with a tree and a menorah.

I really hope I haven't offended you or anyone else here. This subject interests me, and of course I think more people these days have cultural sensitivity on their minds.
THIS ROCKS   Logged

While we have the gift of life, it seems to me that the only tragedy is to allow part of us to die - whether it is our spirit, our creativity, or our glorious uniqueness.           Gilda Radner
DithMer
Offline Offline

Posts: 673
Joined: 14-Dec-2003

Have a good one, and learn everything you can.


View Profile
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2005 12:18:35 PM »

Oh, I'm not offended at all. I love talking about this stuff. Smiley

Like I said, often I just expect to get the card of the religion of the person.  I just don't like how people have tried to write off blatantly Christmas cards as "Holiday" cards.  It's fine that you want Christmas cards - make them in abundance! But don't send me a card with Santa and Rudolph and all those other reindeer whose names I don't know and call it "Holiday."  THAT, my friends, is a Christmas card.

God... I sound like a card Nazi. I don't mean to.  It's just it gets really hard sometimes around the holidays, because even though Chanukah isn't as big of a holiday, it feels very much like we're left out of something.  I don't like being wished a Merry Christmas when I buy my family Chanukah presents.  At least I'm not as bad as my mother... my father's brother is Jewish, but he married a Christian woman, and now they're raising their children Christian - not bat mitzvahed or anything.  Biiiiig travesty.  My mother gets mad when they send us Christmas cards - she thinks it's inconsiderate, because they're family, and my father's brother was brought up very Jewish, and now look.  It sounds MOSTLY crazy to me, though I can see where she's coming from.

Sacrdplce - as far as combined cards - sure, why not?  But I don't think cards have to posture as that.  Be what you are - be a Christmas card - be PROUD!  And you all can expect Stars of David from ME come Christmas. Smiley
THIS ROCKS   Logged
smokingmonkey
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2005 12:22:56 PM »

i feel no attachment to candy canes, tree lights, candles, holly, berries, boughs, angels.... that stuff all feels christmas to me.

Really? Crud.
I never considered angels to be neutral, I know tree lights is pushing it, and I don't really know the origins of holly. What about mistletoe? This is exactly why I'm asking about this - because things that seem totally benign to me, might really not be.

Quote
oh the turmoils of PC religious craft making.  will it ever end? WILL IT EVER END???

Heh, um. No?

I'm looking at this from a business perspective, freelance clients who wanted holiday cards that wouldn't offend any of their clients or vendors. I think it's normal for friends or family to send out messages that are relevant to their own beliefs.
THIS ROCKS   Logged

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
http://www.secondaryhighway.com
http://2ndaryHighway.etsy.com
chocoloka
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2005 12:23:09 PM »

I've run into this dilemma for as long as I can remember... I have Jewish, Methodist, Catholic, Hindu, Buddhist, Atheist, and Islamic friends, and although none of them have ever complained to me about receiving a Christmas card, I've always been acutely aware of cultural/religious differences.

For several years now I've used "holiday-neutral" themes: snowflakes are my personal favorite, although I find holly (winter plant) and reindeer (winter animals) to be mostly neutral as well. I particularly like the snowflake theme because they can be white or silver or sparkly (the sparklier, the better!), and because no two snowflakes are alike in nature. To me, there's no better representation of the beauty of difference (in the winter-time) than the snowflake crystal. My second favorite symbol is the Earth or anything relating to peace.

I've stuck with mostly neutral colors for wrapping and decorating- red, white, silver, gold. They're all traditional colors of celebration in some part of the world, although I'm aware that even red and gold are considered "Christmas-y" by many people, and so I've purchased one roll of blue and silver wrapping paper as well.

However, I've recently begun reusing wrapping paper (I make everyone open their gifts gently), so whatever there is leftover is what I use. I'm boycotting wrapping paper and when I run out of what I currently have, I'm going to use newspaper and magazines. I hate the thought of killing trees for pretty paper that's ripped apart in about 10 seconds or less... I've vowed to never purchase another roll. (We'll see how well that works out if/when I have kids....) Wink
THIS ROCKS   Logged
vampirebee
Bee
Offline Offline

Posts: 24
Joined: 11-Mar-2005

Love me, love my angst.


