Keeping Christ in Christmas as a Public School Family

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– A post from LifeasMOM contributor, Jessie Leigh

One of the most difficult times of year for me, a Christian woman who chooses to send her children to public school, is Christmastime. While I understand the separation of church and state, it often feels like our school systems are taking this to the extreme.

Many school districts- especially those in “blue” states like my own- do not permit Christmas parties. They do not discuss Santa, let alone Jesus, as “holiday break” approaches. Clearly, this break is designed around Christmas… the children are released early on the 23rd, just in time for Christmas Eve. But this cannot be mentioned.

I have the utmost respect for those whose religious traditions involve other celebrations. I have no problem with my children learning about other holidays and their significance.

Still, it is important to me – for my family – to keep Christ in Christmas.

There really are ways to share elements of a faith-filled Christmas even with your children in public school. Some of them are very small and simple.

For example, I never choose “Happy Holidays” or “Seasons Greetings” type cards. The cards I send in to teachers and therapists invariably read “Merry Christmas” and often contain a scriptural message. This is fine. And there are no “rules” against this.

We are also having an Ornament Decorating Party this year in mid-December which will be chock-full of Christmas elements, to be sure. While they may not be able to celebrate Christmas moments together in school, my daughter and her classmates will have the opportunity to do so in our own home.

The “winter projects” that fill my children’s days through the month of December may be void of any sign of Christmas… but I have the opportunity to discuss the purity of the snow and the candle’s symbolism of the light of Christ with them. It’s important not to lose these chances.

Most importantly, of course, we keep the focus on Christ in our home. We celebrate the season of Advent and rejoice as we prepare for the coming of our Lord.

When the school holds a canned food drive, we talk about how God calls us to give and provide for the less fortunate. After I retrieve my children from a bus ride full of chatter about all the “things” the children crave — a very telling visual of the effectiveness of marketing — we settle together with peaceful Christmas carols and a cup of cocoa as the dark creeps upon us, so early this time of year…

Silent Night… Holy Night…

They get it.

How do YOU keep your family centered on Christ at Christmastime?

– JessieLeigh is the mother of a former 24-week micropreemie and two full-term blessings as well. She is a determined advocate for the tiniest of babies, including the unborn, and a firm believer in faith and miracles. She shares about raising such a precious, tiny baby over at Parenting the Tiniest of Miracles. She is also a regular contributor to LifeasMOM.

About Jessica Fisher

I believe you can get great meals on the table -- and still keep that pretty smile on your face.

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  1. Even as a public school teacher here in the deep South, we have been bitten by the PC bug. When we got a new school superintendent a few years ago from the middle of our state, she came forbidding Merry Christmas on school marques and instead the break became the “winter break”.

    • @Ginger, “Winter break”, “holiday break”… they all may be accurate terms, I guess. But I still say the fact that it so conveniently coincides with Christmas is a good indicator of why they’re really getting time off from school! 😉

  2. As a teacher in a public school, it is hard not to bring up Christmas. I do it without apology. We started making ornaments yesterday. I will hang an advent calendar tomorrow. It is a simple paper ornament with 1-25 on one side and a Christmas sticker on the other. Most depict winter or secular images like snowman, Santa, candy canes… but the top one is a star.

    • @Kelly, I vividly remember making ornaments in school as a child- and I loved it! My kiddos haven’t made any ornaments at school since private preschool… makes me a little sad, but I guess we just keep making them at home then! :

  3. Thanks for the article. Amen to the teaching our families about Christ!

    I taught in the public school for a decade and my husband teaches there now.

    Just a side note that has little to do with your main point :)….the parties (of all sorts) have been banned mainly b/c of the food/health issues involved. (I’d feel strange knowing that my kid ate cookies and rice crispy treats all day made by who knows who.) As those things became more legal so did regulating the classroom party issue.

    Just a side note.

    • @Shelah, Our school system has very strict party guidelines, but my children’s classes (Pre-K and K) still have them… we just have to plan snacks like apple slices, cheese sandwiches, pretzels, bottled water, etc. I’m ok with that, actually. But it saddens me that they could have a Halloween party, but not a Christmas party… 🙁

      • yeah, it get a little crazy when it becomes a legal thing. They legally get to choose ONE party/school year.

  4. Mama-san says

    I think this is a difficult issue. I see both sides, and I think both sides have been affected by the politics and commercialization, and, unfortunately, the uglier side of human nature as well.

