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Signs of Stress and Imbalance

How To Break Through Fear in Turbulent Times

What is Stress?

Solving Problems in a High-Stress Environment

Break Through Self-Doubt & Fear

Let's Get Physical

Holiday Stress Hotspots

Make 2004 your Year of Organization

Holiday Stress Hotspots

Manage Stress by Stopping Obsessive or Unwanted Thoughts

Meditate Stress Away

Taking Stress for a Ride

3 Strategies to Reduce Stress

Cleaning Up

Stress; Control It, Change It or Let It Go!

Substance Abuse

The Courage to Feel Bad

The Challenge of Change

Tips for Managing Holiday Madness

Modern Day Stressors: What Stress Looks Like in the 21st Century

The Life Juggle: How to Find Lifework Balance

New Year's Resolutions



The Questions Leaders Should Ask Themselves about Change

The Top Ten Ways to Manage People through Change

Understanding Change

The Challenge of Change



Be Heard. Be Strong. Be Effective. How to Deliver Impressive Presentations

Getting Started in the Speaking Business: Answers to Burning Questions

What Entrepreneurs Need to Know to be Successful

How to Create and Maintain Culture as You Grow

Recruitment and Retention of Diverse Candidates



A Passion for Diversity

Traits of a Diverse Organization

Simma's Holiday Diversity Q and A

How to Go from Eggshell Walking to Multicultural Festivity Making

Are You Wasting Your Money on Diversity Training?

Interview Bias: Overcoming the Silent Forces Working Against You

How to Help LGBT Employees Help Your Organization Grow

How to Integrate Diversity Into Your Business Strategy

Diversity Benefits Organizations and Communities

Diversity Fast Facts

How to Integrate Diversity

10 PC Tips for Communicating with a Diverse Audience

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Interviewing Employees Who Stay

Wage and Position Disparity Across Gender

What Every Consultant Needs to Know About Diversity Consulting and Training

Diversity Competency Assessment

Recruitment and Retention of Diverse Candidates

Understanding Diversity Dialogues

Dialogue as a Communication Tool Amongst Diverse Groups of People

Communicating across Generations in the Workplace

Simma & Kate's Strategies for Cross-Generational Relationship Building

Valuing Diversity during the Holidays



Understanding Dialogue: A Q&A on the benefits of dialogue

Dialogue as a Communication Tool

Communication with Concern

Helping Others Deal with Loss

10 PC Tips for Communicating with a Diverse Audience

Tips for Better Communication Between Men and Women in the Workplace

Understanding Diversity Dialogues

Dialogue as a Communication Tool Amongst Diverse Groups of People

Simma & Kate's Strategies for Cross-Generational Relationship Building

Web Site Tips



Differences in Male and Female Communication Styles

Gender Communications Differences and Strategies

Wage and Position Disparity across Gender

Tips for Better Communication between Men and Women in the Workplace



Life/Work Balance in the Real World

New Year's Resolutions: A New Approach?

Working with Loved Ones: Leverage Potential and Avoid Pitfalls

Modern Day Stressors: What Stress Looks Like in the 21st Century

The Life Juggle: How to Find Lifework Balance



All in the Family

Are You Truly Successful?

How to Create and Maintain the Culture of Your Restaurants

Let's Get Physical

Meditate Stress Away

Taking Stress for a Ride

The Challenge of Change

3 Strategies to Reduce Stress

Cleaning Up Substance Abuse



Break Through Self-Doubt & Fear

Substance Abuse

The Courage to Feel Bad

Appreciating Diversity During the Holidays:  
It's about more than just a simple "Happy Holidays" greeting card.

By Kate Berardo and Simma Lieberman

Guess who's not celebrating Christmas this year? Millions of people in the US.

That's right. Tens of millions of Americans don't celebrate Christmas religiously, either as followers of non-Christian religions (Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, Jews) or as individuals with no religious affiliation. Because many stores tap into the cash value of Christmas with their plethora of Santas, ornaments, and Christmas fanfare at your nearby mall, we can easily overlook the depth of the diversity present in America during this season. In reality, many different events, both spiritual, religious, and tradition based, are being celebrated in many different ways during these times.

It used to be that being inclusive meant sending out PC "Happy Holidays" greeting cards and changing Christmas office parties to "Holiday parties." Today, it's about more than just changing labels and titles. It's about using a time to be with friends and family to build understanding and awareness about others.

Three Ways to Build Your Awareness and Create an Inclusive Holiday Environment

  1. Learn about other celebrations. Carve out some time from online shopping or a Holiday TV show to learn about another culture's celebrations during this time.  Watch a TV special on other celebrations, do a Google search on a holiday, or check out books at your local bookstore while gift shopping. Share your learning with others, and use it as a chance to expand the conversation at parties and at the dinner table.

  2. Make no expectations. Realize that people celebrate a variety of holidays during this time of year, and some people choose to celebrate none. Be respectful of these differences by taking interest in other people's traditions and making them feel welcome. Don't be afraid to ask people what holidays they celebrate. Find out what they do during this time of the year that is special. Let it be an opportunity to learn about different cultures and religions and the traditions that accompany them.


    Simma Lieberman's diversity training seminars can help your organization or company. If you are interested in hiring Simma for a diversity seminar, click here for more information.

  4. Mark your calendar and your address book. If the calendar or PDA you use does not list holidays like Kwanzaa, Hanukah, Ramadan, and Diwali, find out the dates and record them as reminders. Many programs like Outlook allow users to add calendar dates for celebrations from different parts of the world automatically, making this task quick and effortless. Take a few minutes to mark your address book with the holidays that people celebrate. When writing holiday cards, recognize their holiday, and include a little hand-written note acknowledging their celebration.


A Note for Employers:

Here are a few extra things employers can do to make their workplaces more inclusive during the holidays:

  • Make sure your Holiday party isn't a Christmas party in disguise. Decorations and food should be general, and non-specific to any religion.
  • Consider having a New Year's Party instead of a Holiday party. This type of party can get everyone on board with the company's mission and vision for the New Year.
  • Post holiday greetings on your webpage and intranet for many religious holidays.
  • Be respectful of these special dates, and plan events and meetings around various holidays.
  • Display a multi-cultural calendar to help all employees stay aware of important cultural events for the rest of the year.
  • Be flexible with the needs of different employees.
  • Encourage employees to share their celebrations through stories, decorations, and foods that they can bring to their workplace.

Simma Lieberman works with people and organizations to create environments where people can do their best work. She specializes in diversity, gender communications, life-work balance and stress, and acquiring and retaining new customers.

Kate Berardo is an intercultural trainer and consultant who specializes in programs on cross-cultural awareness, international relocation, and multicultural teambuilding. She is the founder of the global resource site Culturosity.com and co-author of Putting Diversity to Work. www.culturosity.com.

You may reprint these articles free of charge, on a non-exclusive basis, provided that Simma Lieberman's name and contact information are included. She would love to know that you plan to use her article(s); please contact her to let her know.

Call Simma at 510.527.0700 or Email simma@simmalieberman.com
Visit her website at www.simmalieberman.com

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