Dec 9, 2008

Secret Santa and Gift Exchanges at School

So many fathers like to label us mothers as crazy or half deranged raving lunatics when it comes to some of the things we encounter at school or the demands our children's schools can place on us, so it's been particularly entertaining listening to my husband's rant this evening.

He's managed to cover many of the concerns I've shared with him over the years as if his expression of them is the first time anyone has ever thought of them. Too funny.

It started with him greeting the kids upon their return from school and unloading the dreaded backpacks, but this time he actually decided to sift through the onslaught of papers himself since I declared it was not specifically my job and I taught him how to read them, jot down important notes/dates, etc. and THEN pitch them (his previous method was a quick glance and a toss into the trash--needless to say a lot of things were falling through the cracks here.)

I'm sitting down here working on accounts payable to hear the basement door unlock and open, to hearing his voice, "You HAVE to get up here and SEE THIS!" I'm thinking the baby is entertaining the family, but when I get up there, he thrust this piece of paper in my face.

My daughter's 3rd grade teacher has sent home the Secret Santa information, only this time, it is a bit excessive. Usually, if your child has a teacher who does this sort of thing at all, you are looking at a Secret Santa gift limit of around $5.00. Oh no, not this teacher. There are explicit instruction to buy 4 gifts each not more than $2.00 in value - $4 x $2 = $8. That's not the end of it.....then there are instructions to buy a "big" gift not more than $10.00 in value - $8 + $10 = $18.00. I guess the plan is to gift the children daily and give them clues as to who their Secret Santa is - cute concept and all, but couldn't the kids maybe make some gifts for each other or just give daily hints as to who the Secret Santa is throughout the week for the "big" gift giving day?

Hubbie is just livid that this could be expected of just anyone, despite it not breaking our bank so to speak. lol. He's rattling off the things those with a gift of consciousness have in relation to those less fortunate, i.e. Not everybody can afford this!-This is crazy!-SHE is crazy!-You know how many kids might be made to feel badly because their families can't do this?-Is she high?-Why on earth would we buy any child in that classroom more than 1 gift period?-Does she know that some families have 30 people to buy for?-Why waste the money on useless dollar-store crap rather than a thoughtful gift?!, and She's only given everyone a week to accomplish this!, etc.

It is definitely entertaining. It is usually me freaking out about things like the Simple Machine projects that make me thank the powers that be out loud that I have a husband to help my children accomplish them, but because I remember the struggles my family faced as a young girl, I ALWAYS think of those who are currently struggling.

We aren't stingy people. We do what we can to help those in needy families whenever possible.

I'm thinking there may be a series of complaints lodged with the school tomorrow, so I'm going to sit tight for a few days until I'm certain this stays this teacher's game plan. It's only one year, right? Unless, of course, our next child gets the same teacher. lol.

I could go on all day about the craziness we've encountered at school, the strange rules individual teachers can impose upon your family at their very whim that they themselves completely contradict, like the teacher who outlawed treat sharing on birthdays and instead wanted the birthday child to supply the whole class with gifts and yet handed out candy daily as a reward, but I'll save that for another post.

What do you consider a reasonable amount for gift exchanges at school? What do you consider a reasonable number of presents for gift exchanges at school? (barring those who do not participate in Christmas at all obviously).

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