Christmas is cancelled. This is not a drill or a joke, and certainly not a hoax. The secondary school that two of our children attend has cancelled Christmas. This means that cards, gifts, carols and Christmas activities are banned.
The students now have to write to the head of RE before the end of November and argue the case for reinstating Christmas at the school.
I’ve already seen social media posts from parents expressing their anger at this situation with words such as “fuming”, “horrible” and “disgusting” being used. But I don’t agree with them.
Christmas is cancelled – but why?
According to the headteacher, the ban on Christmas is about making the students think deeply about what Christmas is and what it is about. One perspective he encourages to be looked at is our multi-faith society, especially with the number of practising Christians declining and, for many people, it has become about consumerism.
According to one of our girls, the RE teacher said that children often argue over presents at Christmas. My view on this is that this isn’t an issue only Christmas, it can be all times. Of course, this has a lot to do with how you bring your children up too.
He wants kids to take a step back and think about the true meaning of Christmas. I 100% agree with him on that.
The true meaning of Christmas
I am not a religious person, and we’re not a religious family. We do however attend a Christingle service each year as well as a Christmas Ever service too. We aren’t completely detached from the Christianity of Christmas. But we also visit a Santa grotto each year too – ironically it’s in the church hall in the village I grew up in. That’s a church embracing the non-religious aspects of a modern Christmas.
The commercialism of Christmas has annoyed me for years. It gets worse every year too. The fact that as a society we are far more interested in the John Lewis Christmas advert or going to see the Coca-Cola truck that we are thinking about others (if you take religion out of it completely) is so wrong.
But what is the true meaning of Christmas? I can’t answer that because I think it means something different to everyone. From the devout Christians to declared atheists and everyone in between – Christmas will mean something slightly different.
For us, it’s a time for family. It’s a time for peace and reflection. Yes, we give gifts, but we don’t go crazy with that either. It’s a time for being together and a time for love.
Arguing for the reinstatement of Christmas
Will any of the students at their school be able to argue a case strong enough to have it reinstated?
I think some kids will make a pretty fantastic go at that. I also think some will completely miss the point.
Will anyone argue for the fact that as time passes things change and we’re now in an age of a modern Christmas?
But, given that the headteacher mentioned the multi-faith society I do have a counter argument. Why has the school previously celebrated Christmas but not celebrated Diwali, or Eid, Passover, Hanukkah or even Easter – another Christian holiday.
Whatever happens, we shall continue to celebrate Christmas our way. How the school do or don’t is something I am not going to worry too much about. I might have to put up with my girls moaning about it, but deep down I know they understand why this is happening.
What do you think? How would you feel if this was you kids’ school?