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Holiday/Celebrations in Schools

Updated on September 5, 2010

 Should holiday celebrations be included in schools? Many schools refrain from celebrating any kind of holidays for the reason that they do not want to 'offend' anyone.  In case someone do not believe in celebrating holidays and even, birthdays, for that matter.  A few years ago, one of the kids in our preschool did not celebrate birthdays or any kind of holiday due to their religious beliefs.  We tried not to make a big deal of it, but when there was someone having a birthday and their family want to celebrate by bringing cupcakes or some kind of a treat for the other children, we leave that up to the family.  Although the preschooler's family did not believe in celebrating birthdays, it did not bother them if someone else would like to do so.  What we did in preschool is serve the cupcakes and put the treats in their cubbies or distribute it at the end of the day to not make any kind of distraction in our program.  We also gave a crown and sang the "Happy Birthday" song to the celebrant.  This has worked out well and no one has really complained about it.

Another reason, why I think, schools refrain from celebrating any kind of holiday is that it becomes more of a hassle than enjoyment.  For instance, if we celebrate Christmas, we should also celebrate Yom Kippur, Chinese New Year's, Cinco de Mayo, Halloween, St. Patrick's Day and so forth or whatever cultures that we currently have in our program.  As many of you are aware that preschool programs are only about three to three-and-a-half hours at best and if we do celebrate all of the holidays, we will not have enough time to do the rest of our program.

Thirdly, celebrating holidays can be quite costly.  Teachers often need to get the materials themselves and not always being reimbursed by the schools when it comes to holiday celebrations.  Although I think that celebrating holidays in schools will help our children appreciate different cultures, needless to say, celebrating holidays is becoming unpopular these days.  One of the solutions that our preschool program to solve the dilemma of celebrating holidays is to teach cultural diversity to our children by reading books about different cultures.  In today's diverse society, I think, we all need to accept and understand each other's traditions and cultures, in order to minimize prejudice and biased preassumptions which can lead to misunderstandings and sometimes, even violence. 

Thank you very much for reading my hub and I look forward to your comments:-).

 

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    • CarolineVABC profile imageAUTHOR

      CarolineVABC 

      4 years ago from Castaic

      Hi DREAM ON!

      I completely agree with you! We do need to respect the ones who do not observe other cultures, but still need to be respectful of those who do. With so much political correctness as well as educational standards that are being pushed to the limit, there seem to be a shortage of time to spend on things like observing holiday and celebrations in schools these days, which I find extremely unfortunate. I, for one, believe that children need to learn and respect cultural diversity. This will bring children closer and more understanding of each other's differences. Thank you very much for commenting on my article and visiting my hub! Have a wonderful and blessed day.

    • DREAM ON profile image

      DREAM ON 

      4 years ago

      I think celebrations for all holidays are a good idea.Do to busy school work and lack of time you might alternate or pick from a grab which ones the kids might want. Even let them practice voting. Informing children at a young age of other cultures and traditions is a great starting point.You can always show respect for those who don't observe but also be respectful of those who do.There is a happy medium.Looking back at my happiest childhood memories they included Valentine's Day where we just gave each other cards. We became closer as a group and had fun. Life is not all work a nice combination of work and play. Have a great day.

    • CarolineVABC profile imageAUTHOR

      CarolineVABC 

      5 years ago from Castaic

      Hi JanelenNC!

      First of all, I would like to apologize for the very, very late reply!!! I have not been able to check my HubPages for such a long time and just now starting to get back on it again. Just want to say that you have a valid point here: "it does not have to be a holiday" to teach students regarding diversity and that it just needs to be incorporated into the lessons. Although in my own observation, sometimes educators do not even want to bother doing this because they are too afraid of offending anyone or they think it's too much work. Let's say we explain one culture (for instance Cinco de Mayo) then we need to do the same thing for the rest of the cultures who are in our class (African American, Jewish, Asian or whatever it may be). In this case, children are not even being introduced to the diverse culture that they live in, which I think is very unfortunate.

      Admittedly, with all of the standards and everything that a teacher needs to do these days, it becomes challenging to incorporate anything. Thus making an issue of 'cultural diversity' a low priority on a teacher's "to do" list.

      Thank you very much for commenting on my article. I value each and everyone's opinions, no matter how different they are with mine. Take care and God bless!

    • profile image

      JaneleNC 

      6 years ago

      I think that holiday celebrations should be left to the families at home. You always hear people say "Valentines is about showing love", "Christmas is about giving gifts and sharing", and "Thanksgiving is about giving thanks". All of these values can be incorporated into the classroom. There's also nothing wrong with making children aware of others' cultures, however, to blatently have holiday parties when there are children that don't celebrate this is wrong. There are many other days of the year, teachers can have a party to teach children these values. If the true purpose of these parties is to let children have fun together, it doesn't have to be a holiday for a teacher to do this.

