Should I Invite Her?

Dear Jean,

My administrative assistant is a Jehovah’s Witness.  I am told she is not allowed by her religion to celebrate holidays or birthdays.  Should I invite her to attend birthday parties of her co-workers?

Reply:

It is nice manners to give her the dignity of choice.  Mostly likely, she will graciously decline.  Because you don’t fully understand her religious loyalties, ask.  She will be delighted to tell you anything you want to know.  Please don’t assume.  You may end up not inviting her to a baby shower she really wanted to attend.

I learned about the traditions of Jehovah’s Witnesses firsthand from a most delightful person, a previous receptionist of mine.  It was I who almost didn’t have a baby shower for her.  Somehow I got the idea that Jehovah’s Witnesses just said “no” to parties of any kind.  Boy, was I wrong!  A good rule of thumb is, “When in doubt, ask.”  Halloween parties are a definite “no” and anniversaries are a definite “yes.”

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