    My father grew up in 1930’s Vienna. He was extremely lucky. He was only jailed by the Nazis (for the crime of being Jewish). He managed to escape to England. He remembers Kristallnacht, though, and he lost many relatives and friends in concentration camps. Most importantly, he remembers how former friends and neighbors–who considered themselves good Christians–treated him and the other Jews for the crime of their faith.

    When I was growing up, all my friends, even the Jewish ones, had Christmas trees. We didn’t have one, although we exchanged gifts at Christmas (being an extremely “reformed” and assimilated family, nobody could keep track of when Hannukah was).

    But my father was adamant; no Christmas trees, lights, or other symbols of the season.

    When I was older, he explained why.

    What was done to him and the other Jews across Europe was often done in the name of Christianity, and the trappings of Christmas took on a meaning of racism, cruelty, torture, and hatred directed at him. EVIL things were done to other human beings in the name of Christianity.

    Jessie, you know and I know that that is not what Christianity was ever meant to be, nor is it what it is really about today. I teach my children that, although we are Jewish, the birth of Jesus–the greatest Rabbi of all–IS something to celebrate, and we should rejoice with our Christian friends (but not with commercialism).

    But I can’t erase my father’s horrible memories; explanations don’t soften the harm that was done. And I can understand that he does not want to be bombarded by the symbols that came to represent those horrors.

    Somehow, though I totally understand his perspective, it is not my perspective. But I see that it IS the perspective of most of the members of my synagogue. And there is nothing wrong with that perspective–it’s THEIR perspective, from where THEY are standing.

    I share your consternation at the negative ramifications of separation of church and state. It sometimes seems as though God has left the public schools because His Name is not allowed to be mentioned. I understand the need for this, but feel that the price is higher than anyone ever suspected. Many children now seem to feel that there is nobody watching over them, both protectively and to keep them from harming others. There is a feeling that nobody is ultimately responsible any more, that, as long as one is not caught by a teacher, one can get away with anything, because God, Jesus, Mohammad–however we have been taught to know God– are not allowed in the school.

    I wish I knew what the answer is.

    I would wonder if you are sending religious-themed cards to teachers and therapists who may be Jewish or Muslim? It’s one thing to send cards reminding us of the “reason for the season” to those of the same heritage/faith, but you may never have considered the possibility that what represents joy and light to you may represent racism and cruelty to someone with a different history.

    There are no rules against being insensitive. Or are there?

    We can sneer at “Political Correctness,” and whine that it obliterates all that is important. And it does. But it also obliterates the ability to misuse religion as a way to push others around.

    Again, I don’t know what the answer is. It seems that either way, people are not only offended, but hurt. And that’s not acceptable. But I don’t know what the answer is.

    • Jessica Fisher says

      @Mama-san, thank you for sharing your father’s story and giving us a glimpse at a perspective that may be different than our own! Quite honestly, the connection between the Nazis and Christmas never occurred to me.

      It saddens me deeply that it is like that, but I understand that.

      I don’t have the answers, either, but you’ve helped me see sides of the question I hadn’t considered before. God bless you and yours!

    • @Mama-san, Thank you so much for sharing your family’s story and history and for such a thoughtful comment. To be honest, while I’m quite certain all of my children’s teachers and therapists celebrate Christmas, I could not attest with absolute certainty to each of their faiths. I am not trying to “convert” anyone through my Christmas cards. I view it more like I viewed the thousands of “Happy Hanukkah”‘s I received when I worked in Boca Raton. It didn’t offend me, as a Christian, and I knew it was out of kindness that it was being wished. This being said, however, I clearly have not had the experiences that your father endured and I can see how this could certainly impact one’s perspective. Thanks, again, for sharing.

  5. Thank you! “Christmas” is about Christ. That is what the holiday IS. Why can’t we discuss it in public school? And why can’t we discuss Ramadan? And why can’t we discuss Hanuka? or any of those holidays and traditions that make our lives richer, in public school and in Catholic school? Whether or not you subscribe to the belief is irrelevant. They are a part of our increasingly smaller world, it could only serve to promote understanding between us all.

    • Jessica Fisher says

      @Erika, you make a great point. As a homeschool teacher, my kids and I have always studied different world religions in the context of the culture and time period we’re studying, and it has helped us understand our world so much more.

      Coming from a family of public school teachers, I know that many do bring this into the conversation. My mother-in-law was a Christian, but she also talked about other winter “holidays” with her students.