View Profile
« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2005 12:28:52 PM »

As far as neutral symbols: I second anyone who said peace, doves, snowflakes.  I don't buy / make cards that mention "holiday" at all.  I go for ones with a quote about winter or peace.  This year's (which have been sitting in a corner with all my snowflake decorations since last year) have a shimmery abstract winter landscape and the saying "How sweet a world at peace can be."  In the past I had ones with a quote from William Blake that I can't put my hands on at the moment.

I also really really love winter cards with vintage-y black and white photos of people enjoying snowfall!  Kids, couples, even pets...  they always make me smile.  And PENGUINS and POLAR BEARS, especially chicks and cubs... 

I have to say, though, that I love receiving holiday cards from people who celebrate that holiday when I know the card is sent in the spirit of love and generosity that is at the root of the holiday, even if I don't share a belief in the religion.   
THIS ROCKS   Logged

Winter is nature's way of saying, "Up yours."
~Robert Byrne
smokingmonkey
« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2005 12:30:43 PM »

But don't send me a card with Santa and Rudolph and all those other reindeer whose names I don't know and call it "Holiday."  THAT, my friends, is a Christmas card.

Doh! I tried to make a card last year with tracks in the snow of a sleigh and hoofprints. It was nixed. Hey! It didn't mean it was Santa and Reindeer, it could have been people out taking a sleigh ride enjoying the snow!

Thinly veiled, yes.
THIS ROCKS   Logged

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
http://www.secondaryhighway.com
http://2ndaryHighway.etsy.com
sacrdplce
Offline Offline

Posts: 137
Joined: 02-Sep-2005
Roadrunner ... the coyote's after you ...


View Profile
« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2005 01:32:12 PM »

Quote
I don't like being wished a Merry Christmas when I buy my family Chanukah presents.
That would suck! It would make sense for store clerks to be trained especially not to do this. Probably harder to stop at mom-and-pop type places.

DithMer- Thanks for your reply!
I personally think Christmas is waaaaaay too overdone. There's actually a book titled, "Unplugging the Christmas Machine." It helps people relax and refocus their priorities for the holiday. You say you feel that you're left out of something because "Chanukah isn't as big of a holiday." I don't think bigger is necessarily better (though the merchants would very much beg to differ). I think spending time with family and celebrating one's religion (or not) is more important than showering everyone with piles of stuff. We actually have spent the last few years talking people into not exchanging gifts. And everybody loves the idea! Less people to buy for. I know, we sound like communists.

Quote
I also really really love winter cards with vintage-y black and white photos of people enjoying snowfall!
I like this idea. Celebration of family--says it all for me. Of course, that's the family that we want to celebrate with--not the ones who weren't invited.

THIS ROCKS   Logged

While we have the gift of life, it seems to me that the only tragedy is to allow part of us to die - whether it is our spirit, our creativity, or our glorious uniqueness.           Gilda Radner
minouette
« Reply #15 on: September 07, 2005 02:48:58 PM »

I've started making snowmen and snow-flake cards wishing a "Happy Winter Solstice". I live in Canada, and trust me, the lengthening of daylight hours is worth celebrating! I like the dove of peace idea, since that exemplifies the best of Christmas, though I'm not religious, and I don't think that would offend anyone (as the symbol, though religious in origin is common to major monotheistic religions and it's taken simply to mean peace). I've also been trying to make, rather than buy, gifts. If I buy them, I buy from local craftspeople. I wrap them in recycled paper, maps, brown paper which I decorate, whatever.

A friend was gleefully handing out Christmas cards one year and she wished a prof "Merry Christmas". He replied that actually, he was Jewish. To which my friend- truthfully said, "Oh, that's okay, I'm Muslim." Why she was handing out Christmas cards, I don't know. I think she just thought it was fun.  Smiley The Christmas frenzy is out of control. I do know friends who have "banned" the holiday from their lives... but I have too much fun giving gifts to do that.  Grin
THIS ROCKS   Logged

I opened an Etsy shop! Come visit http://minouette.etsy.com

(I have a wist too: http://minouette.wists.com)
Flareon
« Reply #16 on: September 07, 2005 03:37:44 PM »

We could just use this... Grin

http://www.vixens.homestead.com/files/happy_everything.jpg
THIS ROCKS   Logged
Flareon
« Reply #17 on: September 07, 2005 03:38:54 PM »

A friend was gleefully handing out Christmas cards one year and she wished a prof "Merry Christmas". He replied that actually, he was Jewish. To which my friend- truthfully said, "Oh, that's okay, I'm Muslim."

