I love Jesus’ birthday – but I hate Christmas in the office. There is an endless round of after-work parties we are expected to attend. Do I really have to go?
I appreciate your spiritual discernment and priorities. The way the world “celebrates” Christmas is a formula for stress, overeating, overspending and over-socializing. It launches on Black Friday, accelerates to a fever pitch for a month, and then crashes to an oft-disappointing halt on Christmas day.
The Church, in her genius, celebrates the first and second coming of the Lord in Advent (which means “coming”). We anticipate with joy and hopeful expectation the Incarnation of the Son of God, which is celebrated on Christmas day. And then, if we really get it, we enjoy a sustained Christmas season for 12 days until Epiphany.
Don’t bother suggesting that pattern at work however. They’ll think you’re a Grinch.
As for the endless round of after-work parties – use your best judgment. If they are as mandatory as you suggest, ask your boss for some flexibility, noting that you have some competing commitments and priorities (which you do). And when you attend put on your most cheerful self. Offer this small Advent penance for the well being and salvation of your colleagues and customers, all for whom the Word became flesh and now dwells among us.