The Water Cooler – Banning The Word “Christmas” In Public Schools

December 10, 2019 12:20 pm · 85 comments

The “Water Cooler” is a feature on where we ask you a question or provide a topic, and you talk about it.

The “Water Cooler” will be up Monday-Friday at noon.

Today’s question:

Many school districts around the country have banned the word “Christmas”, meaning they can’t use the word to refer to parties, vacations, trees, presents, etc.

QUESTION: Do you think the word “Christmas” should be banned, or do you think public schools should use another word, such as “holiday” or “winter”?

Talk about it….

Simonpure December 10, 2019 at 12:28 PM

We will all be mutes soon. Can’t say anything anymore. Looking to my right, the calendar says “Christmas Day”


Roz December 10, 2019 at 1:15 PM

Total agree with you Simonpure.
A very Merry Christmas to All!

Lori R December 10, 2019 at 4:21 PM

Yep agree for sure Merry Christmas

HappyPappy December 11, 2019 at 7:15 AM

MERRY CHRISTMAS, may the peace of Christ be with you.

Sick of it December 10, 2019 at 12:32 PM

So remove the name for what it was intentionally meant to represent. Completely idiotic. It celebrates the birth of Christ. How will they ever figure out how to remove that like they have removed him from there hearts. Believe or not the teachings set a good way to live life with each other.

Rob December 10, 2019 at 1:29 PM

I don’t ask for Sunday Services to teach math or evolution – so how about schools don’t get involved in religion?

After all, there are so many Christian places to go have all of the Christmas you could ask for 🙂

Shoulda Coulda December 10, 2019 at 1:45 PM

Well said Sick of it!
It reminds me of Ray Bradbury’s
fictional Fahrenheit 451 come to life.
Schools are supposed to be a place
to learn about other people’s beliefs.
Christmas is just one of them. If that
is not your choice to believe in, it
certainly can’t hurt to see what it
means to others and likewise how
other folks choose to believe or not.

S December 10, 2019 at 12:36 PM

Birthday Present = Birthday Present
Wedding Present = Wedding Present
Graduation Present = Graduation Present
Anniversary Present = Anniversary Present
Christmas Present = CHRISTMAS Present


Kentucky Derby December 10, 2019 at 12:38 PM

Banning the word Christmas is insane. If people don’t celebrate Christmas, just ignore it. The same way we ignore Hanukkah or any other holiday we don’t celebrate.

We should ban morons who come up with these ideas.

NoMoreFreeRide December 10, 2019 at 3:18 PM


DD December 11, 2019 at 8:00 AM

Well said. When I was in the 3rd Grade, around Christmas, one of my classmates who was Jewish taught us about Hanukkah and her Mother made us Latkes and Macaroons. Was ready to convert just for the food!

Concord December 11, 2019 at 8:18 AM


Lilly of the Valley December 10, 2019 at 12:41 PM

NO, the birth of Christ is the reason of the season, We have to stand up and continue for all the times to come saying: MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!

Pyrrhus December 10, 2019 at 2:50 PM

Except Christ wasn’t born in December and the entire reason it came around was to allow pagans to celebrate their customs and not to be at odds with the Catholic Church. So, Christmas is a pagan holiday. Jeremiah 10:1-5 talks about cutting down trees, decorating them, and turning them into idols.

I am personally not offended at all if someone wishes me a Merry Christmas. I find it funny how some people get a bit miffed when I wish them a Happy Holidays in return

I will say, that I’m 100% for saying Happy Holidays at school. I’m also 100% okay with reading and learning about how different cultures celebrate their holidays. Growing up as a kid that doesn’t celebrate Christmas really sucked as the other kids didn’t understand. It was exhausting and embarrassing having to defend your faith at 8 years old, against the teacher no less.

Selkie December 11, 2019 at 12:06 AM

Well said Pyrrhus.

Michael Langley December 10, 2019 at 12:42 PM

I believe the word “Christmas” is not banned. Any student can say the word without punishment. Christmas is a Christian Holiday, so schools are not promoting a specific belief system as a way to stay true to the establisment clause.

