Happy holidays from the part-time newb.
December 13, 2010 3:58 PM   Subscribe

Part-timer and fairly new in the office. I want to hand out Christmas cards to my co-workers this year but there are a few people out of my department whom I've not spoken to besides "hi" and "bye" because our jobs simply don't require us to cross paths. Should I do cards for everyone anyway?

I've been working at a small office (about 25 people) part-time for 4 months. I am friendly with about 2/3 of my co-workers and am planning to give them Christmas cards this year.

The dilemma I'm having is that there are a few people in the office who are not in my department whom I've never spoken more than "hi" and "bye" to. The number of people who fit into this category is small enough that it might seem exclusionary to give everyone else cards and not them. And I definitely don't want to seem like I am excluding anyone. It's a nice office and I'm looking forward to going full-time there soon.

But! Two of these co-workers I don't know have handed out their cards already and did not include me. I suspect that two others don't even know my name. Neither of these things bother me, since we don't have any job overlap at the office, but they do make me wonder if these people would find my giving them a card odd, since we really don't know each other at all at this point.

What to do here? Cards for everyone, clearly out of obligation, or cards for just for the people I know right now (and cards for everyone next year)?
posted by houndsoflove to Work & Money (8 answers total)
Cards for everyone.

"Our paths may not cross often, but I hope your holidays are merry and bright!" Or some such.

Who knows? Maybe the person you don't know might be having a bad day, get the card and smile because *someone* out there is thinking of him or her.
posted by MonkeyToes at 4:02 PM on December 13, 2010 [4 favorites]

Cards for everyone, obligation-style. Yeah, It's a little 3rd grade, but nobody will be angry you gave them a card.

(unless your Christmas card has any religious Christmas greeting (not just Christmas as Consumer Holiday, which is fine), in which case cards for no one, as that is offensive and WILL anger people).
posted by brainmouse at 4:02 PM on December 13, 2010

Depends on what you want that one person who will feel slighted to think come December 26th. You are not showing genuine love and affection here. You are upholding a tradition. Cards for everybody or nobody.
posted by Old Geezer at 4:13 PM on December 13, 2010

Erm, the religious sentiment rule doesn't need to be followed if you know the card will be liked. Most of the offices I've worked in have had at least four or five people who would be offended if you gave them "Seasons Greetings" stuff, in fact - you could spot them by all the Bible quotes in their cubicles. I give about sixty percent of the people at work religious cards - I even buy Catholic-specific ones for a few people (and I'm Mormon.) Only the known "no religion" and ambiguous people (*) get non-religious cards.

Give everyone a card. It's only 25 people, so it's a reasonable low-risk strategy. I give cards to everyone in my work unit plus secretaries and other helpful people in the building - I think the count is 30 or 40 people this year. Admittedly, this is in part because I love giving people cards (I am, in fact, the official designer of birthday cards for my office, because people kept forgetting to buy one and then they all liked what I made.)

(*) I am in the midwest. The Californian in me still can't quite get over the invitations they put out for the Mayor's Prayer Breakfast in this town.
posted by SMPA at 4:19 PM on December 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

I would do (appropriately holiday/season's greetings generic) cards for all, with appropriately generic sentiments in the cards for people you don't know very well. Very few people are annoyed by a friendly gesture of goodwill, and if they are, you'll probably not hear about it anyway.
posted by xingcat at 4:54 PM on December 13, 2010

Give everyone a card! I love cards! They're so fun! (Says this dork who continued to give out Valentines well into college.)

(I also say this as a person who doesn't "do" Christmas, FWIW. Nothing wrong with spreading happiness and lurve, no matter what the season.)
posted by phunniemee at 4:54 PM on December 13, 2010

Or you could bring in a big basket of goodies to be shared in the break room, rather than individual cards. Doesn't everyone like muffins?
posted by Ideefixe at 5:06 PM on December 13, 2010 [2 favorites]

I love giving out cards too! So yeah, wrote up a card for everyone. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

And Ideefixe, that's a good idea and I considered it. But we have so many snacks sent to us by vendors around this time of year that cards might be a welcome change. ;)
posted by houndsoflove at 5:12 PM on December 14, 2010

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