I am in quite the predicament. I started working for a new company couple of months ago and everything was great. Loved my co-workers, managers,etc.. Everyone seemed to like their job and we all have our usual 'good morning' routine. Until last month that is.
My co-workers decided to throw a Christmas party (I'm new to the company so I wasn't told about this before starting) and a gift exchange celebration. One of the colleagues (works in HR) approached me as asked what I was bringing to the Christmas party and the gift I was bringing. I told him that I wasn't Christian and that I wouldn't be taking part in the celebrations. I really didn't care whether they had the party or not.
Fast forward a couple of days and no one would talk to me! I'm getting nasty looks, co-workers avoiding me, not forwarding emails to me and just felt 'unwanted' If I go to HR, I'm afraid I would be seen as a 'Grinch' or someone who hates Christian. What's the best course of action? I really enjoy the company and my job!
( 6 months ago )
In many countries Christmas is not about religion. It's about family values, love, candles and tons of ginger bread. Declining their invitation is probably seen as either cheap (finding an excuse to not bring presents), rude or all out weird.
If the chance is still there (from the date I'd guess it's gone) you could go to HR and ask how much religion is part of their party. Tell them you thought it would be religious but you are happy to attend if it's okay that you are not Christian and don't believe in it. In Europe that should not be a problem. I have attended Christmas parties for about 20 years and I have not seen a single cross or other Christian symbol (neither Santa nor the tree are christian symbols by the way). And I'm not a Christian either, I simply love ginger bread and egg nog.
Alternatively, you could bring a lot of stuff for whatever holiday you believe in and share it with everyone, so at least you aren't seen as cheap.