Led December 10, 2019 at 3:43 PM

Yet somehow Christmas is a federal holiday and the Establishment Clause is doing just fine…

Paul December 10, 2019 at 12:44 PM

Although I no longer believe in God, I don’t think the word Christmas or any religious references should be banned in public school. Come on man, let people expose to different ideologies, except the extreme, and let them decide what best for them to value

Simonpure December 10, 2019 at 1:51 PM

You used the wording “I no longer believe”. Something bad must have happened to you. Whatever it was…sorry.

Paul December 10, 2019 at 4:21 PM


Thanks for making me laugh with your comments! I understand you because I have seen people (my relatives mostly) stop believing in god because something bad happened to them; Their reason is that god couldn’t protect them so might as well rebel and go on their own. I had a coworker who became religious because he felt that god save after spending a few years at state prison.

Stopping believing in God has nothing to do with bad or good experience in my life. I grew up in a devout catholic family. Looking back, I pretty much blindly accepted the dogmas by attending bible classes and ministries simply because I wanted to please my elders and not want to be ostracized. Then the best things for me is attending college where I questioned my religious beliefs. From then, I found all the that I was taught are just nonsense. So I replace those nonsense by other ideas that are practical and sounds. I have not attended church for at least 10 years and I am much happier!

I think that I was a good catholic boy thus I established so much credits to exchange for a spot in heaven. If you or anybody want to buy these credits from me, I sell all for the amount that I paid for my college tuition (80k). Lol

T. Payne December 10, 2019 at 5:18 PM

Funny, I found most of what I learned in College turned out to be nonsense.

Selkie December 11, 2019 at 12:10 AM

@T.Payne Maybe college wasn’t the issue…..

PogueMehone December 10, 2019 at 12:46 PM

Just curious – are we also banning words like Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Ramadan and Diwali as well?

Which First Amendment were they reading at the time this was suggested?

Khloe December 10, 2019 at 10:22 PM

@ Paul
Im impressed by ur response. Most nonbelievers slam and blame religion/Catholic Church for anything and everything bad in their lives; however, your response caught my attention as you briefly explained your views, without stereotyping or being vindictive. Well done

whatthe December 10, 2019 at 12:46 PM

Please provide an example of this. Or are we just stirring a pot? Celebrating ONLY Christmas in public schools would be – yeah – isolating to some kids, but celebrating all the holidays… is this an issue?
Happy holidays to everyone.

Natalie December 10, 2019 at 2:48 PM

I tried to do an internet search and found no evidence this is a big issue. There was 1 school district 4 years ago that banned Christmas, but then they repealed the ban shortly after. There was a principal who tried to ban Christmas but then she lost her job. I couldn’t seem to find evidence that this is a tending phenomenon, or any evidence that there are multiple school districts around the country banning Christmas.

Cowellian December 10, 2019 at 12:46 PM

Happy Holy Days!

Yelena burmenko December 10, 2019 at 12:47 PM

Ridiculous. I am a Jewish woman who loves Christmas. Let’s embrace every holiday and every tradition. Open up your minds and hearts.

Khloe December 10, 2019 at 10:24 PM

Ur awesome! My best friend is also Jewish and he loves Christmas.

Concord74 December 10, 2019 at 12:47 PM

More BS from the liberals and leftist!

Sub another word for what is the birth of our Savior? Idiotic!! What about Santa Claus??


Rick December 10, 2019 at 12:49 PM

I dont like things like this because It gives ammo to conservatives when they label anyone who disagrees with them on an issue “libruls”. I have known plenty of non-Christians in my workplace over the years none have ever complained about being offended by xmas.

Dawg December 10, 2019 at 1:01 PM

The PC left is good at denying reality, they have a lot in common with an ostrich burying it’s head in the sand . I remember in the 50’s they couldn’t use the word pregnant on I Love Lucy, even though everyone knew she was pregnant. When the left doesn’t like something, they want to take it away and ruin it for everybody, after all, they know what’s best.
What’s next, going after all of the cities with Christian names like Sacramento and San Francisco?
And they wonder why Trump was elected president and will be re-elected.

