Odense: Celebrating Christmas in school

Odense: Celebrating Christmas in school

The Odense schools Humlehaveskolen, Kragsbjergskolen and Abildgårdsskolen don't cut down on Christmas decorations, Christmas cookies or elves, though more than half of the students don't celebrate Christmas.

December 24 will be a completely regular day for many of the students of the Humlehaveskolen, Kragsbjergskolen and Abildgårdsskolen schools. Most of the students of the three Odense schools are not Christian. But when they go to school, they're up to their ears in Christmas celebrations.

At Abildgårdskolen in Vollsmose, about 350 out of 500 students don't celebrate Christmas at home. But in school they accept the traditions, says principal Allan E. Feldskou.

He says they go the whole nine yards in celebrating Christmas and the children love it. They have Christmas trees, countdown candles, St. Lucy's Day and Christmas stories. And they could eat rice pudding every day, if they were allowed to. This year the teachers prepared a Christmas play called "Klods Hassan" (playing off Klods Hans, Clumsy Hans), a funny way to be multicultural.

At the Kragsbjergskolen they keep all the Christmas traditions. He says that naturally they don't force anybody to go to church, but their experience is that Christmas creates solidarity, since it's something they do together. And as adults, they can get it to work.

Though Christmas becomes a big part of everyday life in December, none of the three schools has gotten any protests from the parents.

Olav Rabølle Nielsen from Humlehaveskolen in Odense says that Christmas has never been a problem in relation to the student's different backgrounds. There are of course some people who can't do some of the things. But they take it in a very relaxed way and find a solution.

Allan E. Feldskou of Abildgårdskolen says that some of the students also celebrate Christmas a bit at home. He says that the whole city is filled with Christmas and it certainly affects the students too. He thinks that some of them also take some of the traditions home."

Source: Fyens Stiftstidende (Danish)

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