    • CarolineVABC profile imageAUTHOR

      CarolineVABC 

      7 years ago from Castaic

      To Harajukuglam: Thank you for your comment:-). Yes, it's true that kids love having fun and gifts, but I believe that as an educator, we have a responsibility to teach our children regarding other cultures and traditions. It's true, though, that children are generally unbiased, but it is up to the parents and teachers to work with each other to educate our children regarding different cultures and traditions, especially in our today's diverse society. Thank you for taking your time to read my hub/poem-I really do appreciate it!:-). Take care. God bless!:-)

    • harajukuglam profile image

      harajukuglam 

      7 years ago from Colombiana, USA

      Having religious beliefs is understandable, but kids are kids and they love fun. Kids could care less about each other's religious beliefs when they are participating in fun holiday games, eating snacks, and dancing with their class mates! Although I am Christian, I did not once think about Jesus, Allah, or Buddha at my elementary Christmas parties, I wanted candy and gifts! :)

    • CarolineVABC profile imageAUTHOR

      CarolineVABC 

      7 years ago from Castaic

      To ExpandYourMind: You have stated a valid argument. It can be very difficult to find a "happy medium" in today's diverse society, but reading or discussing different cultures and traditions in schools will make children more aware and knowledgeable of them. Thank you for taking your time to read my hub and I really do appreciate your comment:-).

    • ExpandYourMind profile image

      ExpandYourMind 

      7 years ago from Midwest USA

      I love the Holidays and enjoyed celebrations in school. However, I understand that with the diversity in cultures and traditions, finding a happy medium may be difficult. I believe there should be some recognition for everyone whether via reading and discussion or celebration.

    • CarolineVABC profile imageAUTHOR

      CarolineVABC 

      7 years ago from Castaic

      I couldn't agree with you more, bradfield! School seem like work to kids, especially these days, without all the fun celebrations. People are just so concerned that they might offend someone who does not believe in them. They don't even have "pajama" day for Halloween which I think is very sad because kids really look forward to this. Although I do understand that they will celebrate it with their families, but like you've mentioned, the children will feel closer to their peers by celebrating holidays with them which I think is just as important as academics. Thank you very much for stating your opinion on this-I really do appreciate it very much!:-)

    • profile image

      bradfield27 

      7 years ago

      I honestly beleieve that celebrating holidays in school is good for children. When I was in elementary school we celebrated many holidays. I think it made the students closer to their peers and their teacher. It is good for kids to feel like school isn't just a job. They need to have some fun in their childhood. This is just my opinion, of course. I know there are a lot of people who disagree with me, but I really feel that celebrations in school is a good thing.

    • CarolineVABC profile imageAUTHOR

      CarolineVABC 

      7 years ago from Castaic

      Thank you very much for your comment, Prasetio!:-) I appreciate your kind words. It was the same thing with us back in the back in the Philippines since the school would not start until June, we would always observe Independence Day and of course, Christmas, but I'm not sure if we observed Thanksgiving. Take care and hope to talk to you again soon. God bless!:-)

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 

      7 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Good information, Caroline. As a teacher I support this hub. I thought you have several holiday celebrations to celebrate in school. In my country not all the holiday was celebrated in school. Just few of big holiday celebration, like Independence day. Thanks for share with us. ~prasetio

    • CarolineVABC profile imageAUTHOR

      CarolineVABC 

      7 years ago from Castaic

      Well said, Apostle Jack! I wish, all Christians, will act accordingly. May I share your quote with my family and friends? Of course, I will credit you for it, but if you do not feel comfortable about this, I won't:-).

    • Apostle Jack profile image

      Apostle Jack 

      7 years ago from Atlanta Ga

      We as True Christian's are problem solvers...and not problem makers.Anything to decrease the flow of conflick is a good idea.

    • CarolineVABC profile imageAUTHOR

      CarolineVABC 

      7 years ago from Castaic

      Thanks, Bobbi, for your reply. That's true and I do agree with you and as long as we read about different cultures, I think the children will appreciate it, be more exposed and understanding of different traditions and cultures. Thanks, again, for visiting my hub!:-)

    • BobbiRant profile image

      BobbiRant 

      7 years ago from New York

      This is a good example of why holidays maybe should not be in schools. I think holidays should be left up to the families at home as to whether they celebrate them or not.

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