LOL!
THIS ROCKS   Logged
craftykate
« Reply #18 on: September 07, 2005 03:57:34 PM »


HA! I love that!
I'm a Unitarian Universalist so this hits home a little. My family is a little of everything, Atheist, Catholic, Methodist, Jewish, but I'm the lone Unitarian and Christmas is not of particular importance to me. Some relatives will be offended if I send something, and some offended if I don't. I tend to stick to snowflakes and peace because no one I've met so far can be offended by that.
THIS ROCKS   Logged

http://craftykate.etsy.com

Yep, it's a knit blog
http://craftykate-knits.blogspot.com/

wanna trade? I heart personal swaps.
Lothruin
Friend of Craftster Friend of Craftster

Offline Offline

Posts: 4596
Joined: 23-Jan-2004

I eat seakittens.


View Profile WWW available for personal swaps
« Reply #19 on: September 07, 2005 04:12:24 PM »

Honestly, though I suppose it shouldn't, since I have no point of reference at all, it surprises me that a candle would be symbolic of Christmas rather than more neutral, since candles figure somewhat prominently in the celebration of chanukah.

I am an agnostic raised by one formerly Catholic (Polish Catholic, no less) atheist and one formerly Seventh Day Adventist and Jewish by heritage agnostic.  My families celebrate Christmas, my immediate family (which also consists of agnostic sister and husband, and a child who will eventually choose for herself) celebrates a family holiday on the day of Christmas Eve that really has nothing to do with Christmas at all, and my mother (who's mother's mother was killed in Germany) and we girls celebrate our Jewish heritage with learning and talk.  We have friends who celebrate Chanukah, Christmas and even Solstice at that time of year.

I know we prefer to get cards from people that reflect their faith.  I hate to think that my lack of faith makes someone uncomfortable enough with our relationship that they fear offending me with their faith.  I love my friends and family, and their faiths are part of who they are, and I feel it is more insulting to THEM to to BE insulted by expressions of their faith, if that makes any sense.  In fact I think it would be downright rude and insensitive of me to be offended by an expression of faith from a person whom I value.  I must value all of them, mustn't I, even if I disagree with it?  Maybe I'm very glad I have friends and family who understand this, but I honestly feel that if someone IS insulted by expressions of your faith they aren't really worth sending a card to.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2005 04:21:13 PM by Lothruin » THIS ROCKS   Logged

Find craft patterns, supplies and humor at Lothruin.com!

Find me on Ravelry as Lothruin!
DithMer
Offline Offline

Posts: 673
Joined: 14-Dec-2003

Have a good one, and learn everything you can.


View Profile
« Reply #20 on: September 07, 2005 04:22:22 PM »

When I said candle, I meant more the traditional christmas candle image - like this:
http://rubber-stamp-shack.com/all_creatures_pictures/christmas_candle.jpg

I definitely don't disagree with what you said, Lothurin. I too think we should get cards from people reflecting their particular faith.  I'm just bothered by the attempt to BECOME p.c. turning into lumping all the holidays together, yet maintaining the Christmas imagery.  I value each of my friends, and deeply respect whatever religion (or lack thereof) they choose to celebrate.  I just feel uncomfortable when my religion, which IS important to me, is lumped under something that I can't relate to.  I want my friends to celebrate however they choose - but when they attempt to include me in a way that actually makes me feel more secluded.... I don't know.  Just trying to express how I feel without saying that people shouldn't be allowed to send Christmas cards. That's all.
THIS ROCKS   Logged
Lothruin
Friend of Craftster Friend of Craftster

Offline Offline

Posts: 4596
Joined: 23-Jan-2004

I eat seakittens.


