I went to the planning meeting at school for the upcoming holiday party and although I participate every year, this year just made me feel like all the political correctness talk was really getting out of control. The PTO president starts every year by announcing, No blue, green or red juices or foods. No specific holiday referenced crafts. No specific holiday related game or activity. No talking about any traditions. Now go have fun.
It's understandable that we don't want to force a religious holiday on anyone, but ruling out red juice.... really? As we broke off into our smaller classroom groups, that's when the craziness really started to happen. Now I've been doing this for a number of years and am clearly a little jaded. However, I couldn't believe the insanity coming out of the parent's mouths. "Let's make snowmen" "NO, you can't do that, look, there's blue in the background - too much like Hanukkah" "Can we color these sheets that have kids playing in the snow?" "NO - their hats look too much like Santa hats". The conversations went a lot like this for a good ten minutes.
Haven't we just gone crazy worrying about being politically correct? The kids just want to play and have fun. They don't care if there's red or blue juice.
Shouldn't we be celebrating diversity instead of trying to hide it? Why can't we introduce many cultures and traditions? It would be very difficult to touch them all, but shouldn't we be showing and appreciating all that we celebrate instead of trying to hide it like there's something wrong with one holiday or the other?
For years we've celebrated Christmakkah, or Hanumas with my neighbor. We go to their house and hear the story of Hanukkah and eat traditional food. We then go to my house with all the kids to enjoy the lights and make Christmas cookies. We're taught to appreciate the good in both of our religions. We were raised to believe different things, yet are not trying to hide anything. Instead, we're allowing our children to have open minds and celebrate our differences.
I can understand not wanting to have one tradition dominate another in school, but we're really letting it get out of control. I don't think drinking red juice will make someone turn Christian or make them feel isolated. It's adults that are influencing the insanity. What happened to the phrase Unity in Diversity? It's turned into Don't Ask Don't Tell.
After listening to parents rule out every fun activity the kids could partake in for the party, I couldn't take it anymore. I packed up my things and on my way out said, I'll bring a beige snack and vote for the craft to be coloring the baby Jesus holding a Menorah in one hand and a Kinara in the other.
Come on people. We're different. That's what makes the human race so interesting. Enjoy it, don't pretend like it doesn't exist!