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Grinchy remark sends kids home in tears [i.e., there is no Santa Claus!]
LDNews.com ^ | 23 December 2005 | RORY SCHULER

Posted on 12/23/2005 7:45:33 PM PST by mcg1969

LICKDALE — Jamey Schaeffer stretched her mouth open wide, showing off a pair of twin gaps in her smile. With a mouthful of fingers, she said she has no interest in two front teeth for Christmas.

Instead, she’d like a Barbie doll from Santa Claus — and Santa Claus only.

But a substitute music teacher almost came between the 6-year-old and a Christmas Eve spent dancing cheek to cheek with sugar plums.

Theresa Farrisi stood in for Schaeffer’s regular music teacher one day last week. One of her assignments was to read Clement C. Moore’s famous poem, “A Visit from Saint Nicholas” to a first-grade class at Lickdale Elementary School.

“The poem has great literary value, but it goes against my conscience to teach something which I know to be false to children, who are impressionable,” said Farrisi, 43, of Myerstown. “It’s a story. I taught it as a story. There’s no real person called Santa Claus living at the North Pole.”

Farrisi doesn’t believe in Santa Claus, and she doesn’t think anyone else should, either. She made her feelings clear to the classroom full of 6- and 7-year-olds, some of whom went home crying.

Schaeffer got off the school bus later that day, dragging her backpack in the mud, tears in her angry little eyes.

“She yelled at me, ‘Why did you lie?’” recalled Jamey’s mother, Elizabeth. “‘Why didn’t you tell me Santa Claus died?’”

Elizabeth Schaeffer said she was appalled by Farrisi’s bluntness.

“I had to call the school,” said Schaeffer, a part-time custodial employee for the school district who is on temporary leave after complications from her last child’s birth. “I had to do something.”

Meanwhile, Farrisi, who is well versed on the history of “Santa Claus” — the traditional and literary figure — clarified her comments.

“I did not tell the students Santa Claus was dead,” she explained. “I said there was a man named Nickolas of Myrna who died in 343 A.D., upon whom the Santa Claus myth (is based).”

On Monday night, Jamey started to recite Moore’s famous poem while sitting on a couch next to a freshly cut tree, trimmed in tinsel and topped with a golden star: “’Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house. No creatures stirred.”

She paused, looked up, and said that’s when the teacher interjected, just a few lines before the verse that announces the arrival of “a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer.”

“The teacher stopped reading and told us no one comes down the chimney,” Jamey said, curling into a ball on the couch, bracing her chin on her knees, her voice shrinking away like melting ice cream. “She said our parents buy the presents, not Santa.”

Sharing in the belief of Santa Claus is a very special event in the Schaeffer home. Jamey’s the second youngest of five children. The three oldest have already grown up and left the family nest. Only Jamey and her 18-month-old sister, Amanda, remain.

Last year, Elizabeth Schaeffer recalled, Santa left a trail of boot prints in charred ashes from his feet-first landing in the fireplace. And this year, the family will continue their tradition of leaving him a plate of cookies, a tall glass of milk and a ripe, shaved carrot for Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer.

The Schaeffer family wasn’t the only one taken aback by Farrisi’s approach to Santa.

Tim and Beth Rittle said they found their 7-year-old daughter, Holly, in tears in the back seat of their car after they picked her up from school that day.

“All of a sudden, Holly just started crying,” Beth Rittle said. “She said she had a substitute in music class, and she told the class there’s no such thing as Santa Claus.”

Schaeffer and Rittle both called Northern Lebanon School District Superintendent Don L. Bell.

Since the issue involves personnel, Bell said Monday, there is little he can say about the incident, adding that it has not been determined if any disciplinary action is warranted against Farrisi.

Bell said he was aware that several parents have expressed concerns about the incident.

He also noted that the handling of Santa Claus isn’t covered in the school code.

“We do not have a Santa Claus policy,” he said. “It’s unfortunate, but I really can’t say anything about it.”

Farrisi said she considered approaching the school’s administration with her concerns about how to handle Santa Claus in class. Instead, she said, she decided to add a disclaimer to her lesson.

“Those same children are going to know someday that what their parents taught them is false,” she ex-plained. “There is no Santa Claus.”

