Civil servants criticised for non-denominational approach to festive season

Officials’ guidance for inclusive Christmas e-cards gets a frosty reception

Met Office

By Sarah.Aston

18 Dec 2014

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has been accused of “tinsel-wrapped idiocy” after staff were told to avoid the word Christmas in festive e-cards.

In guidance sent out by a senior civil servant and leaked to The Sun, DECC staff were told to use “Seasons Greetings” to avoid offending non-Christians.

“When picking, think Seasons Greetings rather than Merry Christmas.

“As an organisation of multiple faiths and agnostics serving a community of the same and in the interest of inclusion, I’d avoid images with skin,” the email told staff.

Director of the Taxpayers' Alliance John O’Connell criticised DECC for wasting time on the matter: “This is tinsel-wrapped idiocy.

“Christmas is expensive enough for families without subsidising a civil servant to think up politically correct claptrap,” he said.

DECC told CSW that the instructions came in a private email advising staff to think about who receives Christmas cards, but that there was no “formal guidance” on the matter.

The spokesperson also pointed out that secretary of state Ed Davey repeatedly used the word “Christmas” in an email sent to staff yesterday.

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