A Sydney primary school is making waves after announcing a ban on the popular Christmas tradition of Secret Santa due to ‘religious beliefs’.
Cammeray Public School in Sydney’s Lower North Shore won’t be allowing its young students to participate in the gift exchange which sees a gift-giver ‘secretly’ purchase a typically small gift for a recipient.
The news was reportedly first shared in a Facebook group for parents of pupils at the school.
A spokesperson for the NSW Department of Education confirmed to Yahoo Lifestyle that the school had vetoed the festive tradition but stressed that the department “has not banned Secret Santa.”
“Staff at Cammeray Public School agreed Secret Santa does not represent the different religious beliefs, cultural values and financial status of its students and school community, and would not be practised at the school,” the spokesperson said.
While Secret Santa is off the cards pupils have reportedly been celebrating the upcoming ‘holiday season’ with some craft.
“Students at the school have instead been designing and creating cards and trinkets during class, to share messages of kindness and good tidings with their classmates and teachers for the upcoming holiday season,” the spokesperson added.
Secret Santa, also known as Kris Kringle, is a predominantly Western practice that’s celebrated in countries such as the US, UK, Australia and Europe but also in the Philippines, Latin America and Israel.
Popular in workplaces, schools and with family and friends, each Secret Santa participant is randomly assigned the task of buying a present — usually small and relatively inexpensive — for another member of the group.
The giver’s identity remains a mystery until the gifts are exchanged and opened.
Cammeray Public School has been contacted for comment.
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