MERRY CHRISTMAS everybody! And a special Merry Christmas to all the non believers.

The Mamba December 10, 2019 at 1:08 PM

I’m not sure what “ban” would mean in this context? Jobs lost or kids suspended for whispering the word under their breath? Or just being conscientious and inclusive and acknowledging that other people may celebrate different holidays by using a catch all term? I can’t remember if it was here or somewhere else, but I think if I were to say “Merry Christmas” and a Jewish person said back, “Happy Hanukkah”, I would be honored that person shared their faith with me. Stop being offended, stop being a victim, life doesn’t work like that.

Led December 10, 2019 at 3:44 PM

It’s not about banning students – more about policy for naming celebrations and events at Christmasti- sorry, I mean at wintertime!

RANDOM TASK December 10, 2019 at 1:20 PM

well this shows how America is being gutted from the inside

one freedom and American history moment at a time

5 years and you will be forced to learn Spanish and Sharia law

the millions who died and you walk on to destroy America

will never forgive you for their sacrifice

soon when its too late to turn back

the history books will not even bother with your story

since it has already happened to Egypt and rome

doomed to repeat your sins hmmm

welcome to your purgatory

hey you voted for it ….that’s the best part

Lo December 10, 2019 at 1:30 PM

Absolutely stupid. Do not eliminate a holiday, encourage inclusion by discussing/celebrating/honoring ALL Holidays!


Wish me “Happy” Whatever You Want! I’m always down for a reason to spread cheer.

Kirkwood December 10, 2019 at 1:37 PM

Political Correctness run amok.
Whatever happened to free speech?

mohairs December 10, 2019 at 1:44 PM

I’m grateful this was never a subject when I was growing up in the 60s and 70s. The word ‘Christmas’ should not be banned from schools ever. Giving gifts to one another on December 25 celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. If there are folks who don’t want to celebrate Christmas, then they shouldn’t receive or give a gift for ‘Christmas.’ Merry CHRISTmas!

S December 10, 2019 at 1:59 PM

AH, for the 60’s. I remember in elementary school the Christmas Assembly which was always topped off with the arrival of Santa! In about the 4th or 5th grade, I learned a secret (from my Mom the PTA president) It wasn’t actually Santa, but the Custodian.

TOB December 10, 2019 at 1:46 PM

This PC crap has to stop and stop feeding into it. I’ve never felt insulted when someone says to me Happy Hanukkah even once Kwanza. People are being nice and greeting you. I take no offense. Likewise when I say Merry Christmas to others who don’t share, they often greet me back and smile regardless of feelings. None are insults and we need to stop treating them this way.

Reality says... December 10, 2019 at 1:58 PM

Yes. I’ve already started using the following so I don’t offend someone, anyone…

Holiday tree
Holiday roof lights
Winter cookies
Wrapped gifts
Festive Caroling

Old-school guy December 10, 2019 at 2:18 PM

So now when my kid wants to buy a Christmas Tree, I’ll tell her there’s no such thing. Wait until I have to tell her there’s no Santa too. Oh, Merry Christmas to all (who celebrates it). SMH

anon December 10, 2019 at 2:20 PM

They don’t ban Christmas at my high school. They have Christmas parties for a week before winter break.

Gittyup December 10, 2019 at 2:34 PM

Merry Christmas!

frenchdawg December 10, 2019 at 2:57 PM

not an issue

Barbie Dahl December 10, 2019 at 2:59 PM

I used to write a private school newsletter. One year I was banned from using the word holiday because one nut job teacher complained. So on the next issue I put Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah on the front page in big bold graphics.

The Professor December 10, 2019 at 3:04 PM

I totally agree that we should ban all references to religious holidays from school.

From now on: “Festivus for the rest of us!”

Silva December 10, 2019 at 3:23 PM

It would be impossible. Since it isn’t a dirty or offensive word it wouldn’t work, unless they try banning all the names of religious holy days at the same time. Just a bit of silliness to get us riled up about.