      Yet, I personally had teachers who were very hostile toward Christianity.

      I’m guessing public school is like a box of chocolates….. you never know what you’re going to get.

      • @Jessica Fisher, I agree that, ideally, different religions should be discussed and studied… along with their various traditions. Honestly, I want my children to know about other faiths to help them feel even more secure in their own!

        I think I DID know what I was going to get with our public school (thanks to a whole lot of research ahead of time!)… you just have to accept that there are going to be good and bad things no matter what. 🙂 Blessedly, the “bad” are things I feel like I can make up for.

  6. Sara Jane says

    I for one am glad that there are no religious elements in the class rooms. I want my children to learn about our religion from me. My children already feel singled out by the “Christians” (I use that term lightly with these children) who ridicule them and tell them they won’t play with them if they aren’t born again and that they are going to hell. Oh yes, my kids are in kindergarten and 2nd grade.

    • @Sara Jane, Unfortunately, there will always be cruel and insensitive behavior in our schools and beyond… but it saddens me to read that your children have been treated this way under the label of Christianity. Maintaining a Christian spirit during this season, in my opinion, means focusing on grace, compassion, and a giving spirit. I am so sorry to hear that this is not the experience of your family. 🙁

      I agree about teaching children about faith at home- I believe strongly that it is MY job to be that first teacher. (I’ve written about that before…) I just do not agree with the acceptance of commercial aspects and rejection of all faith aspects that seems to permeate so many public school systems…

    • Jessica Fisher says

      @Sara Jane, I am appalled that there are children treating yours this way. That is unacceptable — and scary to think where they learned that.

      And thank you for “using the term lightly.” 😉

      Unfortunately, there are a lot of people today and throughout history bringing shame to Jesus.

  7. Sue Rogers says

    My son goes to a public school, and they have been making ornaments for the town Christmas tree for the last week every morning. They can talk about Christmas as long as they respect every ones beliefs as well. I do think that it is a parents job to educate their religious beliefs, not a schools. We are born again Christians and are hopeful that our words and actions reflect Christ, but it is OUR duty to pass those values onto our son.

    • @Sue Rogers, I do not in any way feel it is the public school’s job to educate my children about Jesus. And we do many, many things to ensure our children get their religious education at home and through the church. I think perhaps what I’ve written is being misinterpreted as “the school should talk all about Christ through December” rather than “with the increasing refusal to even acknowledge Christmas, we have to work extra hard at HOME to keep Christ in Christmas”. I guess I just think you don’t have to choose between the two– you can choose both public school AND having a faith-filled Christmas. 🙂 (By the way, I think your school sounds like they’re doing a nice job of handling the season- respecting a wide array of beliefs rather than refusing to talk about any of them.)

  8. Love your intentionality! Great points!

  9. I went to public school, but I can’t relate to this. I must’ve had the best school in the world. Christmas was mentioned all the time, there were Christmas trees and decorations around the school, we sang both secular and religious songs at our Christmas concerts, Christmas music was pumped through the intercom before homeroom, art projects depicted both Santa Claus and Nativities.

    I have been out of school 13 years, but all of these things are still alive and well at our local school district as far as I know (I’m in contact with a few kids that still attend). I wouldn’t necessarily call it Christ-centered, it’s still very secular, but they haven’t replaced the word “Christmas” and religious symbols are welcomed. Then again, I suppose that can change at any time.

    • @Jenn, Public school wasn’t at all like that when I went… but, yes, things do tend to change. Larger schools, city schools, and more liberal areas of the country TEND to be stricter about these things, in my experience. Not sure where you’re at, but that might be part of it too!

  10. Saying (another!) prayer of thanks for our Tiny Town school, where my children will sing Silent Night at their Christmas program in a few weeks. So thankful!

  11. I hesitate to respond to this post as I feel that my opinion will be the minority. My family is Jewish and my daughter is in first grade at a public school that is predominatly Christian. Without offending anyone or their beliefs I wish our school would leave Christmas out of the school.

    November/Decemeber are two of the worst months of the year for my daughter. She is constantly feeling left out, from the talks about christmas trees, santa claus, the ornaments that she has nothing to do with, etc. We have a strong faith and my daughter feels good about her religion, however it’s hard to compete with what Christmas has become in our country. It seems like even people who do nothing for their faith the rest of the year celebrate Christmas.

