Q. Regarding Thanksgiving and Christmas parties…am I to contribute to them at work? Is it allowed? Can I go and eat from thanksgiving events
A. To give sadaqah is allowed in Islam. Should they have a need for your food, and such giving is indeed need-based, as a Muslim you should help. To give sadaqah to an oppressor, greedy person, or a person that is to use that energy towards haram is forbidden. Islam sanctions peace and wishers for you to promote it as such.
If it is a event is filled with merry-making, then one has to weight the religious and secular (employment) consequences. It would be favored that you do what your religion wishes for you to do as you take part in such an event. If it is known that negativity (loss of job, etc) would prevail by a lack of your presence or financial contribution, then merely give your donation, and refrain from being part of the process as a first choice. Should not attending prove fatal to your employment security, then attend the event for the shortest time period possible, thereafter politely excuse yourself. Do not eat that which is forbidden, and try not to eat from events that you are not spiritually part of. (To eat the food of a wrong doer would make you weak in your religious ways.)
Should such an event not prove to be mandatory then to go would not be appropriate. To voluntarily attend and socialize at a place where alcohol is being served, pig is being eaten, etc. as well as other vices of sin is occurring would be a sin (by all traditional religious standards.). However, should negative consequences be attributed to you not attending, then do so with reserve and limitation, as mentioned above.
To attend and justify such actions is to fall in within the category of people that view ‘good as evil and evil as good’ والمعروف منكراً والمنكر معروفاً. For such lopsided people, there lot is only going to be pain and anguish, Rasulullah (SAW) has warned us that such people would eventually come by and we should be beware of them and their false analogies. Joining hands with them would only compound to our ummah’s grief, pain and sorrow.
The sin of such events is due to the following: intermingling in a free manner, the presence of alcohol, pork and other haram meats and substances, resembling a non-Muslim way of life, being part of something you know is wrong, etc, etc.
People of diversity and religious sensitivity do understand the dilemma you are undergoing. No person should be forced to do what they deem inappropriate, or is against what they value and cherish.
Allah certainly knows best.