Sunday, December 14, 2008

See This is Why I Don't Do My Christmas Shopping Early

Last week all four of my children brought home tiny notes from school.
The notes I see every single Christmas season. The notes that make this usually very generous Christmas loving girl a bit grouchy and well to be honest a bit of a Scrooge.

All the notes are about the same.

It's time for our Christmas (holiday for Spanky's mom's day out and Dino's special ed class) party. Please bring an item you almost never buy and is a pain to find and/or get. This year to make the party even more special,  we are going to have the students exchange a very specific type of item that will not be found where the previous item was nor will it be simple to get. We also want to show our appreciation to our teachers so if you send a check for $5 or more to the room mom, we can get a great gift for the teacher and please be sure to bring something additional for your teacher because you know everyone else will. And let's not forget the front office staff in the check! We are also presenting the teacher with hand made cards from the students. Because we want to present the cards first thing in the morning, please have your child complete the card right now so you will be needing to drop everything you are doing and run out to buy special craft supplies to make the card look good.  Don't forget to bring the 3 million cookies for the teacher luncheon next week--must be pretty and no store bought cookies! Merry Christmas!

Now if I had just one child, this would not seem so bad. I could actually see myself enjoying crafting a lovely Christmas card with just one child. But I have four. One of which is in two schools and hates to do any sort of craft (I may as well stick him with pins instead.). Oh and it's semester end so one child has a replica of the Roman forum (I kid you not!) due and my other daughter is doing a comparison paper plus speech on Teddy Roosevelt and his cousin, FDR. 

The whole money issue gets tough too. One child would only need about $10 (teacher and front  office), the $4-5 item needed for the party  plus $15 in presents for the exchange and the additional teacher gift but when you make that four kids (and one with two schools), I will be lucky to get by this party scene for less than $120. Ouch.

And let's not forget, there's Christmas in less than two weeks. And Christmas parties. And Christmas programs. And Christmas shopping. And Christmas shows.........

I am finally starting to understand you Ebeneezer.


The White House said...

That made me say bah-humbug! That really stinks, I can't believe they even send a letter to y'all.

Anonymous said...


(i'm so sorry)

welcome to my world;-)

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

Whoa. This isn't really making me look forward to the school years. I am all for honoring our teachers, but I can see where it can get piled on, especially with 4 kiddos - where do you draw the line??

Carrie Thompson said...

oh and the art teacher needs a gift, and the awanas teacher and sunday school teacher and scout leader and work party gift and since I am a stay at home mom who JUST home schools I can up my 3 million cookies to about 12 million, cuz I have time!

wow do I sound humbugish???

sorry I feel you pain very, very much! Can they call in sick??? JJ

Jacque said...

Totally know what you mean (minus one child, lol).

anti-supermom said...

I can totally see it getting there for us too. I can't afford that much Christmas :)

photomama said...

What do the people who send there kids that are down to the last penny and can hardly feed there kids do? I kinda think that is a bit ridiculous to have to spend so much on school exchanges.

Motherhood for Dummies said...

Man presents really pile up! But don't feel bad, there has to be a point where people can say "enough".

Texan Mama @ Who Put Me In Charge said...

Oh man do NOT even get me started! You probably KNOW how I feel about other people telling me how much money to spend.

One thing you might suggest (if you're open to this): tell your kids (hmm, it might be an issue if your kids aren't on board with this idea) that they can bow out of the present exchange and instead buy a present for Toys for Tots. Also, do you HAVE to give $$ for the front office people? Their gift card will be so huge, they won't notice if a few people don't participate.

And, like one other person said, ultimately there are people who can't contribute because they can't afford. But don't be afraid to not contribute simply because it might not be the best choice for how to spend your money. You can still show those people how much you care for them with a nice card or homemade cookies or even your time - offer to watch the kids at recess one day or be the substitute teacher one day and don't take pay.

I am SO against all these organizations requiring us to spend money. It's a waste and it is not teaching our kids anything.

Sorry. Rant over.

Rachel said...

Holy cow woman!!

That's ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous. How far away from the meaning of this season can we get?

Sorry hon.

Amanda said...

I totally understand Lisa!
I have just given the school £60.
I had to buy tickets to see my kids perform in their Nativity Show,can you believe you have to pay to see the kids perform ~ emotional Blackmail! Also Pay for the Parties and Panto's. Not forgetting money for the School Christmas Lunch "because everyone is having a School Lunch Mum"
X4 it all adds up :-(
Your Hands are never out of your purse at this time of year.
Amanda x said...

I can only imagine. I just got the one teacher a Starbucks gift card - then realized I had to get SOMETHING for the others. It can prolly get expensive very quickly.

Anonymous said...

Unbelievable. Really. We had no idea this is how things are Miss VBMW4, nary a clue. Ouch!

Auds at Barking Mad said...

You poor thing.

Should I send wine or chocolate, or both to help you get through this!

mah-meeee said...


i was asked (via email) to send a 'donation' of $25 for ash's 'group' teacher's gift. wait, we're giving her like a $200 gift card?

anyhow, on top of that, they dare email and singled me out to ask if i sent in a check already. AFTER i already did.

the check plus 5 teacher's gift bags and day care giver's gifts, ballet teacher's gift...

no wonder i have no gifts for myself under the darn tree.

just jamie said...

I know (gulp)... I shuddered a little when I sent home this week's "Newsletter," requesting food drive donations, and on and on...

Look at it this way: December 26th will be so nice.