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Topic: Culturally neutral holiday symbols  (Read 6393 times)
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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.
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pibbgirl
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2005 10:59:53 AM »

candy canes, holiday cookies...that's all I can think of right now
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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..
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laureg
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« 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

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DithMer
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« 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???
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« 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.
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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
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« 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...
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« 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.
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« 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
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