Nine Tiny Towns Named Christmas Have No School

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Having heard of the existence of a town called Christmas, Ann Rickerich set out to find it and to learn how its schools celebrate the holiday season. Here is her report.

An Education Week survey has disclosed that there are no schools in Christmas--not in Christmas, Ariz., or Christmas, Miss., or Christmas, Fla., or Christmas, Mich., or Christmas, Tenn.

Moreover, there are no schools in Christmas Cove, Me., or Christmas Valley, Ore., or Christmas Lake Village, Ind., or Christmasville, Tenn.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, these are the only Christmas towns in America.

Interviews with officials in each of the towns (or neighboring towns when no one could be roused in Christmas) revealed that none of them is large enough to have a school. Most were described as "very, very small towns"; Mississippi's Christmas, said an employee in the state education department, is a "wide spot in the road."

The Education Week investigation also uncovered the following information:

Children who live in Christmas Cove, Me., attend school in nearby Bristol.

Christmas Lake Village in Indiana is a housing development located in a town called--what else--Santa Claus.

The children of Christmas Valley, Ore.,-- which was described by an employee of the Lake County school department as a town with "a couple of stores and gas stations"--attend school in nearby Silver Lake.

The town of Christmas, Mich., displays a larger-than-life Santa Claus statue year-round.

In Orange County, Fla., Christmas is the site of an old fort and a post office. "A lot of people send their mail through the post office at Christmastime," remarked Christopher Thomas of the Orange County schools.

Christmas in Gila County, Ariz., is the home of an old mine site and "a few people."

When asked about towns called Christmas, Tenn., and Christmasville, Tenn., a spokesman from the news bureau of the state department of education said, "I'm sorry, I've just never heard of either one."

Education Week also discovered the North Pole Elementary School, North Pole Junior High School, and North Pole High School--all in Fairbanks, Alaska, which is south of the Arctic Circle.

Vol. 01, Issue 15, Page 13

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