Meanwhile, Elizabeth Schaeffer was carefully thinking about her next step. She decided to make a photocopy of editor Francis P. Church’s famous response to a little girl, who wrote to The New York Sun many decades ago, asking the same question Schaeffer’s daughter struggled with last week.

“I mailed (Farrisi) a copy of ‘Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus,’” she said, giggling with satisfaction. “I wish I could be there when she opens it.”

As for Jamey, in an attempt to reaffirm her spot on Santa’s nice list, she drew up a new letter in bright red magic marker, a message destined for the Santa she refuses to abandon.

“Dear Santa ... How is the North Pole?” she said, reading her letter loudly and proudly. “How is Mrs. Claus? You are Great. From Jamey.”


TOPICS: Extended News; US: Pennsylvania
KEYWORDS: grinch; santa
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Posted without comment. However, if you wish to give the teacher your regards, it's actually possible to find her address on Google if you enter her name and the state she lives in.
1 posted on 12/23/2005 7:45:38 PM PST by mcg1969
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To: mcg1969
Already posted & beaten almost to death, lol:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1546112/posts?q=1&&page=1#1

2 posted on 12/23/2005 7:48:52 PM PST by Luke Skyfreeper
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To: mcg1969

Theresa Farrisi is an evil woman. She deserves coal in her stocking!


3 posted on 12/23/2005 7:49:19 PM PST by Palladin (Merry Christmas! God bless us, every one!)
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To: mcg1969

That's rotten. She's a typical heartless liberal.

Bet ya, she's mum on what an abortion is.


4 posted on 12/23/2005 7:50:09 PM PST by nmh (Intelligent people believe in Intelligent Design (God))
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To: Palladin

Here we go again!


5 posted on 12/23/2005 7:50:40 PM PST by Luke Skyfreeper
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To: mcg1969

what a stupid selfish b!tch - selfish is what she is because she derrived power and, if I had to guess, pleaure from telling those kids that Santa wasn't real


6 posted on 12/23/2005 7:51:54 PM PST by Texas_Jarhead
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To: mcg1969
Oh no. Not again.

Ho Ho Ho!

7 posted on 12/23/2005 7:52:31 PM PST by CindyDawg (Merry Christmas to all and to all a good evening)
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To: Luke Skyfreeper

Some of us are too busy with Christmas to read every dang thread.

So I'm glad it was reposted for those of us who missed it first time around.

I thought Luke Skyfreeper had bigger battles to fight. All over the Galaxy. Have you seen Santa and his reindeer out there yet?


8 posted on 12/23/2005 7:57:44 PM PST by Palladin (Merry Christmas! God bless us, every one!)
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To: mcg1969
I know a few women who would like to take this busybody to a wood shed.
9 posted on 12/23/2005 8:04:05 PM PST by HuntsvilleTxVeteran (Giving power and money to Congress is like giving liquor and car keys to teenage boys. - P.J. O'Rour)
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To: mcg1969
Bell said he was aware that several parents have expressed concerns about the incident.

He also noted that the handling of Santa Claus isn’t covered in the school code.

“[There is no Sanity Clause],” he said. “It’s unfortunate, but I really can’t say anything about it.”


There’s no real person called Santa Claus living at the North Pole.”

True. He's called Joulupukki, and lives in Lapland

In 1925, it was discovered that there are no reindeer at the North Pole. There are, however, lots of reindeer in Lapland, Finland.

In 1927, the great secret of Santa's address was revealed by Markus Rautio ("Uncle Markus") who compered the popular "Children's hour" on Finnish public radio. He declared that Father Xmas lives on Lapland's Korvatunturi Mountain.

10 posted on 12/23/2005 8:04:37 PM PST by Oztrich Boy (so natural to mankind is intolerance in whatever they really care about - J S Mill)
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To: Palladin

You'd think Luke Skyfreeper would be busy tonight wrapping presents for Chewbaca and the Droids.


11 posted on 12/23/2005 8:06:22 PM PST by A knight without armor
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To: Palladin

Lol. I've been mostly away and out of action for a while (in a distant galaxy, of course) and may have lost some of my perspective on which battles are critical. :-)


12 posted on 12/23/2005 8:09:10 PM PST by Luke Skyfreeper
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To: Luke Skyfreeper
I realize some ITS on FreeRepublic hate it when someone sees a post for the first time.
Most People are not on the web 24/7, bit some whiner always hate that a post reaches people that did not see the earlier post.
13 posted on 12/23/2005 8:09:22 PM PST by HuntsvilleTxVeteran (Giving power and money to Congress is like giving liquor and car keys to teenage boys. - P.J. O'Rour)
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To: mcg1969

What a stone bitch.