View Profile WWW available for personal swaps
« Reply #21 on: September 07, 2005 04:30:28 PM »

I totally understand, Dithmer, and think that we're actually coming from the same place.  Rather than trying to homogenize the holidays, they should be celebrated in their individuality.  I would certainly rather be wished a Happy Chanukah by my Jewish friends than receive some ambiguous snowflake card just because they know I'm not Jewish.  Not that I mind snowflake cards.  I send them myself, because I have no symbols of my faith, because I HAVE no faith, so it's snowflakes for me.  Plus I think they're preeetty.  And to be honest, I don't tend to use Christmas stamps during the holidays.  I usually pick antique cars or something.  Cheesy

And now I get the candle thing, although I have to laugh at myself about that.  I was thinking "Candles would be OK" and had this rather artsy black and white photo of just a plain, narrow taper candle, about the top inch or two and the flame with a blurred background.  So really, just the candle.  I hadn't decorated it with anything, or put it in a holder in my mind.  And I thought "This image is symbolic to so many people, how could it be offensive?" without even considering the way in which candles are usually portrayed at the holidays.
THIS ROCKS   Logged

Find craft patterns, supplies and humor at Lothruin.com!

Find me on Ravelry as Lothruin!
Ezri_B
« Reply #22 on: September 09, 2005 10:28:09 AM »

When I said candle, I meant more the traditional christmas candle image - like this:
http://rubber-stamp-shack.com/all_creatures_pictures/christmas_candle.jpg

That is funny to me, I'm not a christian, but my entire family is (Congregational, very strict Lutheran, or Catholic.) I have friends of all faiths. My children are being raised everything sort of.... discussion for a different time.

We celebrate winter solstice in my house.
We celebrate Christmas at many of our families' houses.
We celebrate other winter holidays at friends' houses. I honestly feel a candle is less Christian than other religions. Christianity has taken or assimilated many other religion's objects or symbols into their own. There is nothing wrong with this, I just get upset that a candle is considered Christian only. The picture you posted made me think of a pagan image. It combines fire and nature. This time of year (northern hemisphere,) it gets darker, what do you need when it gets darker? Light! Thus a candle (and holly, misteltoe, ribbons, are all seasonal and regional, not Christian)

I don't send Christmas cards. I send Holiday cards, because my family doesn't celebrate only one holiday. It says something like "Brightest Blessings to you this holiday season" (that was last years) or similar in other years. I get cards from many different friends, and I do on occasion roll my eyes when I get a bright and glittery virgin Mary with biblical quotes and such, but that is more because my Great Grandmother thinks she can convert me by sending me the right card. However, I get appreciate the sentiment from all the cards regardless of faith. And if something is written inside that is personal to me, it doesn't matter what the picture on the outside is.

Just my 2 cents. No offense meant, if any was taken. Just my take on the whole subject.
Tab
THIS ROCKS   Logged

iamsunny
« Reply #23 on: September 16, 2005 09:00:54 AM »

i know what you mean as a jew there is not attachment tho that stuff... i love christmas time but ht holly and berries and waht not just are meaningless.. i would go for like snowflakes, or snow angles, snowpeople or something along that line.
speaking as a jew (oh, it's so hard to be a jew at christmas) i definitely pay attention to that stuff. there's a lot that isn't particularly neutral around the holidays.  i feel no attachment to candy canes, tree lights, candles, holly, berries, boughs, angels.... that stuff all feels christmas to me.  i've seen cards that make me giggle around the holidays, that combine holidays - like a jewish santa, or matzah ball berries on a wreath (actually, i think i just came up with that one Smiley)  i definitely am sensitive to receiving cards with "christmas-y" stuff on them - i know other jews who are too.

though... on the other hand... the way i look at it is i give the card of my holiday.  i give all my friends chanukah cards, even though very few of them are jewish.  so i expect to get christmas cards. i just don't like christmas cards that try and play it off as "holiday" cards when they have blatantly christmas-y stuff on them. 

oh the turmoils of PC religious craft making.  will it ever end? WILL IT EVER END???
THIS ROCKS   Logged
sacrdplce
Offline Offline

Posts: 137
Joined: 02-Sep-2005
Roadrunner ... the coyote's after you ...


