Flashback Friday: Annoying Things About School Holiday Events

by Abby on December 5, 2014

So let’s follow up all those deep thoughts about life and song lyrics with some good ol’ seasonally appropriate snark, shall we? It seems like a good time to re-post this piece from my archives. A mom I know told me yesterday that she’s been asked to chip in $90 for teachers’ gifts and class holiday parties for her 3 children. $90!! Seems a wee bit excessive, no? BTW, I love this post from Kathy, a former teacher, about gifts our educators REALLY want. Now I’m off to figure out what I’m bringing to the 3rd-grade Christmas party. Happy weekend!

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??

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Eileen December 8, 2014 at 10:40 pm

A few comments from a teacher:
1. We don’t expect anything. We do NOT judge you on the basis of your gift or lack of gift giving.
2. If you want to give us a gift…. give us something we can use with your child or find out what we like. Your child knows whether we drink coffee and from where.. Target gift card is ALWAYS good.
3. I have been teaching for 22 years… LOVE ornaments and decorations.
4. Don’t stress out about the teacher gift. Remember we are normal people outside the classroom…. just because we wear the “teacher sweaters” for each holiday does not mean we are teachers all the time. We know how to have fun.


Abby December 10, 2014 at 8:43 am

Thanks, Eileen! Those are helpful suggestions. Guess you really can’t go wrong with a Target gift card. 🙂


Kathleen Basi December 9, 2014 at 8:29 pm

Oh, yeah! I haven’t dared count up all the charities, teacher gifts, staff gifts, etc. we have been asked to donate to already. I’m quite sure it’s more than $90. I try to remind myself how blessed we are and that this is our chance to give back, but I almost cried this afternoon when the note came home from the first grade teacher about a book exchange and cookie exchange. (Can your child bring 18 cookies? Sure, no problem, no matter that I just baked about 250 cookies for the studio recital this weekend…)


Abby December 10, 2014 at 8:44 am

250 cookies?! I made 3 dozen and that just about wiped me out for the season!


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