I hate to say this – hate to admit it, especially in writing – but I feel the need say something because I actually agree with something Perry (the governor of Texas, for those not in the know) did this week.
Now, and let me say this without too much malice – I hate Perry. He is petty, his policies suck, and he has hurt higher education (and K-12) horribly. I can’t wait for him to be removed from office in some scandal that stops him from ever holding an elected post again. (This is all protected by free speech, right? Let me know, NSA…)
Regardless, this week he signed a bipartisan bill that removed “any legal risk of saying ‘Merry Christmas’ in Texas public schools.” The bill also allows schools to display traditional holiday symbols, as long as multiple religions are represented.
And I agree with it. I loved the fact that my son’s grade school – that he just graduated from and is headed to middle school! – would put up decorations and celebrate the holidays. They would have a party every year in December, and they would have the kids look at holidays from other countries, other religions, etc., and they would sing songs, give presents, and more. It was great. There were menorahs, Kwanzaa candle holders, and Christmas trees. There were santas and snowmen. It was awesome.
I was always kind of sad when I heard about public schools that ignored the holidays. I mean, it’s not like we were “protecting” our kids from holidays. They saw signs of them every time they went out, and the had a “holiday break” or “winter break” that always seemed to include Christmas…so why pretend?
I also love that my son’s school would do things for Easter, Halloween, and Earth Day. They would go over the solstices, and they learned about everything in between. He probably knows more about other religions’ holidays than I do, and I’m always asking questions to learn about new holidays and celebrations.
So, all that said, I wanted to finish with the ultimate irony. Okay, maybe not ultimate, but pretty good, and a pretty typical Perry-type move. When he signed the bill that allowed *all* holidays to be celebrated, he had 10 Santa Claus impersonators to come and ring sleigh bells as he signed. Ummmm. Did he just break his own rules there by ignoring other holidays? (And, yeah, I know, it was all about the schools and not about the state house, but seriously, dude – why not at least have a pretense of caring about other groups?)