Author Topic: I have not the words...UPDATE: Post #132  (Read 14368 times)

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sevenday

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Re: I have not the words...
« Reply #105 on: January 03, 2013, 11:08:09 PM »
I do agree that a snowflake is not a religious item.  I do not celebrate the religious aspects of holidays, but I do engage in the secular ones.  I give and get gifts, cards, et cetera.  I even have my car decorated in snowflakes - not for Christmas, but for winter!  Just because it has a string that enables it to be hung does not mean it must be a Christmas ornament to hang on a tree. Hang it from a suction cup and put it on your bedroom window, bathroom mirror, etc.  Hang it from a nail like you would a painting.  It's an "ornament" only in that it is a decoration, an adornment (that's where the "orn" comes from in ornament I guess).  The accompanying note was not offensive in the least.   The only way I can think of that it could be interpreted as a Christmas gift was the timing of when it was handed out, and that relies on assumptions by the parents, which they've demonstrated in their little missive to the OP.

Regarding gifts in the classroom, I do generally think they should not have religious connotations in the gift ITEM itself, but the occasion may very well have something to do with it.  Christmas, Hanukkah, et cetera.  My local school permits gift exchanges and birthday invites, but they do say that you must either give to ALL the kids in the class, or give them outside of the classroom (i.e. at the end of the day when you're outside getting on the bus to go home, or away from school entirely) to avoid favoritism/bullying situations.  Funnily enough, during Christmas, we generally made decorations for the classroom and just had a party day - bringing in cupcakes, cookies, etc - rather than exchanging presents.  Those who were meant to get presents got them outside of school anyway.  (Best friends and so on)  Same for Valentine's Day.  Other holidays, like Easter, Hanukkah, and so forth were acknowledged with some in-class activities rather than presents. I remember one year when all events were food oriented.  Latkes for Hanukkah for example.  We researched recipes and the history of those foods and things like that. 

Those parents need to learn that they are not going to shelter their child forever.  As parents they can certainly say "we don't give/get gifts unless they are religious-themed" but they need to take ownership of their actions too, rather than blaming someone who does not know these personal rules they've established for their family.  In the future, OP, I would check with the school to see what the policy is.  If the policy is "universal or none" then continue to give nonspecific items to your child's class, including this child, as long as your child wishes to do so.  There's no reason she should be denied the pleasure of giving to people she likes just because ONE child's parents object.  If there is no universal policy, then you might sit down with your daughter and explain that you've discovered that the child's parents don't want to get gifts during common holidays because of their religious beliefs.  Then quietly instruct your daughter to not give this child a gift, but to instead personally interact with them.  Go over and give them a hug if they are that friendly, talk about how you hope they'll have a great day, things like that.  This way the child might not feel quite so left out.  (If the child says 'but you didn't give me anything and gave them things,' your daughter might say, 'your parents told mine that it wasn't appropriate to give you anything.  Did we misunderstand?') I forget how old these kids are... eventually that kid will grow up and adopt his own policy regarding that.  If he wants to adhere to the example his parents set, great!

Regarding religious holidays... Many now have secular aspects as well as religious ones.  Is it right to universally ban all holidays because they MIGHT be religious?  That's not really something we can discuss on this forum, but it's something to consider.

gollymolly2

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Re: I have not the words...
« Reply #106 on: January 03, 2013, 11:09:15 PM »
I think it's ideal to receive any religious or holiday-you-don't-celebrate gift in the spirit in which it is almost always intended: here is something that I/my family enjoys, so I hope you/your family enjoy it at well. So when I give gifts, I give them with that attitude, and when I receive gifts I receive them with that attitude.


A party (or other sponsored event) put on by a governmental entity is a totally different thing, etiquettely and legally from a gesture between two individuals and really has no bearing on this thread.

onikenbai

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Re: I have not the words...
« Reply #107 on: January 03, 2013, 11:24:43 PM »
My brother received a present this year wrapped in paper from ThinkGeek.  It says "Have a Satisfactory Non-Denominational Capitalist Wintertime Gift-giving Season".  Sounds like we should all be ordering this paper in bulk.

CrochetFanatic

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Re: I have not the words...
« Reply #108 on: January 03, 2013, 11:27:22 PM »
My brother received a present this year wrapped in paper from ThinkGeek.  It says "Have a Satisfactory Non-Denominational Capitalist Wintertime Gift-giving Season".  Sounds like we should all be ordering this paper in bulk.

That's hilarious.

Venus193

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Re: I have not the words...
« Reply #109 on: January 03, 2013, 11:37:48 PM »
My brother received a present this year wrapped in paper from ThinkGeek.  It says "Have a Satisfactory Non-Denominational Capitalist Wintertime Gift-giving Season".  Sounds like we should all be ordering this paper in bulk.

That's hilarious.

I agree!  I need a good laugh after reading this thread.

I also agree that these parents were looking for something to be offended at.  They need to realize that they don't rule the world... or even the classroom.

Like Thipiu I had elementary school teachers who understood that their pupils were of different faiths and cultures.  One December the homework assignment was for us to get our parents to tell us the Christmas traditions of their countries and how to say "Merry Christmas" in their native languages.  The Jewish kids did the same for Chanukah.  We had no problems.

This is just nuts.

Moray

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Re: I have not the words...
« Reply #110 on: January 04, 2013, 02:20:55 AM »
I did (Rusty's post).  I just read that "Christmas" reference as being a secular, public school type celebration, not a religious observance. Especially because the OP of this thread is about a family objecting to the ornament/gift not being religious but rather in line with the secular seasonal celebration.

I suppose I'm just a 'politically correct wowser'.

