Annoying Things About the Holidays: School Edition — Abby Off the Record

Annoying Things About the Holidays: School Edition

by Abby on December 14, 2012

The GrinchWarning: It’s no secret that the holidays can make some people a little cranky-pants, what with all the obligations and preparations and forced celebrations. These people may cope with the stress by writing slightly whiny, rant-y posts on their blogs. We should humor them. Meaning the first person to comment about “the true meaning of the season” gets punched in the throat. ’Kay? Now then, let’s get started!

The group teacher gift, version 1. As a planner and a person who likes a good deal, you start your Christmas shopping early. Picking up a babysitter gift here, a teacher gift there, whenever you see something cute on sale. Then December rolls around and some Last-Minute Lucy sends out an email to all the parents in your kids’ class asking everyone for donations for a group teacher gift. So then YOU look like Cheap-Ass Charlie when you don’t chip in. Or, alternately…

The group teacher gift, version 2. All the parents agree to go in on a gift card for your children’s teacher. You write a check and check something off your list for once. Easy-breezy! Then, on the day before Christmas break, you notice all the other parents show up with little gift bags and homemade cookies, just “a little something extra” for the teachers. Damn you, one-uppers!! Now YOU look like the slacker parent who could only be bothered to write a check.

Sugar overload. Look, I have as big a sweet tooth as the typical 6yo. But there are limits. When the menu at the class Christmas party is cookies, cupcakes, candy, and juice boxes… Why stop there? Might as well have the kids snort pixie sticks and shoot corn syrup directly into their veins. Nothing says Happy Holidays like putting our kids on the fast track to juvenile diabetes and a boatload of dental work!

The school holiday concert. You’ve gotta love it when you and your spouse take the morning off work to squirm on folding chairs while your little one stands in front of the entire school wearing a backwards, inside-out undershirt – because the festive holiday sweater you forced him to wear was “too scratchy” – with his hand down his pants and/or up his nose while the rest of the students warble the Christmas songs they’ve been practicing for weeks.

Please tell me I’m not the only Grinchy parent out there. PLEASE??

READ O’ THE DAY: One of my former writing students, an at-home mom of 2 busy boys like me, wrote this very relatable piece about having a bad day.

FAIL O’ THE DAY: I’ve bought several Groupon gift certificates with no problem, but my first experience with Groupon Goods has been awful. I bought this awesome toy for my sons’ friend’s birthday, one of those mini claw machines like they have at arcades. I knew this kid would flip over it. Well, I purchased it Nov. 12 and there’s been no sign of it yet. Groupon claims to respond to emails within 24 hours, but when I got no reply I called and got a decidedly unmoved Groupon employee on the phone. Not once did he say sorry for the inconvenience, just offered me a refund. I don’t want the refund, I want the awesome toy!! I feel like anyone with kids, or even a heart, would understand that. Boo, Groupon Goods!

UPDATE: Just as this post was going “to press” I got an email saying my item has shipped — a FULL MONTH after I ordered it. If it’s not on a slow boat from China, the kid might have it by Christmas! Fingers crossed.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Neena December 14, 2012 at 8:27 am

Oh, man! I totally “get” exactly what you’re saying!!!

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Abby December 14, 2012 at 10:58 am

Thank you for that. :)

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Lisa Lord December 14, 2012 at 10:57 am

The one parent from the class who’s not in on the “something extra,” yeah, that would be me, every time. Or the mom of the kid with his finger in his nose! Thanks so much for the link:)

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Abby December 14, 2012 at 10:59 am

And somehow, my little nose-picker always ends up in the front row.

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marctr December 14, 2012 at 4:28 pm

My kids decided they didn’t want to go to their holiday concert. My 3rd grader has never hit it off with the music teacher so her response wasn’t surprising, but I thought the kindergartner would have been excited about finally being in it instead of in the audience. But he didn’t want to go either, for reasons I could not determine. I didn’t argue with them. I’m trying not to feel guilty about that.

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