RANDOM TASK December 10, 2019 at 3:34 PM

pharanna or what ever

you wrote
Except Christ wasn’t born in December and the entire reason it came around was to allow pagans to celebrate their customs and not to be at odds with the Catholic Church. So, Christmas is a pagan holiday. Jeremiah 10:1-5 talks about cutting down trees, decorating them, and turning them into idols.

by your thinking kids and adults will never be able to discuss or learn from what obviously only you know

have a holly jolly happy holidays 🙁

Pyrrhus December 11, 2019 at 8:12 AM

Did you even read my post? Obviously not because you couldn’t even get my name right. Here, I’ll copy paste it so maybe you’ll understand.

“I will say, that I’m 100% for saying Happy Holidays at school. I’m also 100% okay with reading and learning about how different cultures celebrate their holidays.”

By all means, teach kids about the different religions and holidays that are celebrated. Just don’t force them to participate in recognizing just one.

Cellophane December 10, 2019 at 3:36 PM

I am against banning anything.

This is America, the land of the free.

Banning anything takes away from freedoms.

Personal responsibility and good character are behavioral traits that should be encouraged and practiced.

I am against banning anything.

Rollo Tomasi December 10, 2019 at 3:36 PM

I think if anyone, be they administrator, teacher or student, gets fired or even disciplined as a result of violating this ban (assuming it is a public school/district that adopts the ban) it will bring about an interesting discussion about the free speech clause of the first amendment. By the way, the establishment clause reads as follows: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” Notably, it doesn’t include freedom FROM religion.

RANDOM TASK December 10, 2019 at 3:38 PM

yeah and in America

you cant wear an American flag t shirt on the 5th of may
in dem re education schools …following chinas lead as usual

I know they own LeBron and the nba …..but mexico too I guess as well as us

that should tell you how far left we are

Led December 10, 2019 at 3:42 PM

It’s total nonsense. It’s a national holiday, for crying out loud. It isn’t “establishing religion” to mention it, or to recognize the reality that it is a national holiday (or even, God forbid, that many people actually celebrate it religiously – the horror!)

Steven Powers December 10, 2019 at 3:46 PM

Merry Christmas….. they shouldn’t ban it …

Doh December 10, 2019 at 4:11 PM

I did a search and found one school district in New Hampshire who requested the word not be included on the fliers for the town’s annual tree lighting festivities. I did not find any stories about schools banning the word Christmas.

Ebeneezer is that you! December 10, 2019 at 5:11 PM

Oh come on …. I have children of different faiths in my kinder class and we all are better humans for knowing and learning about each other’s cultures,
traditions and holidays. And let’s get real people-try to stop a kindergarten class from spontaneously erupting in Jingle Bells the day after Halloween- it can’t be done!!

The Fearless Spectator December 10, 2019 at 5:23 PM

This needs to stop now for two reasons:

1-At what point does banning these words become censorship? What about freedom of religion? What about violating the Constitution?

2-This kind of nonsense is creating future generations of overly sensitive people. In 20 years grown men, I mean (gender neutral humans) will burst into tears because someone said something inappropriate.

Frank Zappa said it best: “There is no word so powerful, that it’s going to send the listener to the lake of fire upon hearing it.”

ChuckStir December 10, 2019 at 5:32 PM

One still has the freedom to say Merry Christmas, Just as one has the freedom to not say it or agree with it. Regardless, people need to respect the freedoms we are still allowed. If it offends that is very rarely the intent when others wish others Merry Christmas. So without intent, Merry Christmas.

Chester E. Kitty December 10, 2019 at 6:23 PM

Try and stop me from saying MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!

Caskydiver December 10, 2019 at 6:25 PM

Nonsense…Merry CHRISTMAS to all as we celebrate Christ’s birth.

John P December 10, 2019 at 6:50 PM

Ban any and all words, practices, and teaching of any and all religions. Keep that foolishness out of public schools – it doesn’t belong there. We may have freedom of speech, but we also are supposed to be free from any state-sponsered religion, so people are free do that in their own home.

Cowellian December 10, 2019 at 6:56 PM

We have freedom of speech, except for speech that you don’t like?