View Profile
« Reply #24 on: September 16, 2005 07:29:27 PM »

So, I've been thinking a lot about this thread. I had a neat experience that I want to share. I celebrated Christmas one year in a largely non-Christian country--Japan. (Christians number just two percent of the population in Japan.) The country's major religions are Shintoism (roughly-god is in nature) and Buddhism. When I was there ten years ago, Christmas was becoming more popular, and was most often celebrated by younger people. One thing Japanese did differently was eat decorated Christmas cake on Christmas day. My husband and I bought one at the local convenience store. It had a couple of strawberries on top of the icing and "Merry Christmas" in English. (Their convenience stores really are convenient.)

On Christmas eve I watched a Japanese movie about a woman and her lover set around the Christmas holiday. (It was in Japanese, so I didn't understand it.) It seemed to play up the idea of Christmas as a romantic holiday, like Valentine's Day. There was a scene with snowfall and the woman looking/waiting for her love.

In Japan there even were Christmas cards for sale at the big stores, many in English.

At the English school where I worked they put up their artificial tree. In a misguided move at cultural sharing the teachers of our school school read "Twas the Night Before Christmas" to the kids. I'm surprised they didn't fall asleep. It was too long and had too many big words for our English learners.

For more information:
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2299.html
http://www.drabruzzi.com/christmas_in_japan.htm
Quote
Instead of the traditional Christmas turkey or ham, the Japanese prefer a bucket of KFC chicken, though no one seems to know exactly how this custom came about.
Quote
And among the best-selling Christmas items here are condoms--yes, condoms. For the Japanese, Christmas is not the time for a quiet family get-together; it's the time for a little romance. They go to the nice restaurant, have a special dinner and spend a romantic night. So if you don't have a partner, it's kind of miserable night.

THIS ROCKS   Logged

While we have the gift of life, it seems to me that the only tragedy is to allow part of us to die - whether it is our spirit, our creativity, or our glorious uniqueness.           Gilda Radner
milkbone
« Reply #25 on: September 17, 2005 09:57:42 AM »

Several of my favorite "neutral" winter card themes have already been mentioned (peace, snowflakes)...

I also like cards that show winter scenes/sports, such as snowshoeing, skiing, mittens, sledding, ice skating, etc. Ooh- and photos of moonlit snowy nights!
THIS ROCKS   Logged
LucyLu
« Reply #26 on: September 21, 2005 08:37:17 PM »

I thought this was interesting so I did some internet searching and found this website that addressed your issue of being culturally aware in the business world.  Here's a quote from www.designcraftters.com  I think their idea of incorporating a calendar or "2006" is very clever.

In an effort to value and respect the religious and cultural differences of both employees and clients, many businesses have recently chosen holiday cards which feature more inclusive and culturally neutral images, such as winter scenes, snowflakes, or even tropical holiday cards. Images and verses have focused on such themes such as human unity, the universal desire for peace and love, or the value of relationships. Some businesses have resolved this issue by opting for photo cards featuring their employees. Others have elected to send generic calendar cards - hoping that the calendars and company information will get posted on office walls for the whole year.


Here are some of their more pc cards:
http://www.designcrafters.com/greeting_cards/christmas_cards/calendar/calendar_cards_1.html

http://www.designcrafters.com/greeting_cards/holiday_cards/international/international_holiday_cards_1.html
THIS ROCKS   Logged
Tiram
« Reply #27 on: September 27, 2005 02:12:34 AM »

Last year, my former employers used a Scandinavian "nisse" and the greeting "Happy Holidays" on the card they sent out(1). The company is based in Norway, which is predominantly Christian (on paper anyway ...), but about 15% of the employees belong to Asian religions, like Hinduism, Shintoism, etc., and there are many atheists among the European employees, among the Scandinavians in particular. Sending out something overtly Christian would have been entirely wrong.

