December 29, 2008

That's it, time to pack it up....

I love our Christmas decorations. Every year when I pull them out I am reminded of past years: the felt doorknob mitten, the clothes pin angel ornaments, tissue paper and paper tube candle holders, and letters to Santa. So many good memories!

I have to admit, though, I am equally happy to put it away. As a somewhat compulsive organizer, it's challenging for me to have all the extra "stuff" in my house this long. I don't know how people who leave decorations up until April survive! It's time.

December 14, 2008

Jesus wore a big red suit?

Today's email from my sister....

While my Second Grader is being told keep quiet about her belief in Jesus instead of Santa, my Kindergardener came home with her weekly newsletter. And it stated,"This week we celebrated Christmas' of other cultures. We learned about Kwanza and Hannukah. Students made levened bread and played with a Dreidel. We also learned math concepts using Menorah Candles. We look forward to celebrating a traditional Christmas next week focusing on the man with the Big Red Suit."

Funny, I don't remember Jesus wearing a big red suit! Seriously, can they make it any harder for us to celebrate Jesus before anything else?!

December 9, 2008

Don't just stand there, grab a shovel....

I was shoveling the driveway tonight when the neighbor stopped and said, "you know it would be easier if you shoveled a path down the middle, the pushed the snow on the right side of the driveway to the right and the left side to the left."

"Yeah", I said, "but when I shovel it all to one side there is more snow on the sledding pile."

Duh, why else would I shovel the driveway at all? :)

December 7, 2008

My niece is THAT kid (the rant that goes with the story)

Throughout my parenting years, I have encouraged my kids' belief in Santa. My sister has taken a much more religious view with her children, and sticks to the nativity story.

This past week my niece was taken out into the hallway where the teacher told her that she was not to debate the "realness" of Santa anymore because of the conflict she was causing in the classroom. Yes, she was told to stifle her religious opinions to keep the peace.

Her teacher was given a brilliant opportunity to teach, and she took a pass. I am disappointed that the teacher was not equipped to deal with the topic of differing views more effectively. Someday soon it won't be Santa they fight about - it will be about religions, politics, or gender issues. Grade school is when we need to start giving kids the language of tolerance and acceptance.

Although my sister and I sit on opposite side of the S-man debate, our kids have existed peacefully all these years because we agree to respect each other's views about the holiday. Believing in Santa does not prevent my kids from enjoying the religious aspect of the holiday. Religious beliefs do not keep my nieces from enjoying the history of the Santa story. Our kids have common beliefs in an omniscient being who knows what they are thinking (and when they are asleep or awake), and they can appreciate the magic of carefully chosen, cleverly packaged gifts (like Jesus).

December 6, 2008

Yes, my niece is THAT kid.

My niece did not have such a great day at school today.

The kids were working in centers or 6-8 kids when the teacher noticed a commotion. As it escalated she went over to see what the problem was. Apparently on the eve of St. Nick, my niece had told all the kids that Santa was not real, and that parents brought the presents.

Some kids were arguing, some were on the verge of tears. The teacher took my niece out in the hallway and talked to her about over-sharing.

My poor sister is waiting for the angry phone calls to start.

I have a serious response to this, and you'll get that tomorrow. For right now I am just happy that I am neither a classmate's parent nor my sister!