Thursday, December 2, 2010

Jingle Bells, Batman Smells...

So I get this email from the "Grade Mother" of my 2nd grader's class...

**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." 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.



RLR said...

Love this, Susannah! Amen! And,


Susannah said...

Hey RyanLeigh! Great to hear from you!! And thanks so much for your support on this. Nice to know we're not alone among the 'huddled masses.' ;)

God bless your dear, sweet family. And Merry Christmas, back atcha!

Brooke said...


Watch out. ;)

BetteJo said...

Y'know, this would have gotten to me too. What is this 'holiday' season about? There is Hanukkah in December, and there is CHRISTmas.

I have very sweet memories as a kid of Christmas pageants with songs like Oh Holy Night and Little Town of Bethlehem ...

By the time my kids got to school they had added The Dreidel Song and I remember thinking how nice that was.

But now - Christmas songs are not sung in most public schools unless they are about Santa or reindeer. Christmas has become 'Holiday' and Merry Christmas is forced upon people as 'Happy Holidays'.

Hannity is the only one on TV that I hear lamenting the fact that Christianity is under attack and free game for anyone who does not believe. Makes me nuts!

Whew. Sorry, stepping down now.

Sandy said...

Like the hymn says:

Fight the good fight with all thy might;
Christ is thy Strength, and Christ thy Right;
Lay hold on life, and it shall be
Thy joy and crown eternally.

Take heart - worldwide 200,000 people convert to Christianity EVERY DAY! Despite all our faults, God's kingdom is still glorious!

Susannah said...

Brooke~ Ha! I know...better watch my back! (Glad you came by~)

BetteJo~ Thanks for sharing your memories. You know, that's what Christmas childhood is about, and those are memories so dear. The good news is that we just got home from our son's 8th grade "Winter" band concert, wherein they played part of the Nutcracker Suite & Carol of the Bells - both decidedly Christmas songs. He's also playing his trumpet in a Moravian Christmas parade w/ his friend on Sat.

Oh, & about that soapbox...I was certainly happy to share it after this post! ;)

Sandy~ Amen, & amen, & amen.

This is why you just ROCK!!

Z said...

you TELL 'em, Susannah! You are SO RIGHT.

It's like the HOLIDAY TREE...what other holiday HAS a tree, right? GeeeZ!

MERRY CHRISTMAS, JESUS LOVER! (heh, how's about suggesting THAT? :-)

Dan said...

This was a funny post. The question is, if no matter what is done, sensitives will be offended, then why offend the most sensitivities possible for the sake of not offending only a few? It's a rhetorical question of coarse. Your sensitivities only matter if they are not Christian sensitivities as evidence by how your tax dollars were spent here

Jim said...

Why didn't someone just ask the teacher if and what she celebrated at year end and then send out the email accordingly? In the absence of this knowledge, what's the matter with a generic term for the season?

Why are your sensitivities so hurt by this? If our faith in God and Jesus Christ, our Savior, is strong, how could it be hurt by how someone refers to the season and it's various celebrations.

DUTA said...

I love your post. You were right to question all that over-sensitivity regarding tradition.

Susannah said...

Z! Sure, I'll tell 'em, alright...thanks for the thumbs-up...and as for Jesus Lover - wow. Amen!!

Dan~ Thanks for coming by; good to see you. And thanks for your comment. Right. Your sensitivities only matter if you're part of the 'larger, majority group.' Then, they can abuse your rights, steal your money & put it toward offensive, repugnant trash, & you're supposed to sit down & shut up, or else you're called all manner of nasty names. Well, "sticks & stones," my brother, "sticks & stones..."

Jim, dear~ "Why are your sensitivities so hurt by this?"
This is an infinitessimal example of Political Correctness run amuck, & fear of hurt feelings or (heaven forbid!) someone not liking us! PC is (in large part) the reason our country is in the pathetic shape we're approaching. Just ask the 80 y/o Nun who went through a TSA patdown.

"If our faith in strong, how could it be hurt..."


My faith is not hurt, dear Jim. Quite the contrary, things like this render me even more convicted that I must speak -- because it's not about strength/weakness of my faith. Nice try on the red herring, though.

It's not a matter of protecting my personal faith from doubt (I've long since moved on from the meat of that struggle), it's about protecting my Faith's right to speak freely of itself in the Public 'domain.' It's about ME having just as many rights to have my SPECIFIC voice heard as any other American. It's about the ridiculous grip that PC has on our culture, & how it is strangling us: that a Grade Mother who KNOWS a teacher is Christian (she DID interview the teacher), & does the PC thing anyway.

Jim, you don't want to tangle w/ me on this. I've been swimming upstream w/ public schools on this for over a decade, going nose to nose w/ PC Principals, etc. & making gains @ each turn.

Susannah said...

Duta! Just saw your comment! Thanks for stopping by, my dear. And thanks for the encouragement.

(On a different note, I've been wondering what you think about our recent airport security nonsense? If you have any thoughts on it, feel free to email rather than leave it here.)

Jim said...

"it's about protecting my Faith's right to speak freely of itself in the Public 'domain."

