I volunteer a couple of days a week at an elementary school, trying to be a help with the kids.

One day last week when I went into the classroom, I asked the teacher: “Oh, boy, can we please all sing ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’?”

“No,” she replied.

“No? Why not?”

“Because,” she explained, “it might offend somebody.”

“How? You’re kidding. It doesn’t mention Jesus or Christmas.”

“Well,” she said, looking at me, “it does mention Santa Claus, who has a solid connection to Christmas.”

“You are kidding,” I said again. “Everybody loves Santa – he’s been around forever.”

“Sorry,” she said. “Those are the rules.”

“Well, that is the straw that broke the camel’s back.” And I pouted. I love singing “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” with little kids.

Ohhhh … yikes! What was I thinking? I just violated all the rules. Straw = manger + camels = Three Wise Men = the Christ Child and Christmas.

Bah, humbug.

Marlee Hill

Cape Elizabeth