    Shouldn’t school be someplace where kids of different faiths feel included and not left out? Hanukkah isn’t an important holiday for us religiously, there are much more important holidays, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Passover, Sukkot, just to name a few. My children don’t get off from school for any of our holidays, I realize that Christmas is a federal holiday and therefore schools have to close by law. But Winter Break seems more inclusive to me than calling it Christmas Break.

    Unless EVERYONE’s holidays are mentioned equally, I think separation of church and state is a good thing. If our children learn about religion from their families and religious institutions rather than their public schools, than children whose faiths are in the minority don’t have to feel left out.

    • Jessica Fisher says

      @Danni, I’m so glad that you chimed in. Thank you! I hope that we are all talking here in a way to learn from one another. Since my children are not part of the public school climate, these issues don’t really cross my radar screen.

      I, for one, am learning so much about how others feel and think. Again, I’m so thankful that you spoke up.

      This issue, is obviously so complex. As a former public school teacher, I’ve been situations were it wasn’t “allowed” to be me, even if it was just with my peers. And the common ground is so difficult to find, especially as our cultural norms have changed so much — even since I was a student.

      Thanks for sharing your experience!

    • @Danni, I agree with you, Danni. My children actually DO get Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur off from school, and I am grateful for that. Truthfully, the fact that these are holidays at our school helped ME learn more about their significance. I also agree that Christmas is celebrated by many who have little to nothing to do with celebrating faith at any other time of year. (Just ask the many of us who have to struggle to find a seat at our churches on Christmas Eve… the same churches that are half-empty every other week of the year.) I appreciate you sharing your views and adding to the conversation.

  12. When my kids were in public school, I resented the Jewish mother being able to come and talk about hanukkah and passing out driedals to the class, but they couldn’t show the movie Chronicles of Narnia on movie day because it had ‘Christian undertones’. I’m happy for my kids to learn about other faiths, and in particular the Jewish faith, because it precedes Christianity, but I dislike the fact that we could talk about any religion other than Christianity. But the point being, the biggest influence on our kids should be our home.

  13. I hear what the previous commenter says about talking about religions other than Christianity being ok. As a former public school teacher and now mom to 2 kids in public school, it bothers me that Hannukah, Ramadan and other religious holidays are discussed and learned about in school, but Christmas is only present in terms of Santa, gifts, and other secular aspects of the holiday. Why is it ok to talk about why Jewish people celebrate Hannukah, but not why Christians celebrate Christmas?

    • @Brooke,

      I have often wondered if this is because Christianity has become such a minefield in many ways. To be honest, I have no problem with someone talking to my child about other faiths even if I disagree with their tenants. Judism or Muslim holidays aren’t in my personal life experience so I’m far enough removed emotionally. But Christianity? No way. I don’t want anyone talking to my child about Christianity without my supervision.

      As I said below we are non-practicing Christians. I was raised Methodist but have Mennonite roots and my husband’s parents are Bible Students which is kind of an off shoot of Jehovah’s Witness in a way I don’t really understand. My husband is pretty much atheist at this point which makes things even more interesting. My in-laws have been taking my four year old to church this fall and I’m extremely disturbed by some of the things he’s come home with. To the point he’s not going any more. Last summer he went to VBS at an Episcopal church (which I have considered joining) and my husband was equally disturbed by some of the things he was taught there. Since we grew up being educated in our parents’ faith we each have certain gut reactions to different ideas within Christianity even though we have long since rejected the faith of our childhood. Does that make sense?

  14. What an awesome post! I completely agree with using “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays.” I also don’t write “xmas” because I love that the word Christ is in Christmas. My daughter is only 1 but we will also be sending her to a public school when she’s 5. We live in small town and in the school they actually have to keep everything in the Christmas program “Christ-centered.” I’m thankful for the conservative town that we live in. I so enjoyed your article and learned alot from it. God bless 🙂

  15. Thanks for writing from a public school parent’s perspective. Our daughter is in her first year of public schooling. My husband and I both went to private school and I am a certified teacher. I contemplated homeschooling her, but she is a very social being and needs others on a regular basis. I wish there would be more blogs where parents of public school children would contribute.

  16. My son goes to a public Montessori school. He is in a classroom with children ages 3-5. Every year we get a letter from his teacher saying that the only holiday activity she will be doing with the children is singing Jingle Bells as the K5s perform it on the holiday concert. Her reasoning is that in her considerable experience the holidays can wreak havoc on children’s routines and create a great deal of stress in their lives. Makes perfect sense to me! This may not be the case with older children but I completely agree with this approach.