Not really. It's about having nothing better to do than to raise a stink about a non-issue such as the mythical "war on Christmas". In the example you have cited here, there is no evidence that YOU or YOUR faith has been denied anything.

If you were grade mother and written the email YOUR way and been denied that ability or criticized for it, you might have a case. But you weren't, you didn't, and you don't.

Dan said...

Her email indicated that she didn't feel free to write the letter any way she wanted. That is the issue; and proof that the war on Christmas is not mythical.

Casey said...

I was literally clapping my hands as I read this post. I am so glad you spoke up. I sure wish our little ones were in the same class this year, we could have linked arms. It worries me that these mothers are falling into the politically correct hype and they are teaching that to their children. What I take issue with and you touched on this also, is why do we need to send money for one big gift? Why is someone else deciding what my chid is to give to the teacher? Isn't the point of giving a Christmas gift to express your love and appreciation for that person? Isn't it supposed to be from my child? If she doesn't participate in the gift except turning in some money, what is she learning from the experience? Where is she showing her love for her teacher? I have yet to participate in sending in the cash. I'll get down off my soap box now.

Jim said...

"Her email indicated that she didn't feel free to write the letter any way she wanted. "

No it didn't.

"I am only trying to take into consideration all of the traditions of every family in the class."

Susannah said...

" 'it's about protecting my Faith's right to speak freely of itself in the Public domain.' Not really."

Jim -- being contrary, as usual.

I said nothing about a 'war on Christmas,' but I don't deny that it very much exists. And it's one we're winning, finally: evidenced in the way that marketers are reverting back to calling this season "Christmas" instead of sterilizing everything -- except Ramadan -- into one mosh pit of bland Commercial nothingness (btw, Hanukkah usually gets silenced altogether; except on FNC).

Dan~ She implied that she wasn't free to call it Christmas, & I didn't belabor the point w/ her (i.e. I have better ways to spend my time than to 'raise a stink' about a non-issue.)

However, I HIGHLY doubt that she was prohibited from it (Jim's right). In fact several years ago, w/ a Principal looking me straight in the eye, I was told that the school system does not celebrate any kind of religious observance, but that if individual teachers would like to honor Christmas, then it was up to their discretion. IMO, this mother was, as Casey puts it "falling into the politically correct hype and they are teaching that to their children". THAT was the point I was making w/ the GM.

There's a lot more history on this issue than I have time to share here. Maybe I'll do a post on the Public schools & their deliberate squashing of Christianity while deferring to other groups...

Casey~ You cute thing! I would link arms w/ you any day of the week, & twice on Saturdays! You've also brought this to my mind from the child's perspective, too, which I hadn't been thinking of so much...I think my cherub will enjoy a nice opportunity to learn about giving this year.

Thanks so much for commenting, dear Casey.

beamish said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
tha malcontent said...

Batman Smells? You just ruined the hero Image I had of Batman since I was 10 years old!

Joe said...

Jim: " could it be hurt by how someone refers to the season and it's various celebrations."

It's not about inclusiveness. Christmas was started by (guess) Christians!

Christmas is about Christ being born, part of the gospel message (plus a lot of other theological stuff).

Now Christians are being excluded from Christmas in favor of a generic set of terms that have little meaning.

We can include others without being exclusive...or aren't most people smart enough to understand that?

Christians should take a firm stand on this, just like the apostle Paul did, landing in prison for refusing to yield one single iota on the gospel message for the convenience of those around him.

Which is worse, to wish people a horrible Christmas (no matter their faith) or a happy one?

"Holiday" means "Holy day," and Christmas is one to Christians and there is absolutely NO reason to ignore or change that.

"Sensitivity" has gone WAY, WAY overboard to the extreme of absolute stupidity...pretending something is not what it is.

Susannah: I though your post was great!

Jim said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Susannah said...

Beam & Jim~ How 'bout we just don't go down that road, eh?

Ha! Have you noticed that if I put your names together & switch it around, it's not beam/jim, it's Jim Beam! Not that that's in my cabinet...

Mal~ Back to the topic @ hand...Yeah, I know, my boys were pretty upset, too. Maybe it's the body suit & tights...

Joe~ You're supposed to be resting! I hope you're working the blogs from a laptop, snuggled down under the covers!

Thanks for the comments. My mom called today to say she'd read this post, & was SOOOO encouraged that so many people were on the side of Christmas. You're cool, Joe.

Thanks all, for stopping by.

Jim said...

"How 'bout we just don't go down that road, eh?"

I'm fine with that. Glad that you deleted the first comment if you were going to delete mine.

I like Jim Beam. I was introduced recently to an excellent cocktail made with Jim Beam and peach Schnapps. Give it a "shot".

Jim said...

Joe: It's not about inclusiveness. Christmas was started by (guess) Christians!

Yes, and?

Joe: Now Christians are being excluded from Christmas in favor of a generic set of terms that have little meaning.

Christians are being excluded from Christmas?

Joe: "Holiday" means "Holy day," and Christmas is one to Christians and there is absolutely NO reason to ignore or change that.

So haven't you basically shot down your own argument that Happy "Holiday" has little meaning or excludes Christians?