First of all, I want to give a sincere thank you to Mrs. Smith and all the children for the fine job they did at the Grove Upper Elementary 4th Grade Winter Program.  Great job kids.  You all sounded wonderful.

Also, I want to express my admiration for the efforts of the teachers and administration to successfully remove any mention of the holidays or celebrations that might or might not occur during the winter season.  In fact, if not for the inclusion of "Frosty the Snowman" and excerpts of "Jingle Bells" ("Dashing through the snow ...") no one would have even known it was a winter event.

I was a little put off by the fact that Frosty was identified by gender, but I suppose getting the children to sing "Frosty the Snowperson", sprinkled with the obligatory he/shes and him/hers would have been too much to ask for.  I'm embarrassed to say I didn't catch whether or not Frosty had his corn-cob pipe in this version.  I certainly hope not, as we would not want to promote a positive image of tobacco use.

Of course, the school's staff and administration don't deserve all the credit for sanitizing the Winter Program.  We should thank school boards and superintendents everywhere for being so cautious and careful with the public's money that they don't risk it defending the inevitable lawsuits from the Offended.  Speaking of the Offended, they deserve our thanks also for being brave enough to stand up against the prevailing norms of society (in this land of the free) to show the rest of us how to be tolerant of differences by being intolerant of the norm.  Let's not forget the judiciary for their foresightedness to know what's best for us by virtue of their black robes.  Last but not least we should have a huge debt of gratitude for the Apathetic.  To those of us who have stood on the sidelines and watched all the flavor and meaning of these Holy Days being slowly leached away without being obstructionist, without rocking the boat, without looking different or odd or holier-than-thou, I say thanks a lot.  Oh, and MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Randy Stine

Grove, OK