Pyrrhus December 11, 2019 at 8:16 AM

Cowellian – Children are allowed to practice their religion at school. Nobody is banning anyone from their religion. You want to pray at school? Go right ahead. The problem is when it is mandated by the school. There is nothing wrong with teaching about different cultures and their holidays and recognizing them. That doesn’t mean the school should embrace one religion and celebrate it either.

Religion can be practice by individuals but when it comes to education the school should only be teaching it from a historical/cultural perspective.

Rollo Tomasi December 11, 2019 at 10:14 AM

“Many school districts around the country have banned the word “Christmas”, meaning they can’t use the word to refer to parties, vacations, trees, presents, etc.”

Far too vague to reach any conclusion, and according to previous posters’ searches no further detail is available. A lot depends on the consequences of violating the ban, and if said consequences are enforced by the school or school district (a government agency), a violation of First Amendment rights could and should be argued.

Pyrrhus, what in that paragraph leads you to conclude that schools are mandating observance of any religion? It seems to me that the schools are mandating that individuals NOT use the word “Christmas”. Wouldn’t said mandate be “…prohibiting the free exercise thereof”?

The Fearless Spectator December 11, 2019 at 6:42 PM

Here is the hard part. Most reasonable people would agree that we “are better humans for knowing about each other’s cultures”. However there are a good number of people who are scared to death that their children will embrace another culture or religion outside the one chosen by the family elders. Independent thinking can be a very threatening thing to those that favor institutionalized worship, inside or outside the home.

Jojo Potato December 10, 2019 at 6:54 PM

As my good friend (a moslem) puts it when asked if he celebrates Christmas. “I celebrate the commercial holiday”. Merry Christmas!

KAD December 10, 2019 at 8:09 PM

Stupid, stupid, and more stupid.

Bob December 10, 2019 at 8:29 PM

Aren’t those the same only different religions ? Merry Christmas !!

Candy December 10, 2019 at 8:58 PM

The foundation of the United States is crumbling. Take away traditional norms and we have no direction. Weak minded leaders who caved under the pressure, trying to please everyone.
We are ripe to be ruled by Artificial Intelligence!

Natalie December 10, 2019 at 9:18 PM

I do not think Christmas should be a for bidden word in schools! There is no mention of banning Hanukkah or Kwanzaa! Perhaps if they wish to move toward inclusivity, the solution would be to educate around the different types of ‘Winter Holidays” celebrated by people and a history of each.

Nokeem December 10, 2019 at 9:59 PM

No. Absolutely do NOT ban Christmas. If it weren’t for Christmas, there would be no Christmas Season. And it is Christmas season. So if you aren’t part of it, you aren’t part of it. No one is stopping you from not celebrating, but a majority of Americans celebrate it for whatever reason. I think you are just stirring up trouble by bringing this topic up.

Khloe December 10, 2019 at 10:32 PM

People break the law by entering this county illegally on a duly basis. After doing so, many collect a welfare check, food stamps, a cell phone, housing and a smart watch, but more importantly, we need to ban the word “Christmas.” What a joke.

Sign from Above December 11, 2019 at 8:24 AM

I find it interesting that we’re talking about banning the use of a word when the First Amendment provides us the right to say whatever we damn well feel like saying!

If you don’t like the term, don’t use it. Unless I know their religion, at what time I will wish them happy (enter THEIR holiday), I say Merry Christmas to others. If they reply by saying Happy Holidays or something else, I’m fine with that. People get so butt hurt in this state! It’s just amazing! Grow up!

Oh…..By the way……..Merry Christmas to all!!

Bad Nombre December 11, 2019 at 9:20 AM

Do we really want public schools teaching students what Christmas means (i.e. teaching religion)? Not me. Borders on taking God’s name in vain.

Sign from Above December 11, 2019 at 11:36 AM

It doesn’t say “Teaching students what Christmas means” or “teaching religion”. Those would be wrong in a public school. The question is; Should be ban the word Christmas? That would also be wrong!

Sam Malone December 11, 2019 at 9:39 AM

I am sick and tired of being told what I can say, what I can do, etc., while the liberals can do anything they dam well want to do. Oh and I get to be taxed to death for this privilege in California. ENOUGH!

