21 Responses to Give the Gift That Keeps On Giving (Hint: Not the Bratz Kids Snap-On Swimming Mermaid)

  1. Joette December 11, 2009 at 3:14 am #

    Great article, Lenore! Please do continue to cross-post here when you have a new article over there. I already follow so many blogs and websites that I hesitate to add another to my feed-reader, but I don’t want to miss any new content from you!

  2. Uly December 11, 2009 at 3:25 am #

    Also, the comments over at PD can get a little (okay, VERY) crazy. Better to have comments here.

  3. Frume Sarah December 11, 2009 at 4:05 am #

    What a great gig!!! How exciting for you.

    Great article, BTW 🙂

  4. Keith Haskins December 11, 2009 at 10:08 am #

    Lenore, Why would you not say “Merry Christmas” instead of happy holidays? It is a simple question. Your comments often refer to “Old Days” or Back When”. I remember in the old days we said “Merry Christmas” w/o anyone objecting.

  5. Michele December 11, 2009 at 10:24 am #

    @Keith: Lenore may have been joking. Unfortunately, gone are the old days. We must not offend a soul and mention the evil words Xmas or Santa. America must welcome all cultures now but yet ignore our very own. Squash it. Shhhh, don’t utter a word, it could traumatize somebody. Schools now call Xmas break, “winter break,” Thanksgiving break is “Fall break” and forget about even acknowledging Halloween.

    Hey, Merry Xmas!

  6. Michele December 11, 2009 at 10:25 am #

    Thanks for sharing, Lenore. Please keep beating the FreeRange drum like a dead horse. The more folks read these articles, the more likely they will put it into action or at least, have an aha moment and reconsider.

    Merry Xmas and Happy Festivus!

  7. Uly December 11, 2009 at 10:47 am #

    Hey Keith, Michelle. Maybe Lenore’s not Christian. Or maybe she just likes the way Happy Holidays alliterates. (I, frankly, prefer it – a seasonal greeting that’s good from late November through early January? AND it alliterates? Count me in!)

  8. Uly December 11, 2009 at 10:50 am #

    And – more to the point – what does any of this have to do with the price of tea in China? It’s not very Christian of you to go around sniping off-topic at other people for how they speak, is it?

  9. Stephanie December 11, 2009 at 11:05 am #

    I like Happy Holidays because it doesn’t assume that everyone celebrates the same holidays I do. It doesn’t hurt to admit that, and in my own life I still celebrate as I see fit. It may be PC, but it’s also true that school is not the place to celebrate one religion’s holidays over another’s.

    But when I say Merry Christmas, I hope that if I say it to someone of another faith they take it as well wishes. Not being offended goes both ways.

    Beyond the derail, great article. Encouraging kids to be more independent is a great gift.

  10. Sam December 11, 2009 at 12:02 pm #


    Oh, yes – the good old days. Which always seems to be code for “back when people didn’t make me feel bad about my privilege and racism by calling me out on it.”

  11. Uly December 11, 2009 at 1:22 pm #

    Or possibly “Back before it became taboo to try to be polite and considerate of other people”. I hate the phrase PC. Hate it with a vengeance – why is being nice suddenly such a bad thing?

  12. Rich Wilson December 11, 2009 at 4:48 pm #

    I think we should all wish whatever the heck we want, and take other people’s wishes in the spirit they were intended. Thanks Lenore, and a Sublime Solstice to you!

  13. Christy December 11, 2009 at 7:04 pm #

    Great stuff, Lenore!

  14. Laura V. December 11, 2009 at 8:55 pm #

    december sees the convergence of many holidays (christmas, chanukah, kwanzaa, etc.), “happy holidays” is simply more efficient. there are many things i’d die on the side of a hill for; this is not one of them.

  15. Michele December 11, 2009 at 10:15 pm #


    I’m not christian either. don’t celebrate or practice any religion but certainly love the spirit of xmas (the spirit of family & friends & childhood to me).

    my point is, i take no offense when the cashier, doctor, stranger, bus driver says “merry xmas” to me. i would take no offense if someone said “Happy Hanukkah” or “Happy Kwanzaa” or “Happy Ramadan” or happy fill in the blank to me either. i’m not jewish, but i would take pleasure in saying “happy hanukah” back to someone. its all about the spirit of the season. i just hate all of the tiptoeing around this taboo word of xmas. we are just too caught up in it.

    Happy Holidays!

  16. Uly December 11, 2009 at 10:55 pm #

    Michele, you don’t know why she said “Happy Holidays”, though. Maybe, as I said, she just likes the phrase. You’re making assumptions that have nothing to do with… anything (and certainly not the topic at hand). And that’s just really, really annoying.

    Christmas isn’t a “taboo word”. The concept is absurd. When you turn on the TV there are clear CHRISTMAS commercials. When you go to the store they play CHRISTMAS music. There are whole racks of CHRISTMAS cards and decorations, and try finding any other type of wrapping paper (even for birthdays) this time of year.

    If somebody else chooses, personally, to use another phrase because it’s inclusive or because it sounds nice or because they just don’t care, don’t make it out to be more than it is. Just use your preferred salutation in your own life. Not really that hard.

    (Says the woman who’s currently arguing with you, but I have the excuse of… being… kinda immature.)

  17. LauraL December 11, 2009 at 11:11 pm #

    Seems to me from what I’ve read of Lenore and what she’s written (I want to think I heard her refer to a son’s bar mitvah?), her family is Jewish.

  18. Michele December 11, 2009 at 11:43 pm #


    You are right. This all has nothing to do with the price of tea in China. We could chat until blue in the face but this isn’t the place to carry this on and on, since Lenore’s topics are afterall, FreeRange kids.

    Happy Hanukkah, Lenore!!

  19. Sky December 12, 2009 at 2:43 am #

    Since we went off topic on happy holidays…can I say that I hate that my kids’ school doesn’t have a “holiday party” (that’s fine with me, since Hannukah and New Year’s are around that time too, though Ramadan and Eid are not), but a “winter celebration”?!? Yes, my daughter is having a “winter celebration” party next week. I’m sorry, but that’s way too narrow for me. As far as I know, only the pagans celebrate winter. We’re really overlooking the Jews, Christians, and Muslims with that “winter celebration” thing. Hannukah is NOT a celebration of winter. Christmas is NOT a celebration of winter. Even Kwanza is NOT a celebration of winter. Could we NOT have a “winter celebration” party please? We aren’t neopagans. Let’s be more inclusive.

  20. Mae Mae December 12, 2009 at 8:32 am #

    Great article, Lenore!

    To the rest of you: Can I say that even as a Christian I tired of this argument years ago. Let it go already. Not subscribing to this one because I don’t want to hear the same old, same old rehashed again.

  21. sss December 15, 2009 at 7:09 am #

    i think a winter celebration is just a celebration that happens IN winter… not a celebration OF winter.