, Derry, New Hampshire


December 13, 2012

Greetings and salutations


But there should be room for Santa, the Maccabee children and the seven principles of Kwanzaa. Go ahead and have a “holiday” party, but educate children about all holidays — religious, ethnic, even political.

Michael Quimby, a second-grade teacher at Londonderry’s Matthew Thornton School, seems to have it figured out.

Last week, children in Quimby’s class constructed paper menorahs in advance of the beginning of the eight-day Jewish holiday. While there are no Jewish children in his class this year, Quimby said it’s fun for his students to learn about different cultures and their holidays.

He leads students in their study and helps them find the differences and similarities among them.

And isn’t that what holidays are all about anyway? A holiday is, by definition, a day away from work, a day to spend at one’s leisure, celebrating family, friendship and tradition.

So, when the clerk at the local grocery store or the bell-ringer standing with a red kettle offers a “Merry Christmas,” return the greeting or don’t. There’s nothing to be gained by snarling back an “I don’t celebrate” or “I’m Muslim” in response.

And it sure beats “Have a nice day.”

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