14 posted on 12/23/2005 8:10:49 PM PST by RightOnline
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To: All
Father Christmas found dead

Alarming evidence that Father Christmas died in 1564 has turned up in the records of a country church.

While every child knows that this could not possibly be the real Santa Claus, nevertheless someone called Father Christmas was laid to rest in a churchyard in the village of Dedham, Essex, on May 30 that year.

An entry in the parish record for that month states: "The 30[th] Day, Father Christmas was buried." Any headstone marking his grave disappeared many years ago.

Click for rest of article from London Telegraph

15 posted on 12/23/2005 8:12:09 PM PST by saquin
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To: mcg1969

Sigh. No Santa. But there's always the government!


16 posted on 12/23/2005 8:12:15 PM PST by Grut
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To: Luke Skyfreeper; Palladin; All; Admin Moderator

My apologies, folks. You know what I did? I searched using DRUDGE'S headline, and then posted using the paper's. DUH.

Moderator, feel free to delete/combine.


17 posted on 12/23/2005 8:17:45 PM PST by mcg1969
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To: mcg1969

This cold hearted woman terrorized a class......she sent little children home sobbing.....I am too much of a lady to say what I really think of her.


18 posted on 12/23/2005 8:23:08 PM PST by tioga (Merry Christmas Everyone!)
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To: mcg1969

What a meanie she is to say that to them children.

She must have been a bad girl when she was little and SANTA Clause didnt come to see her soooo she has to take out her bitterness on other kids.


19 posted on 12/23/2005 8:32:14 PM PST by Tonysgirl
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To: Tonysgirl

We didn't tell our oldest three children about Santa - we would rather not get to the point where we have to say Santa is just a story but Jesus is real.

Our youngest has picked up on Santa and wants so much to believe in him - and one reason I am refraining from setting her straight is for the sake of the other children at her pre-school. (I tried talking about Saint Nicholas and when I got to the word heaven she just put up a wall, so I let it go...)

Mrs VS














20 posted on 12/23/2005 8:44:26 PM PST by VeritatisSplendor
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To: tioga
The parents of every child in that class ought to file a lawsuit against here. If "mental anguish" is good enough for lefties, then by God, it's good enough for kiddos.

It's not this broads place to tell these children that. This is a family matter, far more than it's a school matter.

21 posted on 12/23/2005 9:07:39 PM PST by America's Resolve (I've become a 'single issue voter' for 06 and 08. My issue is illegal immigration!)
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To: America's Resolve

I agree, but this article has been posted at least 2 or 3 times here already so it's getting old. In fact, I wonder if it's a variation or a repeat of the same story the seems to creep up every Christmas season. I swear I've heard it before this year. I just can't remember where.


22 posted on 12/23/2005 9:20:53 PM PST by moog
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To: Palladin
This person should get something a lot worse in the stocking.. Perhaps reindeer sh*t.
23 posted on 12/23/2005 9:54:32 PM PST by Pimpmygop (Pimp my GOP Ride!)
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To: mcg1969

What a heartless woman! The Santa Claus story makes Christmas a little extra exciting for the kiddies. It's harmless fun. Parents also get a kick out of pretending Santa came to the house. The woman obviously cannot relate to children and should be in another line of work.


24 posted on 12/23/2005 10:50:09 PM PST by KittyKares
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To: VeritatisSplendor
Our children were thrilled when the time came for us to fill them in that Santa wasn't really who they thought he was. It's all in the presentation.

They were given beautifully wrapped boxes containing a Santa hat and a letter explaining that Santa WAS indeed real- he was the spirit of giving and wanting to make someone's Christmas magical and wonderful, and that spirit expressed itself in the form of Mom and Dad and Grandma and Grandpa and many other people. And now they were old enough to BE Santa for others too. There's one rule: they were not to tell any younger child about the Santa Society - it was up to their parents to know when the time was right.

As to the school system not having a "Santa policy", the policy of common sense should cover the subject. That is a policy, however, that is sorely missing in public schools across the nation.

