**Pause for disclaimer**
Grade Mother: a position toward which I've never entertained aspirations; a mantle which I am most grateful is not draped across my reluctant shoulders, and a post for which I am decidedly unqualified, as it requires the corralling of parents (whom I wouldn't know even if they rear-ended me in the car line) into doing things they'd rather not...but for the sake of their sweet cherubs, and getting in good with the teacher. HOWEVER, some dig it, & don the mantle as a potentate would her Royal vestments. So grateful am I to not be the Royal designee, that I gleefully contribute to whatever project is being conjured (as it benefits my cherub & makes her teacher a happier person), while thanking HRH for her benevolent corralling.
I get this email which says:
"Ms. X is in the process of filling out a 'Favorites' form for me...I will use this list to buy her a nice gift for the Holiday. If you would like to contribute to her gift this year...(blah, blah)..."
I'm not sure exactly what about this particular watering down of the Christmas Season struck the nerve with me, but without pausing (long) for a deep self-reflection on the matter, I replied-to-all,
"This is fine w/ me, but is there some reason we can't call it her Christmas gift?"
From the Royal Throne: *crickets*
Then, from the huddled masses, a voice replying only to me:
"...I'm with you it's a darn Christmas gift!!! I suggested to the grade mother we buy one BIG good 'Christmas' gift.. Then she sent out the email about a 'Holiday' gift…I thought I was the only one who would ruffle a few feathers for what is RIGHT!"
"Well, thanks...sometimes we feel like we're drowning in a PC swamp..."
6 days later, by Royal decree:
"I apologize if I offended you by not calling it a Christmas gift, but I was trying to be sensitive to the fact that some families celebrate differently than you & I. Again, my sincere apologies. I am only trying to take into consideration all of the traditions of every family in the class."
...at which point my uprising continues:
"I understand your intentions are sincere...The question, at least in my mind, is how does Ms. X celebrate the season? If she is Christian, then our gift to her should honor her tradition, regardless of how you or I, or the other families celebrate...If she's Jewish, then we could honor her in that tradition, or if she's Jehovah's Witness, not at all...Just because the school system & the culture at large attempts to sterilize the Christmas season of Christ, does not mean we should with the gift to our 2nd grade child's teacher..."
"...for Ms. X it will be a Christmas gift...I have to follow certain guidelines when sending out emails to all of the parents...I have to be sensitive to all when I send these emails...For the sake of correspondence, I will continue to send emails and notes home in this manner..."
OK. So I realize that the "Royal" metaphor drips with sarcasm, but I'm just having fun (& just read the latest Ann Coulter piece ). I hold no personal feelings against this Grade Mother, & I should say (lest I be guilty of inappropriate bias) that she was diplomatic & respectful of my 'issue,' even when she refused to adjust her tone to her audience.
But, ya know, sometimes it's just the principle of a thing; and one has to illuminate said Principles, when those around have gone into the dark.
So, am I sending $$ for the 'Holiday-even-though-we-know-Ms.X-is-Christian-Gift?' Of course not. Unlike with confiscatory taxation that's leading to the demise of my society, with this I have a choice how my $$ will be spent. It will be spent honoring a good teacher, who celebrates Christmas, with a Christmas gift from the hands of my sweet, 2nd grade Cherub.
As for my rapport with the Grade Mother? It's nothing personal; I wouldn't know HRH if she rear-ended me in the car line. But after this, I should keep an eye-out over my shoulder; she might just want to.