Reinstalling Christmas and Easter

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This column originally appeared in The Tentacle on December 5, 2011.

If you’re anything like me, this is the time of year you take a minute to recall the holidays of your youth. I remember our Christmas tree falling on my sister while she continued to unwrap her presents.

I remember singing Silent Night and O’ Come All Ye Faithful around the fireplace; hiding in a trash can from my grandmother who was insisting on telling me something I vehemently didn’t’ want to hear; the beauty of a candlelit midnight mass; and I recall my parents sharing the joys of their holidays gone by.

More than the stories was what I was “feeling” – happy, peaceful and comforted. Few of us remember the gifts we were given. Most, if not all of us recall how we “felt.” Some of us remember feelings of sadness; and we hope those are few and far between.

Today’s society doesn’t speak of the value in the sharing of those traditions. Our schools appear to join in the watering down of those values through the current approved multicultural education. There is great harm in a society that forgets where it comes from and why we are blessed to be Americans.

In an effort to try and reclaim some of our proud American customs I recently wrote a letter to our new school superintendent, Theresa Alban, and asked her to return the words “Christmas” and “Easter” as the proclaimed days off on the Frederick County Public Schools calendar. It’s a small gesture that would mean a lot.

I’m not sure how many are aware of it, but those two holidays have been replaced with “Winter” and “Spring” break. We can proclaim we are having a day off from school for Labor Day, Rosh Hashanah, American Indian Heritage Day, New Year’s Day, Dr. Martin Luther King Day, President’s Day, Memorial Day, even Fair Day and Teacher Work Days. However, we cannot proclaim that our schools will be closed for any celebration of the life of Jesus. The reason certainly can’t be about “religion” because Rosh Hashanah is a Jewish religious day. That leads me to believe it must be about Christianity.

These past decades, in which American’s have been bullied into being politically correct, haven’t helped to create a more unified, understanding American. The opposite is true. It has given license to any group except Christians to cry “victim” at the drop of any “perceived” slight and used, for good or bad, to advance a particular agenda.

It is creating a segregated, aggravated, forgetful America. It’s not about politeness and concern; it’s about controlling the conversation and trying to wipe out decades of Christian, American customs and traditions, the customs that made – and still making – us the most giving nation and people on the globe.

Christian’s are bullied into having to sacrifice or share their holidays under the pretense of offending other cultures. I’m offended and I’m not a traditional Christian. This country was founded on Judeo-Christian philosophies and principles. Like them or not, they are what made America great. Not just so-so. Not tolerable. Great!

We are who we are partly because of decades of traditions. Those traditions include Christmas and Easter. I have not become who I am because of winter or spring, although I certainly have fond and not so fond memories of the seasons.

Who I am has not only been cultivated by my family sharing tradition, but by my school as well. I recall many Christmas and Easter celebrations at my schools, traditions of community coming together to purchase food and gifts for the less fortunate.

Our charity was not because we honored “winter” or “spring” but because we honored Jesus who taught us to care for those who were having difficulties caring for themselves. Even those who were not of the Christian faith understood and shared the Christian spirit of giving. Why we would ever, as a community, not want to support that spirit and name it, is lost on me.

I urge each of you to call (301) 644-5000) or write Dr. Alban (theresa.alban@fcps.org) and our Board of Education (boe@fcps.org) and tell them it’s time to put Christmas and Easter back on the school calendar as recognized, proclaimed holidays.

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