25 posted on 12/23/2005 10:53:47 PM PST by Mygirlsmom (You can either despair that the rose bush has thorns or rejoice that the thorn bush has roses.)
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To: Mygirlsmom

It doesn't matter what the teacher believes...these are not her children..the parents have the right to teach their kids their beliefs without the teachers deciding that they know best!
As a music teacher it was her job to teach music, period. Anything else was overstepping her authority.


26 posted on 12/23/2005 11:33:54 PM PST by annelizly
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To: mcg1969

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1545909/posts


27 posted on 12/23/2005 11:38:06 PM PST by ovrtaxt (The FAIRTAX. A powerplay for We The People.)
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To: annelizly
I agree completely, thus my comment about "common sense". Common sense (and common decency for that matter) should be enough for this teacher to have known she had no business telling 6 yr olds there's no Santa. I also don't believe for a minute that she didn't know that her sanctimonious "telling of the truth" would have the effect that it did on those little kids.

My relating of our telling the girls about Santa was directed toward parents who indulge in the practice of Santa Claus but then worry about "lying" to their kids, etc. We did the "Santa Thing" until the girls were nearly 11. We enlisted the help of our neighbors who had no children of their own to put our gifts out for us when we visited one of the grandparents. They loved doing it, and still played "Santa" even after they moved to a different community. The point of my story is that when the time comes for a child to leave the world of magic behind, that it need not disappoint.

28 posted on 12/24/2005 12:01:25 AM PST by Mygirlsmom (You can either despair that the rose bush has thorns or rejoice that the thorn bush has roses.)
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To: mcg1969

I thought everyone knew there ain't no sanity clause.


29 posted on 12/24/2005 2:21:52 AM PST by CzarNicky (The problem with bad ideas is that they seemed like good ideas at the time.)
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To: mcg1969

There is no Santa Claus.


30 posted on 12/24/2005 2:33:54 AM PST by Chewbacca (Not all men are fools. The smart ones are still bachelors.)
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To: Mygirlsmom
The spirit of Santa is real. Telling kids is not what I would ever do as a teacher. I would rather keep the spirit of Santa alive, not only through Christmas, but throughout the whole year.

However, this is an old story. It being posted several times is meant to flame the flames so to speak. I have to wonder if it's a repeat or another version of the same old story. I swear I heard it last Christmas.

Thank goodness all I need is a good ol' Bible on my lap and a nice, warm blanket to get into the Christmas spirit.

I like your Santa system. I loved it when I was old enough to become a "Santa" to my younger siblings.

31 posted on 12/24/2005 3:54:57 AM PST by moog
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To: CzarNicky

It's Hannity Clause, didn't you know?


32 posted on 12/24/2005 3:55:36 AM PST by moog
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To: Luke Skyfreeper
That's what I say. It's been repeated and repeated and repeated and repeated and repeated and repeated and repeated and repeated and repeated and repeated and repeated and repeated and repeated and repeated and repeated and repeated and repeated and repeated and SLAP!!!

Oh Thanks. Sorry.

33 posted on 12/24/2005 3:57:53 AM PST by moog
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To: Mygirlsmom
We enlisted the help of our neighbors who had no children of their own to put our gifts out for us when we visited one of the grandparents. They loved doing it, and still played "Santa" even after they moved to a different community. The point of my story is that when the time comes for a child to leave the world of magic behind, that it need not disappoint.

Actually you seem like a very common sense person, something sorely lacking in the world nowadays.

I HAD to reply to you to THANK you. I don't have children of my own (haven't been able to for several years) so I REALLY appreciate you and your kids for doing something like leaving presents. I don't know if you have any idea what that means to someone, but I KNOW they really appreciate it a lot. That is the real "spirit" of Christmas, one where we forget all the politics and treat people nicely because it is "right" so to speak. You have taught your children the magic of Christmas and "Santa" and it will continue to live in their hearts for forever more I believe. That alone makes you a very worthy parent, actually deserving of some award I believe.

It's amazing how insensitive some people can be sometimes. Other options aren't available right now, but hopefully someday I can raise a child of my own. I will love that child like no other and will thank God every day for him/her when that day comes. Sometimes people say things like, "Why don't you want kids?" or "So you decided you didn't want any kids?" I have long ceased being offended, but have realized that many such comments are made in ignorance or innocence. People just don't realize what they're saying.