    Personally, I prefer the school not make a big deal over Christmas. We are non-practicing “Christians” so religion is not a big part of our home life. Frankly, I don’t want anyone talking to my children about religion without my permission and/or supervision. I also think my son’s teacher is right in that it’s beneficial for children to have one place in their lives that remains the same even in the midst of holiday madess.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas. Love. Even though we celebrate is as a secular holiday I do a lot of things with my kids so they learn the spirit of the seasons. Taking them shopping for charitable donations, involving them in gift giving, to name a few. Not to meniton the requisite decorating, baking, Advent calendar (though I don’t call it that yet because they have no idea what that means), gifts, stockings, family, looking at holiday lights, listening to Christmas music etc. etc.. It’s a fun yet hectic time of year in this house. Part of this is because I’m a musician and the two weeks after Thanksgiving are always crazy for me with holiday concerts, church services, and even weddings. My older son is involved in a few performances himself as the place where he studies music follows the university calendar and is ending their semester. As much as I’m able to keep things running fairly smoothly around here so life doesn’t implode on us (thank you advance preparations!) I’m sure this time of year does create a bit of stress in the children’s lives amoung the merriment. Thank the Lord there’s not even more to do at school!

  17. Kerry D. says

    We’ve had good experiences in our public school discussing and respecting various traditions and major religions. Our San Francisco Bay Area region is very diverse, and thankfully overall is tolerant and respectful of others.

    I think it would be insensitive of me to send an overtly religious Christmas card to a teacher not knowing their religion, just as I want people to be respectful of our beliefs. We teach our children to live as Jesus would have us treat other people, and are fine teaching this at home. How we live is way more important to us than whether a teacher talks about the real meaning of Christmas.

    • @Kerry D.,

      How we live is way more important to us than whether a teacher talks about the real meaning of Christmas.

      Well put!!!

    • Jessica Fisher says

      @Kerry D., I think you make a great statement about how we live our lives. And, really, I think that was part of JessieLeigh’s point, not to be insensitive to others, but to be a light — both to her children and to those around her.

      I think that this can look differently to each of us. And I’m so appreciative of this conversation because it helps us see the many different perspectives on the same issue.

  18. We observe Avent throught the wreath and the calendar. The kids love counting down to Christmas time withboth of these. Christmas videos,dvds, and music can bring our attention to the reason for the season as well. Helping those less fortunate through Samaratin’s Purse(Operation Christmas Child) and the Angel Tree. The kids helped me shop for the little boy we adopted from the Angel tree. It means so much more when they are involved. I am a public school teacher. I have two in Public and one in Private. Wherever you season right now “Do all to the Glory of God.”

  19. Thank you for this post! We currently send our child to a private Christian school and are deep in decision mode about next year. We are leaning towards sending her to our local public school. This is a huge concern of mine- how Christmas gets “erased” into Winter Break. We are in a Red state and thinks seem not as blatant here as you describe- but it touched my heart deeply to hear this today. I am now reassured that the message of the Gospel will not be thwarted by political correctness. Thank you- from one preemie mom to another.

  20. Mama-san says

    I actually sent my two youngest children to Catholic school, not for the religion, but for the academics (all-day kindergarten, Spanish AND Chinese as part of the curriculum starting in kindergarten). This school has a wonderful (to me) welcome-all-faiths approach. The kids definitely have a Catholic education, but it’s done, IMHO, very nicely.

    For example, when it’s time for the kids to go up for communion during Mass, the non-Christian kids get a blessing from the priest instead of a wafer. I actually teared up when I heard that–what a beautiful way to include all children!

    When my oldest child came home on the bus from kindergarten his first week at public school, all he could talk about was Yu-Gi-Oh (which is a Japanese anime cartoon with a truly HORRIBLE theme of parentless kids wandering the country, playing a creepy card game where the monsters on their cards come to life and FIGHT, and the kid whose monster loses has his soul sent to “the Shadow Realm”).

    By contrast, my second son–who is much tougher than his brother–came home from his first day at the Catholic school, and talked about–God. “Mommy, did you know God is everywhere? And He loves us?”

    Let’s see: on the one hand, Yu-Gi-Oh. On the other, God.

    Okay, that is a TOTAL no-brainer!

