I’m afraid this is going to be a bit of a ranty one. And it might get me alienated at the school gates.
It involves Christmas, teachers and why I won’t be contributing to the teacher’s Christmas gift collection.
I’m not sure exactly when Christmas gifts for teachers became a Thing – I certainly don’t remember giving any of my teachers presents at Christmas – but if you’ve got a child at school you’ll know they’re a huge Thing now.
Google ‘teachers Christmas gifts’ and you’re met with a plethora of gift ideas from personalised tote bags and pencil cases to wine glasses and jewellery. A school in Oxfordshire has even introduced a £50 cap for teacher presents at Christmas because gifts were getting so extravagant. I’m sorry but £50? Have we gone stark raving mad?
Some of the mums at our school organise a collection which is spent on vouchers for our teacher and teaching assistant at Christmas. Fair enough, you’re probably thinking. This year, though, there’s a ‘suggested’ minimum contribution of £10 per child. And I won’t lie, I was shocked.
Why I won’t be contributing to the teacher’s Christmas gift collection
To start with, £10 means different things to different people. What might be a new lipstick to some is a week’s worth of school lunches to others, and I’m sorry but to put pressure on parents to contribute a set amount is wrong on so many levels (and perish the thought of anyone feeling compelled to contribute more than the suggested £10 minimum contribution).
I’ve only got one at school but one day I’ll have all three and there are enough school-related costs to factor in at Christmas as it is: nativity play costumes, tombola prizes and entry to Christmas fayres – the list goes on and on.
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In danger of losing the Christmas plot yet? At the time of writing I haven’t started Christmas shopping, I’ve got no idea how we’re going to fit 8 people around our small (round) dining room table & if I have to explain to the kids why they can only open one door on their advent calendar each day one more time I’m going to scream On the up side I managed to bag a supermarket home delivery slot before they all disappeared & Christmas day head gear is sortedIf little things are starting to get to you too as part of @simplyhealthuk’s #MyEveryStep campaign today on the blog I’m sharing 10 simple self care tips for a stress-free Christmas – link in bio! #ad #mumlife #mumproblems #mama #mummy #mum #selfcare #selflove #selfcaretips #health #wellness #wellbeing #motherhood #motherhoodunplugged #honestmotherhood #rawmotherhood #family #fun #christmascountdown #familychristmas #rememberingthesedays
But what really gets my goat is the fact there are 30 children in the class, so if everyone were to contribute £10 on behalf of their child that’s £300 – £150 for the teacher and £150 for the teaching assistant. At Christmas – not even the end of the school year. I just think that’s excessive. And where will it end? Valentine’s Day and Easter presents too?
So, I won’t be contributing to the teacher’s Christmas gift collection on principle. I think we risk setting a dangerous precedent and I think we all need to take a step back and remember the real meaning of Christmas.
Like a Christmas card from a little girl wishing her teacher a Merry Christmas in words she didn’t know how to write a year ago. Which is what we’ll be giving this Christmas. Surely that’s worth more than an Amazon gift card.
What do you think? Am I being a scrooge and overreacting? Where do you stand on teacher’s gifts at Christmas? I’d love to hear your thoughts!