(my latest letter to the editor)

As a middle school teacher, I am alarmed at the increasing number of children in my community who have no idea what Christmas is really all about.  This holiday season, I would like to urge every parent and grandparent to have a talk with his or her children about the origins of Christmas.  Whether or not you claim to be religious or a Christian—or whether or not you even celebrate Christmas—doesn’t matter.  This isn’t about religion.  Every child deserves to know what Christmas is really about because it is a part of our culture, history, and heritage.  Each year I see more and more children who are clueless.  I’ll never forget the eighth grade student two years ago who asked, “Wasn’t Jesus that guy who had a baby with that virgin girl?”  Just this past week a seventh grade girl was amazed to realize that the word Christmas contains the word Christ.  These aren’t elementary-age students; these are teenagers who will be adults in just a few years, and if they don’t learn that Christmas is more than just decorations and the accumulation of presents, a vital part of who we are as a people will be lost.  Please talk to your children.