The "nisse" (imagine a cross between an elf and a gnome, with a red cap) is often used in Christmas imagery, that's true, but he is of pagan origins, and there are still ppl. who set out food for him on Christmas Eve -- an offering, if you like:) He's not very Christian, but very Scandinavian. Another religiously neutral, but very Scandinavian image, is that of a sheaf of grain with little birds in it. Another custom that stems from what used to be an offering ...Smiley

As for what you should do for your Christmas cards ... I would draw up a list, noting who would be likely to be offended by what, and send neutral cards or religious-specific cards depending on the recipients' offence-taking level. (Hm, strange wording, but I'm sure you get my point:)

Snowflakes and snow scenes are good for neutral cards, yes, as is everything snow:) But peace doves, too me, is a bit too holiday neutral -- more like an year-round image. And I actually associate it with churches and religious rites of passage. (Christenings and confirmations.) The doves are mainly a Judæo-Christian image, aren't they? Of course, if your friends are mostly Christians and Jews, that could still work:) Penguins are a bit too South pole, I think ...Smiley

As an atheist, I don't mind at all if someone sends me a Christmas card with a Christian motif, as long as they don't try to convert me:) I think it's nice to receive Yule cards regardless.

On the cards I send out, I usually go for something with a "nisse" or several, or a sheaf with birds. I've also done winter landscapes and trees, both evergreen and not, sometimes with forest animals (like hares, deer and foxes) or birds.

(1) They sent an electronic card, like the year before, and gave the money they saved on printing etc. to charity. I rather liked that idea:)
THIS ROCKS   Logged

The knuckles! The horrible knuckles!
SparroWinter
Androgynous scarf-knitter
Offline Offline

Posts: 364
Joined: 18-Aug-2005

Always twirling twirling twirling towards freedom.


View Profile WWW
« Reply #28 on: September 27, 2005 05:41:20 PM »

I like culturally and religiously neutral things, since they imply that not everyone subscribes to a certain way of living or thinking.

Some things that I think of when I think nondemoninational are your typical images of candy canes, gingerbread men, snowflakes, snow-covered trees, and roaring fireplaces. Scarves and mittens, sleds and snowmen.

Heh. I once had a friend who sent out homemade holiday cards, with a border of different religious symbols, including symbols from religions listed in video games and books. Gotta hand it to the guy, that was one of the coolest things I'd ever seen!
THIS ROCKS   Logged

Projects in Progress - Branching Out scarf
 - Numerous knitted blanket squares

Just Finished - Midnight scarf
 - Falliage scarf
 - Basketweave Baby Blanket
rachel.in.rainbows
« Reply #29 on: October 07, 2005 08:36:34 AM »

I don't know if anyone corrected this as I'm too lazy to read all the posts, but someone said candy cane, and that's one you shouldn't use.  It's actually an upside down J, for Jesus. Wink  You can check out the history of the candy cane on-line.  It's pretty interesting.  I'm thinking things like snowflakes... gifts (Huh) maybe...
THIS ROCKS   Logged
sacrdplce
Offline Offline

Posts: 137
Joined: 02-Sep-2005
Roadrunner ... the coyote's after you ...


View Profile
« Reply #30 on: October 07, 2005 10:42:07 AM »

Thought I'd check out the candy cane story since I'd heard it before and always wondered. I mean no disrespect to pinky penguin.Smiley  Here are a couple of links that suggest there's no proven religious connection between Christianity and candy canes:

http://www.snopes.com/holidays/christmas/candycane.asp

and

http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/blchristmas.htm


p.s. I didn't want any of my friends here to stop eating candy canes. Grin
THIS ROCKS   Logged

While we have the gift of life, it seems to me that the only tragedy is to allow part of us to die - whether it is our spirit, our creativity, or our glorious uniqueness.           Gilda Radner
DsgndbyRJ
« Reply #31 on: October 07, 2005 10:57:57 AM »

As always this topic generates some interesting discussion.

I wanted to ad - I don't know WHY I get stuck on this one, but to me, especially around the holidays a dove = Christianity.  I know it's a symbol of peace and all, but I just can't disassociate (and I'm athiest).

AND can someone please explain the association of moose & winter holidays.  I feel like I'm missing something.  Wink
THIS ROCKS   Logged

www.RJBeads.etsy.com - beads and jewelry making supplies! **SALE ALERT**

www.designedbyrj.blogspot.com
not2old4glitter
« Reply #32 on: October 09, 2005 11:53:43 AM »

Quote
AND can someone please explain the association of moose & winter holidays
Reindeer on steroids?
I really like snow and snowflake themed cards and decorations because they are sparkly, more than anything else. The religious neutrality is just a bonus. Also alot of the more modern design cards are geometric or abstract and don't have any cultural symbolism, they can be very pretty. If you have a museum near you, the gift shop might have mod holiday cards like this. (to buy or to inspire home made cards) I think if you stick with nature (landscapes, animals) and glitter you will be safe.
THIS ROCKS   Logged

jmbzm
« Reply #33 on: October 13, 2005 07:39:55 PM »

I haven't read all the posts, but really appreciate the inquiry. 

