I saw something amazing last night at our son's school--an actual Christmas play in an elementary school, complete with angels, 3 wise men, and a sniffling, grinning, Saint Joseph blowing his nose throughout the performance.
My wife and I grew up in an era (the late Seventies, to be exact--God, I feel old saying that!) where Christmas plays and Christmas pageants were commonplace. Now they have all but dissapeared from American schools.
In 2015, the year we finally decided to "pull the plug" and permanently expatriate, our eldest son's school had done away with all holiday celebrations--no Christmas trees, no Menorahs or mentions of Hanukkah, no holiday decorations would be allowed.
Some vague mentions of snowmen and candy canes were permitted, but even that was an anemic attempt not to offend the sensibilities of a few screeching parents that want to ruin the holidays for all the kids, come hell or high water.
So there were no more nativity scenes, no more Christmas plays, no more parades. The kids just went home on "Holiday Leave" and that was it.
Now, we didn't leave California because of this--we mainly left because it was impossible to afford our health care, housing, and still have enough money left over to feed ourselves. LIving on the beach was an impossible dream for us there, so we left. It was primarily an economic decision--BUT, now that we our outside California, it has become apparent how much we were missing (not just in terms of money) but of family, community, and parts of our own upbringing that we thought were lost forever.
And now we are here, in Mexico, surrounded by Christmas lights, Christmas trees, nativity scenes, and, yes, even in this predominatnly Christian country, I've even seen a few proud Menorahs!
And nobody gets offended by seeing a nativity, nobody is getting attacked for saying "Merry Christmas" and everyone is happy and glad. And best of all--the kids love it. The magic of Christmas isn't dead. It's still alive everywhere, and you just have to look to find it.
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Just a middle-class dad and mom with three young kids, looking to escape the rat race. This is our journey!
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