Count me among those who would like to see more diversity celebrated during this
time of the year. I'm not LDS, but the Jesus I pray to would probably give
a thumbs up to including everyone and might just give a stern scowl to those who
would seek to exclude on his birthday. If Santa is cool with everyone, I say
fine. If he's into making my public school a place where those of the
Jewish faith or those who celebrate Kwanza would feel anything less than
welcome, he'll get a lump of coal in his stocking from me and a quick
escort to the exit as I give him a hearty heave--ho ho ho, out the door!
Our school still sings religious hymns at our Holiday concert. And, yes, I say
Holiday concert because that's what it's called because many people
practice year-end celebrations. We have Christmas hymns, secular songs about
Santa, and songs about Chanukah, Kwanzaa and yes, even songs about the winter
solstice. That's what communities do; they celebrate each other. No one
complains about our concerts because no one is excluded. What
better time of the year to practice inclusion than now? What better gift can we
give than to love our neighbor as ourselves? Jesus may be our
"reason for the season," but if we want to share that with others we
need to begin by making friends, not enemies.
When I homeschooled, we were not allowed to include anything on our timesheet
that wasn't strictly educational. Disney movies, Disneyland trips, visits
with Santa, pep rallies, parties...none of that could count. And yet, when my
children were in public schools, all of it counted and the taxpayers paid for
it. When I was in high school, the taxpayers footed the bill for a hypnotist
show and a day at Disneyland.Children go to school to be educated.
Schools keep saying they need more hours to educate. Instead of lengthening the
school year and school day and increasing the homework, perhaps they should take
out the Santa visits, Disney movies, and other non-educational things. You can
have fun while learning, but Santa really isn't educational. I loved Santa,
but I was willing to do it on my own time, not on the government's dime.
Schools waste too much time on holidays, recess, lunch. I figure on a given
school days my kids are getting an average of about 2-3 hours of actual learning
a day. Schools should rather be teaching my kids how to do advanced
mathematics, computer coding, speak a foreign language, public speaking,
physics, chemistry, electronics, environmental studies, history, energy,
finance, government, how to write a resume, etc...you know things that will
actually help them in life. Leave holidays for communities, churches, and
families. I ask my kid every day, "What did you learn today?" He says,
"nothing, only stuff I already know." Elementary school, high school,
and college are becoming just a big waste of time, holding our kids back.
Holding our nation back.
This is about hatefulness and intolerance. The war on Christmas is just another
manifestation of the war on religion by the left. Notice if you will that it is
the leftists who overwhelmingly vote Democrat which in turn means we get
politicians and judges who owe their allegiance to these people. The Democrats
and radical leftists have taken on the anti-religion mantle.
@Teachermom6, "Why do you think the U.S. government put their
NSA building here?" An inexpensive water rate and unquestioned acceptance
of the NSA mission by most of the local populace." I think that
we should celebrate our differences instead of focusing only on one way of doing
things. BTW, if you are implying that I should teach paganism, that is not one
of the major religions on the planet...sorry. "Paganism is
typically defined as a group of historical polytheistic religious traditions,
to include any non-Ababramic, folk, or ethnic religion. With some sources
estimating over 300 million followers, I would hesitate to claim it does not
rate as one of the larger religious groups on the planet. Furthermore the much beloved Christmas tree most likely placed in your school
and in various buildings around Temple Square as well as the City Creek complex
originated from a Northern European pagan culture. Your students
deserve to freed of your biases.
Boy, what a lot of Bah Humbug goes on. We Have celebrated Jewish holidays,
Chinese Holiday's and Hindu Holidays, depending on where were at the time.
It was fun for us and for our kids.People need to loosen up and let
their kids loosen up. Have fun celebrating a holiday like the locals
do. It won't kill you and it will give you lots to talk about with your
I would like to agree with eastcoastcoug. As a child, I learned in my pulic
school classroom, the beliefs of many culures and countries. Why does that have
to change? That is what most call an education. When you start "picking and
choosing" what to include or what not to include in a holiday, you are going
to offend someone. If you are going to tell the schools they can not mention
Christ as a part of CHRISTmas, then it would only be fair that Santa Claus be
exempt from the celebration as well. To prevent all of the discontent, we should
continue to allow our children to get a PUBLIC education, and teach the many
meanings related to the Holidays, so many of us celebrate.
My personal opinion is that if our children are taught more about the
differences we all have, they will become more tolerant of those differences. If
a Christian child learns about her Muslim friends beliefs, she will understand
that much more about her friend. We're boxing our children up and making
them intolerant of what they don't understand. I'm all for teaching
all different beliefs and activities in school. Why not? It won't hurt
anyone's child to learn about other people, unless they're being
taught at home that their way is the only way.
I always thought it was " down with all the gay apperall" eh who
When my mother-in-law taught school she taught about holidays around the world.
My children's 1st grade teacher did the same. They had so much fun. Not
only did they have a great history lesson but they also were reminded that there
is more to the world than just what is around them. Sometimes I think we forget
how small this world really is. I am thankful for my children's teachers
who have taken the time to expand my children's view of the wonderful world
that we live in.