Our founding fathers are spinning in their graves and have to be so disappointed with the direction this country has gone.

My voice is just as important to be heard, as I am being taxed without representation. People with common sense step up and stop getting thrown to the curb. SF is losing tourist business, which means the surrounding cities are also, due to the crime, the filth on the streets and the homeless that seem to run everything lately. This time vote with your common sense and cut off the entitlement crowd at the pass.

Yes keep Christmas as it is . Grow up and take a stand.

commoncents December 11, 2019 at 9:44 AM

Where did this “many” come from? Sounds like an excuse to bolster the phony premise that there is a “War on Christmas” which is BS.

Rollo Tomasi December 11, 2019 at 2:05 PM

“Many” is the word used by Claycord in introducing the subject. Take up your issue with The Mayor.

Mika December 11, 2019 at 10:18 AM

Well if the schools don’t want to us to celebrate Christmas, why are they given a two week paid vacation for “Christmas”?

Bart December 11, 2019 at 12:10 PM

I think the intention behind banning or limited use of the word Christmas in public setting (school in this case) is not denying a person right to to celebrate Christmas. The current political climate, especially in California, is to be inclusived, neutral so schools want to ban the word Christmas.

I personally against banning the word but I saw it at a loss battle when I saw department stores using “happy holidays” “ season greeting” this time of the year to accommodate everyone. Plus virtually all the companies that I have worked already reword their policy from Christmas vacations to holidays vacations. It it PC running amok, but I am not mad if I get paid days off.

Hanne Jeppesen December 11, 2019 at 1:18 PM

Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday’s I don’t really care, I have used Happy Holidays, way before it became an issue, also used Merry Christmas. To me Happy Holidays, covered both Christmas and New Years, also Holidays came from Holy Days, so I don’t know if is any better or worse, depending on the point of view. I’m fed up with both sides making an issue of this. Can’t be just accept the greeting, no matter which one used, as a nice sentiment this time of the year and say “Thank you, and same to you” I think if we could get Jesus’s opinion on this, he would not want us to fight over it, one way or the other.

Ilovepopcorn December 12, 2019 at 7:17 AM

Thank you for your perfect response. We all are too worried who will take offense. I think it’s nice if anybody greets another with well wishes of any kind. Sick of people being so uptight.

dianaaaaaafessenden December 11, 2019 at 5:52 PM

All school kids know what it means when they have a holiday : no school on that day….one of those days is during the month of December AND the school calendar calls it Christmas, so of course students say “” MERRY
CHRISTMAS” non religious interpretation
During the month of April the school calendar calls for recognition of Easter. Day Well, since Easter always falls on a Sunday the school calendar allows for another day for the holiday so the school calendar calls for either a Friday or a Monday before or after the recognized Easter day. Of course students say ” HAPPY EASTER” non religious interpretation

Kat December 13, 2019 at 9:46 PM

This is the United States of AMERICA. This country is founded on the right to be free. Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom to live according to our own customs and beliefs. We are a huge melting pot of ethnicities and that is part of what makes our country so great. If everyone were the same this would be a pretty boring world. Christmas is a religious holiday. If anyone has a problem with the word Christmas then dont say it. Dont celebrate Christmas if you dont want to. But if it offends you… too bad. Keep your thoughts to yourself because in this country people celebrate all types of holidays and it is their right to do so. If Christmas offends you then I can guarantee you that whatever holiday you celebrate instead of Christmas, well that offends other people. But this is America so you have a right to celebrate whatever holiday you want. Just like others have a right to celebrate Christmas if they want. If however you are just so offended that you still cant help but complain about it then pack up your belongings and go back to whatever backwards country you came from. Because no one asked you to be here and no one cares what you like or dont like. This is OUR country and we shouldnt have to monitor what we say or not follow our normal traditions or customs just because someone else is offended by it. And if its an American who is offended then get over yourself because I personally am offended by the fact that you are whining about a basic right we have as citizens of this country. Im sure Im not the only one offended by your whining. Yet you have the right to whine because this is America. So shut up and let us have our Christmas.

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