I saw something posted on Facebook today about making holiday ornaments with elementary students.
When I went to the site, it was actually a serious post about where you could go to get directions for making holiday ornaments.
I guess I was hoping for something else.
When I first was hired as a K-6 art teacher, I was warned by my boss, the administrator in charge of Art teachers, not to make “seasonals.”
Nothing special for Halloween. No Valentines. Turkeys? Forget about it. Haunted houses? Never! And certainly not holiday ornaments.
That was okay for the classroom teacher, she warned me. But we needed to be serious about our art curriculum. So, God help us if the administrator in charge of Art teachers ever walked in on you in the middle of the Santa project.
No matter that the kids loved them.
It didn’t even matter that I could demonstrate how I could link them to the state Art standards.
After a few years the administrator in charge of Art teachers retired. The board of education saw an opportunity to do some cost savings and did not replace her. A teacher took over the job of part-time curriculum specialist, which came with some release time and a stipend.
And no authority to keep me from making “seasonals.”
That first year I went wild.
Anne Pilert, an Art teacher in another building, and I conspired to fill the three weeks of December before the winter break with every holiday project we could come up with.
Snow flakes. Santas. Menorahs. Nutcrackers. Ornaments galore.
Lord help me. Anne even brought in a copy of a holiday magazine by Martha Stewart. We rifled through it, tearing pages out, then making photo copies so we could share.
It was our first and last Martha Stewart Christmas.
We calmed down after that.
Moderation in all things.
But for that one brief moment it did feel like liberation.