Tuesday, December 9, 2014

#WeirdEd Week 35- War on Christmas

Ah yes, the holiday season. A time for joy. A time for merriment. A time for reflection. A time for some humans to wonder why everyone can't say "Merry Christmas" and why they have to bend over backwards to make their lips form words which might encompass more people that their immediate circle of contact.

Pictured: The Author While Writing
This Paragraph
I am not a giant fan of Christmas, I'll be honest. Sure, some of the songs are good, some of the books and movies are good, and presents are never a bad thing. But the whole, "Hey, be cool to everyone, peace on Earth, goodwill towards men," thing rings a little hollow when it's accompanied by Black Friday tramplings, the CIA torture report, and closed-minded Americans unable to realize that their particular holiday might not be everyone's holiday and yeah, maybe that should be ok.

Excuse me, I just noticed this soapbox I'm standing on. Sorry, one second...

 Many of our schools will soon be putting on some kind of Winter Festival. A Holiday Sing-A-Long. A December To Remember Sales Event. And we are all old enough to remember a time when that wasn't what this event was called. It was a Christmas Pageant. There were traditional Christmas songs and all was merry and bright.

No longer! The forces of evil and quality have swooped in and politically-correctified that most sacred of educational institutions. Now we can't invite parents to a Christmas Assembly. We have to invite them instead to a *sneer* Holiday Assembly. Ugh, just listen to that. Holiday. Hooooliday. The word doesn't even have the same meaning as Christmas!* I had a Jewish friend in college who loved when our university called it "Holiday Break" because his particular holiday was already over by the time we got out of school.

Let's talk about this. Let's talk about diversity and expectations for diversity and the actual practice of diversity in our schools and classrooms. How do our schools handle differences of tradition? How open are we to it? I'll be honest, it took a while for me to not complain about having to send Jehovah's Witness out of my classroom for all our various holiday whatnot. I felt like the kid was missing out of cool stuff his/her classmates get to do. They are missing out on fun. I still struggle with this and I think I have good reason- they should be exposed to other cultures. I realize this isn't an "other cultures" thing though, it's a god thing. Much harder to make a point against, not that I'd try. You imagine that conversation with a parent?** I need to be better and more accepting.

Happy Holidays.

*holiday literally comes from the old English "holy day"

**"Stu should be able to stay in class and watch The Grinch because he needs to be exposed to other cultures, like that of the loving Whos of Who-ville."

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