@GZE Salt Lake City is the International Headquarters of the LDS church. With
that being said, a vast majority....majority meaning most of the
people,(majority rules is another important concept to teach children.) in Utah
like to explore culture and languages. Why do you think the U.S. government put
their NSA building here? I think that we should celebrate our differences
instead of focusing only on one way of doing things. BTW, if you are implying
that I should teach paganism, that is not one of the major religions on the
planet...sorry. The article was discussing how to navigate the
month of December.....it has never been a problem for me, and I have had quite a
few students outside of the major religion in this state. As a mom, I
don't focus on Santa at my house, but am happy to talk about him with my
students because they love him. If I had a Jewish student I would be interested
in talking to them about their celebration of Hanukah. I believe if we are
gracious and acknowledge the beauty of all culture we become more tolerant and
understanding of others.
Thanks to a friend of mine I was introduced to some of the entertainment media
from Japan, and through that I was surprised to find out that there are a number
of Christmas traditions have been adopted, including gift and gift card giving,
Christmas trees, and sponge cake with decorations including Santa on top. Plus
it seems that chicken is very popular since Turkeys are harder to come by. Japan
is like 1% Christian in faith, but far more than just Christians engage in
holiday activities there.I don't wish to make it sound like
I'm saying the Japanese are more tolerant than Americans and so forth, but
I do find it interesting that so many people in Japan who aren't Christian
have managed to make use aspects of Christmas and still enjoy them and engage
and enjoy many of the meanings therein: of giving, of showing love toward one
another, enjoying each others company and yet not worrying about where the
traditions came from, yet finding good in these traditions.I think
I'll mark on the calendar and do a little Tanabata celebration this next
@ bindependent: So, you are offended that others are offended by and don't
enjoy things that you enjoy. Do you not see the irony of that?
Joy to the world and Peace on earth with good will to every one. Give the 3
gifts all year. The gifts you keep. Your smile, your heart and your word.
Teachermom, Do you also teach about those who celebrate the Solstice and the
return of the sun?You state, "THose of the LDS faith who have
traveled out of the country appreciate the beauty of all people." Guess
what, those not of the the LDS faith can also appreciate the beauty of all
people. And some LDS people who have travelled out of the country come home
dismayed about those "who are unwilling to listen to the truth."
As a teacher, I like to spend this time working on maps, and discussing the
celebrations of countries around the world. Whether we like to admit it or not,
the world is becoming much smaller due to our technology. Why not teach
children to respect others, their holidays, music and culture? I believe that
all cultures have something worth merit to study! I like to visit every
continent, and discuss holidays celebrated around the world. We discuss
Christmas, Chinese New Year, Hanukkah, Diwali, as well as games played and land
features of each continent. I also add celebrations and countries in depending
upon my student make-up. Those of the LDS faith who have traveled out of the
country appreciate the beauty of all people, and in Utah I have never faced this
type of problem with parents. As a teacher, I also have parents come in to
present either places they have visited, countries they have lived in, or family
traditions they would like to share. December is a delightful time for
everyone, if we would be gracious, make people feel important and remember the
beauty of all cultures!
bindependent: That would be "don we now our gay apparel"... which has
nothing to do with religion or gays, so probably preludes it from the list of
possible banned Christmas songs.
Simply embarrassing. political correctness garbage is killing me. We, as
Americans, are turning into a bunch of wimps. Everyone seems to searching on a
daily basis to find something for which they can be offended. Can someone
please tell me which religion Santa Clause represents? If this keeps up, the
next thing we will see, is that a certain Christmas song will be outlawed
because it contains the phrase," down we dawn our "gay
apparel" Give Me A Break!
Can someone remind me what Santa Claus has to do with Christmas anyways?
@eastcostcougit is not often I get to agree with you, I do think
people are to quick to take up arms during this time of year. I would love to
see children taught about the many festivals and celebrations of the many
different traditions that take place during this time of year. The one concern I
have is the teachers ability to suspend their own prejudices and teach about
these various traditions in an unbiased and way that shows respect for all.
"No one has the right to coerce religious activity. On the other hand, there
is no legal right that protects you from feeling offended or excluded."Wow. What a concept.
I think people overreact on both sides to this issue. Rather than ban
everything, let's teach our kids about many traditions and help them
understand how people celebrate them. We seem to go overboard on what the
minority is focused on without being able to appreciate both sides. Our kids went for years to international schools in Europe. They have
full-blown Christmas traditions with decorations and concerts and where we had
lots of Scandinavians (not in Scandinavia) they dedicated a whole day to Santa
Lucia with food, processionals, music, etc. In other words, everyone celebrated
what this small but significant group was celebrating. Europe is more secular
than the US but they have a Christmas tree and Christmas markets in many town
squares. I think people and kids benefit from celebrating local and other
customs. They don't learn anything about anyone when they shut it all down
and say that no one gets anything. And I see this as more of a phenomenon in the
Western US than here on the East Coast.