This, alack, is a real e-mail I received earlier today.
To brighten the office, we would like to put up a non-denominational winter tree in the _____ area. We would like to do this with the support of staff, so if you are offended by this tree, we will post an envelope marked, “tree” in the lunchroom, and you can submit your concerns in that envelope. Your concerns will be anonymous and we will take down the tree immediately. Please send us your thoughts by Wednesday, December 7th; otherwise, we will proceed with decorating the tree.
I composed several possible responses:
- I'm offended that you want to kill a living tree to observe a holiday.
- I'm offended that you're trying to "non-denominationalize" a symbol of a Christian holiday. (Don't give me yer crap about the tree's "pagan origins"; today it's widely recognized as a Christian symbol. Leather shoes have bovine origins, but no one expects them to moo or give milk.)
- Call it "non-denominational" if you want, but I'm offended that you're not putting up a non-denominational menorah or lighting some non-denominational incense or baking non-denominational Kwanzaa cookies or sacrificing a non-denominational goat to celebrate the winter solstice. Let's celebrate ALL the holidays!
- Wanna know how an angel feels? You will, after I ram that non-denominational tree up yer rear end. No holiday symbols in the workplace! Bah humbug!
- It's a great idea! Can I bring some non-denominational ornaments?
- I'm allergic to trees.
Quick—which of those responses should I put in the envelope? I have only until Wednesday...