I'm not sure what you mean by that. I don't believe WillyNilly accused you of any such thing. All she said is that a pre-Winter Break party involving Santa or candycanes or snowflakes isn't anything but secular for a lot of people.
Utah

cass2591

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Re: I have not the words...
« Reply #111 on: January 04, 2013, 02:52:40 AM »
White Lotus, your rants are neither appreciated nor appropriate for this forum.
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scotcat60

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Re: I have not the words...
« Reply #112 on: January 04, 2013, 06:22:03 AM »
Whats next?  Jews can't wear ar Star o David necklace nor Christians crosses because someone might see it and be offended? 

This has actually happened in the UK. when an airline worker was told she should not wear her cross where it could be seen.

As for the rest, there are ways and ways of refusing a gift. A politely worded note sayng, thank you for the thought, but we do not celebrate Christmas in this way,  so please don't send us anything after this. Did DD know about her friend's religions attitude to gift giving. It sounds as if neither she nor the friend did, or the gift would not have been given. If the child was "traumatised" by the confiscation of the gift, whose fault was that?

RingTailedLemur

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Re: I have not the words...
« Reply #113 on: January 04, 2013, 06:27:30 AM »
Whats next?  Jews can't wear ar Star o David necklace nor Christians crosses because someone might see it and be offended? 

This has actually happened in the UK. when an airline worker was told she should not wear her cross where it could be seen.


Sorry, no.  That is not what the issue was.  The issue was that the BA uniform policy prohibited any necklaces being worn over the top of the uniform.

Please let's not include misinformation or allegations of discrimination to muddy the issue.

This is simply a question of someone receiving a gift that was kindly meant and responding in a rude way.

Garden Goblin

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Re: I have not the words...
« Reply #114 on: January 04, 2013, 08:18:36 AM »
I'm not sure what you mean by that. I don't believe WillyNilly accused you of any such thing. All she said is that a pre-Winter Break party involving Santa or candycanes or snowflakes isn't anything but secular for a lot of people.

That's what the original post I was responding too called me, which was one of the reasons I objected to what it stated.  I don't like being called names, told I need more goodwill, or that I should take my child out of school if I do not wish to celebrate Christmas.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2013, 08:20:44 AM by Garden Goblin »

TootsNYC

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Re: I have not the words...
« Reply #115 on: January 04, 2013, 08:22:03 AM »
I bet the reason their kid was so upset about having the ornament taken away is that HE knew it had nothing to do with Christmas, and HE knew it wasn't *really* against their "anti-commercialization of Christmas" stance.

RingTailedLemur

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Re: I have not the words...
« Reply #116 on: January 04, 2013, 09:21:50 AM »
I'm not sure what you mean by that. I don't believe WillyNilly accused you of any such thing. All she said is that a pre-Winter Break party involving Santa or candycanes or snowflakes isn't anything but secular for a lot of people.

That's what the original post I was responding too called me, which was one of the reasons I objected to what it stated.  I don't like being called names, told I need more goodwill, or that I should take my child out of school if I do not wish to celebrate Christmas.

I can see how it might be read that way, but I really don't think Rusty meant that.  I think she meant, "If you are going to spoil other people's celebrations by being rude, stay home".

gollymolly2

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Re: I have not the words...
« Reply #117 on: January 04, 2013, 09:47:02 AM »
I'm not sure what you mean by that. I don't believe WillyNilly accused you of any such thing. All she said is that a pre-Winter Break party involving Santa or candycanes or snowflakes isn't anything but secular for a lot of people.

That's what the original post I was responding too called me, which was one of the reasons I objected to what it stated.  I don't like being called names, told I need more goodwill, or that I should take my child out of school if I do not wish to celebrate Christmas.

I read that post the same way - if you don't like your child's school officially celebrating a religious holiday, stay home, you're a "politically correct wowster" (whatever that was). Which strikes me as both inflammatory and unnecessary since it's totally unrelated to the actual topic of the thread - a gift between individual kids.

ettiquit

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Re: I have not the words...
« Reply #118 on: January 04, 2013, 10:43:02 AM »
This is an interesting thread.  I'm an atheist, and I celebrate the secular X-mas.  Christian holidays celebrated in public schools don't really bother me as most are derived from pagan rituals and the religious aspects can be easily left out. 

I would have a problem with my son receiving a religious-themed gift from another student, but I'd be taking that up with the school, not the parents.  When I receive overly-religious Christmas cards, I'm not offended, but they do go in the trash.  There's kind of a delicate balance for me, where I try to maintain a healthy level of tolerance but speaking up (politely!) when I deem something completely inappropriate.

The parent's in the OP's story are utterly ridiculous.

WillyNilly

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Re: I have not the words...
« Reply #119 on: January 04, 2013, 10:52:30 AM »
I'm not sure what you mean by that. I don't believe WillyNilly accused you of any such thing. All she said is that a pre-Winter Break party involving Santa or candycanes or snowflakes isn't anything but secular for a lot of people.

That's what the original post I was responding too called me, which was one of the reasons I objected to what it stated.  I don't like being called names, told I need more goodwill, or that I should take my child out of school if I do not wish to celebrate Christmas.

I can see how it might be read that way, but I really don't think Rusty meant that.  I think she meant, "If you are going to spoil other people's celebrations by being rude, stay home".

I can't speak for Rusty, but as far as me, I don't agree with name calling (not even the "politically correct" label) I'm merely defending that public school holiday celebrations are in my experience and opinion general and secular and if a parent still objects, well then yeah, keeping their kid home (or having them sent to the library, etc) is a valid option for them and better then having the whole celebration shut down for everyone, simply because one family objects. Schools are part of the larger society and our society celebrates x-mas.  I think to totally ignore the winter holidays would be doing a terrible disservice to children, leaving then horribly ignorant and denying them a basic joy of our culture at large.