With the holidays upon us…

First, let me extend greetings and warm wishes for you and your family during both this holiday season and for the year.

Second, let me ask you to consider the message you send through the holiday season in your classroom, your office or your building.

You have constraints, certainly, imposed by your governing body (district, building admin, etc.), but within the constraints of your seasonal celebrations, what messages are you conveying to students? To parents? To the community at large? While you are thinking about that, let me run down another trail for a moment.

My family celebrates Christmas. The operational possession there is “my family”. It is not my Christmas. I didn’t make it. I don’t own it. The traditions I had with my parents are certainly a part of my celebration today, but there are definitely differences.

No one owns the holidays. There’s a lot of hostility that exists because people have stopped wishing each other an exclusive holiday, and have gone for the more global “Happy Holidays”. Personally, I want to be inclusive. I’m not looking to rob anyone of their celebration of Christmas or Chanukah or Kwanzaa or the Prophet’s Birthday or Cyber Monday or Wright Brothers Day. I hope you, and everyone else, to has a great and relaxing holiday, and I’m not interested in wishing you the incorrect holiday for what you choose to celebrate. And if you decide to wish me a happy holiday, feel free to wish me good tidings for the holiday you celebrate, because if you wish me a Happy Chanukah, I know you are sending kind regards.

So as you get ready to celebrate, and even as you begin to remove some decorations late next week, think about how wide you are casting your net to spread tidings of comfort and joy. Hopefully, all of your students feel their celebrations are worthy of sharing with others, particularly if they include peace on earth and good will to all.

Eric Chancy
Eric Chancy was born and raised in Miami, Florida, and earned his master’s degree in K-12 School Counseling in 1996. Eric subsequently worked with the Hampton School District and the Pittsburgh Public School District, then moved to North Carolina in 1999. Eric worked as a high school counselor until 2013, and currently works as a Senior Administrator with the Office of Student Assignment, overseeing the transfer of students to and from 39 schools within the Wake County Public School System. Eric has also authored “The Mechanics of School Counseling Workbook”, a guide to help counselors acclimate to new counseling positions, and speaks with school and community groups about the proliferation of and cautions necessary when engaging in social media. Eric continues to learn about and share information on how technology is affecting our culture, and in turn how that technology is affecting relationships with students.