Urban dictionary defines Christmahannukwanzadan as the "combination of the main holiday terms; Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanza, and Ramadan. To be used in this age of correctness where people may be offended by wishing one person a seasonal greeting but leaving another person out, thereby offending their race or creed. 'Happy Christmahannukwanzadan everybody...and I think that covers everybody'."
I understand this subject can be touchy for some. The idea of race and religion is a sensitive topic for a lot of people, especially around the holidays. Those of you who work in the school system know this better than anyone else. And those of you who are involved in putting together a "holiday show" know this is one of the hardest things to maneuver. How many Hannukah and Kwanza songs appropriate and easy for kids can you do year-to-year? Are there any songs for Ramadan? What to include? What not to include? What NEEDS to be represented? What can be selectively included? What are you allowed to even call the show? All of these answers differ from school to school depending on the population, culture of the area, and even staff.
At my school, I give each show a theme. By doing this, I avoid a lot of these issues. If it doesn't fit the theme, it doesn't get included. And if someone finds something in the theme that I missed, then I am more than happy to incorporate it into the show! This year's theme was all about songs from animated tv specials, whether old or new. Another way that I avoid the awkward "where my holiday" topic is by allowing the classes to select their own song to perform. I give them a list of more than enough song options and I even include the option for them to write in a song for themselves. The final decision is ultimately in my hands, but I have never had to make any changes because of the theme that I put in place for each show, which most respect. By giving the staff and the students a say in what goes into their holiday show, morale is boosted and everyone is more willing to put together a better holiday show!
When it comes to naming the show, everyone calls it the "holiday show" and the title is selected based on the theme. I am a very proud Christian personally, so I call it the Christmas show and tend to lean towards Christmas themed shows and songs. Because I allow the staff and students to select their songs based on the theme each year, I have only received a few concerns about whether a specific religion will be represented. Most feedback that I receive is from the staff but they also understand that the show is for the kids and the songs have to be of interest to them as well. The staff and students all know that I am very open when it comes to conversing about decisions and questions involving the shows at our school.
So I want to know, what protocols do you have for holiday shows? What do you call them? What's included? Do you have options for the staff and students or do you set the stage 100%? I want to hear how each program differs and any helpful hints you have for others based on what you've learned over the years! Let us know in the comments below!
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