But then there are some on here who try the insult, "I see that you don't have any kids...." That loses credibility with me from the outset and that's all I will say on that.

All I will say is that if anyone has kids or family they're spending Christmas with, they better dang well be on their knees on Christmas Eve thanking God for that opportunity. If you have the privilege of raising kids, thank God for that opportunity too.

I thank God for all the blessings that he has given me and continues to give me, especially in my capacity as a teacher in serving those in my own neighborhood. I will always try to keep the Christmas "magic" going in my own classroom.

Heck, I was so bad I used to think that the airplanes at night were Rudolph:).

Have a merry Christmas and God bless you for your efforts.

34 posted on 12/24/2005 4:12:22 AM PST by moog
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To: Chewbacca

Grinch!:)


35 posted on 12/24/2005 4:12:59 AM PST by moog
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To: America's Resolve

It's not this broads place to tell these children that.

Say it again Sam.


36 posted on 12/24/2005 4:15:37 AM PST by moog
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To: moog

Some folks just never learn


37 posted on 12/24/2005 4:20:09 AM PST by WKB (If you can't dazzle them with brilliance.. then Baffle them with BS)
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Comment #38 Removed by Moderator

To: mcg1969

“The poem has great literary value, but it goes against my conscience to teach something which I know to be false to children, who are impressionable,” said Farrisi, 43, of Myerstown. “It’s a story. I taught it as a story. There’s no real person called Santa Claus living at the North Pole.”

What a drip! No imagination,and what seems like a sour disposition to boot. It wasn't her job to squash the happy Christmas dreams of first graders.


39 posted on 12/24/2005 4:34:02 AM PST by Mila
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To: WKB
Some folks just never learn.

What makes you think I have ever learned anything?:) I'm of the species dum-dumicus.

One of my students came right up and gave me a dum-dums lollipop this week. She must have known what I wanted for Christmas.

40 posted on 12/24/2005 4:35:04 AM PST by moog
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To: af22721
There is no such thing as elves, WHAT???!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But Dimples was my favorite one. Spoiler!@!!!&*&*&*^

41 posted on 12/24/2005 4:37:53 AM PST by moog
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To: moog

One of my students came right up and gave me a dum-dums



Sounds like a coated message to me.


42 posted on 12/24/2005 4:38:20 AM PST by WKB (If you can't dazzle them with brilliance.. then Baffle them with BS)
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To: Mila
What a drip! No imagination,and what seems like a sour disposition to boot.

Sounds like unsweetened lemonade.

43 posted on 12/24/2005 4:38:51 AM PST by moog
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To: WKB

Sounds like a coated message to me.

Sugar coated. But after a while it sucked.


44 posted on 12/24/2005 4:40:03 AM PST by moog
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To: moog

Sugar coated. But after a while it sucked.



I have no doubt you can lick this problem.


45 posted on 12/24/2005 4:42:31 AM PST by WKB (If you can't dazzle them with brilliance.. then Baffle them with BS)
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To: WKB

I have no doubt you can lick this problem.

Well, at least I can take a bite out of it anyways.


46 posted on 12/24/2005 4:43:41 AM PST by moog
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To: moog

Well, at least I can take a bite out of it anyways.




You just want to get to the center of things.


47 posted on 12/24/2005 4:45:17 AM PST by WKB (If you can't dazzle them with brilliance.. then Baffle them with BS)
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To: WKB

You just want to get to the center of things.

Yes, the heart of the matter is where it's at.


48 posted on 12/24/2005 4:48:25 AM PST by moog
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To: mcg1969
“She yelled at me, ‘Why did you lie?’” recalled Jamey’s mother, Elizabeth. “‘Why didn’t you tell me Santa Claus died?’”


49 posted on 12/24/2005 4:53:46 AM PST by NapkinUser ("Our troops have become the enemy." -Representative John P. Murtha, modern day Benedict Arnold.)
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To: mcg1969

The teacher is 100% right. Down the road, these children will learn who told the truth and who lied.

By the way, if a 7-year-old cries at learning the truth about Santa, he/she is emotionally immature.


50 posted on 12/24/2005 4:55:31 AM PST by NapkinUser ("Our troops have become the enemy." -Representative John P. Murtha, modern day Benedict Arnold.)
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