Monday, December 15, 2008

Sleigh bells ring - and he IS listening!!

"That's a Christmas song!" Sayer exclaimed the other day in the car. And so it was. A true confession - I am born and raised Jewish gal who harbors a secret love of Christmas/Holiday music. I just always have; I actually look forward to those 36-hour Christmas Eve/Day radio marathons. I feed my addiction mainly in the car, listening to the radio churn out "White Christmas," "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" and the like. I only listen without the presence of my husband, Dan, or older son, Jacob, who both call holiday music "drivel."

Back to Sayer's reaction - I was actually impressed that Sayer recognized the song on the radio as a Christmas song - it shows that he can generalize songs he hears in school, at department stores, and so on. I hadn't really thought he noticed that closely what is playing on the radio; and the fact that he does is a good thing.

How much I have changed since the time when Jacob was young, when I was indignant when a Christmas song was played at a school winter concert. When Jacob was young, I clearly told his teachers that he was Jewish, and we would prefer that he not draw or write about Christmas trees or Santa Claus. I did volunteer to help his class mates understand and celebrate Hanukkah, and so I have contributed more dreidels and pennies through the years than I care to count.

Now, I pick my battles, and pick them carefully. This month, when Sayer brought home a December calendar with his drawing of a Christmas tree, I was a bit taken aback - oops; gotta tell the teacher he's Jewish. But, actually, I was more thrilled that:

a) He has learned how to draw a tree (representation drawing is still an "evolving skill") and

b) His teacher thought of having the kids do a calendar with the school schedule on it for us to share with Sayer. Very handy, since we can point out exactly when winter break begins.

Instead of being annoyed, I simply wrote a note saying Sayer was Jewish and he loved to talk about Hanukkah. I also offered to help the class get into the Hanukkah spirit. So, it's off to the party store to stock up on dreidels for his class mates, but it's all good. As long as I can sing along with Burl Ives, Eartha Kitt and John and Yoko, I'm fine with it.


Anonymous said...

I have a neighbor who is Jewish, her husband is Catholic, so they celebrate both. It's nice to know that their kids get to participate in both. She seems to be happy that I know about some Jewish customs, though I celebrate Christmas, because I dated a Jewish man once (Russian).

Glad you've jumped in with the class' understanding that there's more than Christmas. They will be "richer" for it.

Anonymous said...

I love all of the holidays (and different celebrations)....must be the International Studies major in me. Middle boy LOVES the 'dredal" song. Please just don't make me sing it. He also loves playing dredals..okay, he just likes the chocolate gelt.

I am also glad that you can see that Sayer can draw a tree and understand a calendar....looking at things from a different perspective helps, I am sure.


Carol said...

Katie - We have extra gelt if you want some, just come and get it -well, I guess you would have to ski over today.

Here are some dreidel song links I passed on to Sayer's teachers - middle boy might enjoy it:

This one plays the tune (just in care you can't get it out of your head, yet):

And here is another one:

Anonymous said...

That's the driedel song! I love it. Reminds me of when I was in elementary school and we sang it.

I'd ski up, if I could. Unfortunately, youngest doesn't want to go outside. Brian is totally outside (he'd be outside even when it is 0 degrees). Middle boy would do it if chocolate was involved (he is my son, you know).


I am still so impressed that Sayer drew a tree! Yippie!

Anonymous said...

Hi Carol, this has been a weird week for Vancouver School District. Today our son was in school for a half hour; the district called it a no school day at 7:30 am. (high school starts at 7:15 am). Talk about confused.........And go ahead and sing all the holiday songs you like. I love music and it really is OK. We need to do whatever we can do to keep our sanity in the season of snow. Pam

Carol said...

Pam, that would be confusing - maybe worse than just no school? I hope you guys have some fun things planned for the break.