  21. Hi Jessie! I really appreciate your post. As a public school teacher myself, I see firsthand the pressure to tone down the holidays, although since I teach high school, I get it from my students. Even those raised in Christian homes are starting to feel out their independence.

    I think you’re exactly right and I love the celebrations you have with your children! What a great idea. The holidays, regardless of the reason for the celebration, should be an enjoyable time for all. Thanks for this post. =)

  22. I am in a blue state (btw, i am so sick of the “us” and “them”). At our concerts there is always religious music, christian and Jewish and international. We have Christmas parties. Being liberal does NOT mean you don’t believe. It means you want to help those less fortunate than you like Jesus did. Hope I said that as nicely as possible with my big girl words. 🙂 What happens in your home is your childs best witness for the world.

    • Jessica Fisher says

      @kelly, I agree that our home is where it’s at. Absolutely!

      But, I don’t think helping those less fortunate than ourselves is relegated to one group of people.

      I think to put the “us and them” behind us is to realize that we all have more in common than we think we do. We want the best for our kids. We just don’t all agree on what that is.

      Thanks for chiming in. 😉

  23. Thank you for a wonderful post. I’m navigating a public Montessori School with my 3yr old this year. I wouldn’t change my choice for anything, though it definitely can be hard to navigate things as a Christian. It’s amazing how different things can be from school to school and town to town even in the same state. I actually kind of like that my dd’s school doesn’t do very much in the way of holidays. It can be pretty disruptive just celebrating a child’s birthday. It’s also nice to know I can keep my dd focused on God and Jesus instead of “Santa” that seems to overtake the kids this time of year.

  24. My child’s school required me to fill out a form and check anything that I did not give permission for them to talk about (every variety of holiday out there). I said I was fine with them learning any and all info. Then the teacher told me they actually are not allowed to discuss any holiday, but the parents can come in if they want. So they have ZERO parties and they don’t even talk about secular Christmas things. I guess we have to be so PC because everyone is so hypersensitive.
    I’m glad Beth brought up the Nazi association her father feels. That is not a perspective I ever would have thought about. That’s what’s so great about the blog world–hearing from people outside our normal contacts share a whole new perspective!

  25. I’ll chime in as well. My children are in public school, and we are Jewish. We live in the DC area which has every race, religion, ethnicity, and nationality represented. At my daughter’s holiday pagaent, they sing songs about Christmas, Hanukkah, Eid, and Winter. The first year I saw it, I called my mom and laughingly said, “it’s not your 1950’s Christmas show anymore.” My mother remembers growing up and saying The Lord’s Prayer every morning in the public school. In my daughter’s school, it is more inclusive – there is a moment of silence. Students can pray to whomever they wish or not at all. There IS a sign in the school hallway that says, “In G-d we trust” (except G-d is spelled out; Jews don’t spell out G-d). Our school DOES talk about all of the holidays – Christmas, Hanukkah, and Eid. I highly doubt they talk about Jesus, however. But then again they don’t discuss Mohammad either. And I must admit I am glad about that. While I respect that these men are the central importance to Christianity and Islam, respectively, neither has any significance in our religion. As older students, I would not mind my children learning about them from an historical perspective.

    I’m not sure my post has a point, other than to say I am glad I live in a country that allows me to practice my religion freely. And while the government is not perfect in how it handles religion and separation of church and state, it handles it far better than the countries from which my ancestors fled. And for that I am grateful. I hope everyone has a blessed Christmas, a happy Hanukkah, and a merry festivus. 🙂

    • Jessica Fisher says

      @Michele, thanks for chiming in! This conversation, at least for me, has been a great way for me to gain a better understanding of how experiences can differ across the country and how people think and tackle tough issues. Thanks for joining in.

  26. I am glad to see the level of graciousness in posts on what, really, is a very sensitive matter. It is hard for Christians to understand what a Jewish child feels like in a public school at Christmas time. My daughter came home from school yesterday, and asked if I wanted her to stay home from her middle school’s Christmas concert ( this is the second week of the school year.) I think schools should talk about all the major faith celebrations without celebrating a particular one . I also think that it is not the job of a parent to come in and talk about a particular religion; the Christian mom who brought this up in an earlier post has a good point; why should a Jewish parent talk about Hannukah when a Christian parent can’t talk about Christmas? It is a parent’s job to teach religious values at home, but a school system can stress the values of building community by giving to the needy year round.

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