My husband and I have a very liberally interfaith household, and since we both stretch towards one another's cultural traditions (less religious for us, more cultural, like my family having a Christmas tree, and his family honoring Passover with a meal for friends and family) we work really hard to find something that works for the winter holidays.

We try to focus most of our attention to creating an environment which is both beautiful, different and reflective around the winter solstice.  While we have a Christmas tree, we downplay that and focus on the themes of the solstice...birth, forgiveness, light, kindness, justice, love, peace, warmth, family and friendship.  We are making large felt banners this year for our walls, each with one of those words, but in years past we have tried to create an environemtn that is reflective...more candles, warm and comforting smells, fires, etc.  We try to have friends over for more special, if pretty simple meals and evenings together. We watch less TV, we try to prepare for the new year coming...

Hope that helps.  I find that colorful lights and candles and music and warmth really help.

THIS ROCKS   Logged
supergirle
« Reply #34 on: October 14, 2005 07:26:08 PM »

I like holiday cards with animals on them.  I think they are cute and nonoffensive nor relgious.  You can find or make cards with drawings of animals such as cats laying down with mittens around them, dogs looking happy in the snow, polar bears, penguins etc you know the kinds of animals that live in snowy cold climates.  That is just my two cents good luck!
THIS ROCKS   Logged
AstroZombie
Cryptozoologist
Offline Offline

Posts: 129
Joined: 28-Aug-2004


View Profile WWW
« Reply #35 on: October 14, 2005 07:37:16 PM »

I realize this pertains to no holiday, but I usually buy blank notecards and glue tiny origami cranes on them. It seems to be an appropriate, neutral card for anyone. The goal of me sending cards is to just communicate with friends and family I haven't been able to see all year, so I see it as more of an end of the year check-up rather than a holiday greeting.
THIS ROCKS   Logged

sacrdplce
Offline Offline

Posts: 137
Joined: 02-Sep-2005
Roadrunner ... the coyote's after you ...


View Profile
« Reply #36 on: October 17, 2005 12:42:28 AM »

Quote
I realize this pertains to no holiday, but I usually buy blank notecards and glue tiny origami cranes on them. It seems to be an appropriate, neutral card for anyone. The goal of me sending cards is to just communicate with friends and family I haven't been able to see all year, so I see it as more of an end of the year check-up rather than a holiday greeting.

How elegant! Now, what are your colors please?

Quote
I think if you stick with nature (landscapes, animals) and glitter you will be safe.

I think many of life's trials could be improved with nature and glitter. Wink (Nice to see you over here.)
THIS ROCKS   Logged

While we have the gift of life, it seems to me that the only tragedy is to allow part of us to die - whether it is our spirit, our creativity, or our glorious uniqueness.           Gilda Radner
opiate_rose
« Reply #37 on: October 18, 2005 12:00:13 PM »

I agree with the glitter, I think a good amount of glitter always reminds me of new fallen snow and in turn winter.  I love decorating for winter, I myself am a pagan and I use a lot of darker colors and white to show the colors of the season in my head, and I'm just not a very bright colored oriented person.

As for winter cards/solstice cards, in the past couple years I've been using some amy brown winter fairy prints with glitter, and some Nightmare Before Christmas cards, but that's just my personality.
THIS ROCKS   Logged

Catgirrrl
« Reply #38 on: October 18, 2005 01:00:39 PM »

I have to do this for my job, find a neutral holiday card.  It is hard too, because some symbols are not as neutral as they seem, like stars.  The best is probably snowflakes.  I wish there were more regional cards out there; being from Portland, I would love to find a card w/ Mt. Hood for the holidays.  There are lots of cards with globes or the Earth on them and world flags instead of doves.

