(In)Correct Holiday Planning

ChrismukkahThese days it’s hard to know what to say when it comes to the holiday greeting. It used to be a simple Merry Christmas. Growing up Jewish, it never bothered me when someone bade me that sentiment. It still doesn’t. Though I can see why it may bother some people.

But these days it just feels like there’s a lot more out there besides Jews and Christians. It may have always been that other religions were out there, of course, but living in a politically (in)correct world, it feels as if we have to be more careful of spreading holiday joy.

These days the holiday calendar seems a bit more packed, especially if you take into consideration both religious and secular observations. Not all that long ago MPI planned an event over the Yom Kippur holiday. It may not seem like too much of an issue except that Yom Kippur is the holiest of Jewish holidays (yes, more important than even Hanukkah!)

It was a simple oversight. Someone didn’t look at the religious calendar or the calendar they did look at didn’t include that holiday. In any case, you can imagine the backlash MPI got when they discovered the error and found they couldn’t remedy it. The contract had been signed and the marketing had begun. Oops.

I worked with a client once that got an unbelievable room rate at a hotel in the Washington, DC area and couldn’t believe the great deal. They signed the contract and began the planning only to discover the weekend the hotel offered the wonderful deal was over Mother’s Day. Um, can I get another oops?

We decided to go with it and made the conference a family affair, holding a Mother’s Day breakfast, with children, on the Sunday of the meeting. It became a kind of tradition and the audience for this particular event now comes to expect the meeting will take place near that holiday so they can enjoy the Mother’s Day breakfast.

But not all calendar oversights end in such success. It’s still a must to check holiday scheduling. It’s easy enough to find most holiday dates online or by using an app. Be sure to include religious, secular and, depending on your geographic area, US or other nationalities. After all, you wouldn’t want to plan a meeting in Canada for your American attendees during a Canadian holiday where shops, restaurants and attractions may be closed.

Of course, now that Christmas is nearing, your mind is probably more on decorating the tree or spending time with family. So take a break from your planning and enjoy this special time of year.

Merry Christmas. Um, I mean, Happy Holidays!
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