Another option is always New Year cards.  Most everyone celebrates the New Year.  Or if you can get it in early, Thanksgiving cards.  For my personal cards, I'm usually too busy and end up sending everyone Valentine's Day cards instead. 
THIS ROCKS   Logged
LivinEasy
Offline Offline

Posts: 660
Joined: 03-Feb-2005

Eat Cheese. Be Happy.


View Profile WWW
« Reply #39 on: October 18, 2005 01:09:16 PM »

catgirrrl, make cards with Mt. Hood on them! I'd love to see those. You can buy paper to print your own cards and really it ends up being relatively price effective.
THIS ROCKS   Logged

AstroZombie
Cryptozoologist
Offline Offline

Posts: 129
Joined: 28-Aug-2004


View Profile WWW
« Reply #40 on: October 18, 2005 01:47:16 PM »


How elegant! Now, what are your colors please?


I sometimes use blue and silver shiny paper or just traditional origami paper. The hard part is cutting tiny squares, but once you get the hang of it, the folding is easy.
THIS ROCKS   Logged

smokingmonkey
« Reply #41 on: October 18, 2005 03:16:07 PM »

Update: I can't tell exactly what's all involved in the holiday card (company privacy policy), but the general concensus of the company was to use an image of my sockmonkey costume making a snow-angel. I can't think of how a sockmonkey in snow couldn't be neutral... maybe the angel part, but hey, what kid (that's seen snow) has never flapped their arms and legs around in it? Does that pass?

The sockmonkey costume is certainly making it's rounds these days...
THIS ROCKS   Logged

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
http://www.secondaryhighway.com
http://2ndaryHighway.etsy.com
smokingmonkey
« Reply #42 on: October 19, 2005 07:58:55 AM »

Well, here's someone with the same idea:
http://www.sockmonkeylady.com/Greeting%20Cards%20Page1.htm
So you can order them from her, featuring real sockmonkeys.


Our card is different, a person sized sockmonkey in a suit (my avatar). We'll actually be tearing all of our cards in half, don't ask, maybe I'll post pictures of the final product when it's all over.
THIS ROCKS   Logged

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
http://www.secondaryhighway.com
http://2ndaryHighway.etsy.com
LivinEasy
Offline Offline

Posts: 660
Joined: 03-Feb-2005

Eat Cheese. Be Happy.


View Profile WWW
« Reply #43 on: October 19, 2005 08:35:43 AM »

Wow, that site is great although the 'Be Mine' cards are horrifying.
THIS ROCKS   Logged

smokingmonkey
« Reply #44 on: October 19, 2005 08:55:07 AM »

Yeah, some of them definitey have the creep out factor going on.

The ever awesome Ms. Flyingfish has some new sockmonkey postcards too:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v730/flyingfish/sm_web.jpg
THIS ROCKS   Logged

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
http://www.secondaryhighway.com
http://2ndaryHighway.etsy.com
Jennickell
« Reply #45 on: October 19, 2005 09:04:14 AM »

Holy crap those sock monkey cards are the best! I think a group of sock monkeys sledding is a great non-bias way to say Happy Holidays!

On a side note, after saving every christmas card I have ever gotten for the past oh 7 or 8 years. I have decided to recycle them into new cards, using the fronts I am going to cut out shapes and glue them to plain note cards (that I think I am going to print a personal message on the inside), I am also going to make gift tags from all the recycled cards as well, plus my boys are going to make ornaments, havent figured out how yet, I am thinking of punching small holes all the way around a cut out and having them lace ribbon or yarn through the holes, or laminating them with contact paper with glitter in between. Still tossing ideas around.
THIS ROCKS   Logged
Threads you might like:
Pages: 1 2 3 ... 5 [All] Jump to page:
  Send this topic  |  Print  |  Bookmark  
 
Jump to:  



FacebookTwitterPinterest
only results with images
include swap threads
advanced search



Latest Blog Articles
Meatless Monday: Lemon Cornmeal Waffles
Whooops!
@Home This Weekend: Curtains!

Comparison Shopping




Support Craftster
Become a
Friend of Craftster

Buy Craftster Swag
Buy Craft Supplies
Comparison Shopping

Craftster heartily thanks the following peeps...
Moderators

Follow Craftster...






Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
SimplePortal 2.3.5 © 2008-2012, SimplePortal
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!

Copyright ©2003-2016, Craftster.org an Internet Brands company.