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Is the school overdoing Christmas

24 replies

SympatheticSwan · 17/12/2019 09:40

I understand that I am probably a total killjoy, but is it only me who feels like their school is totally "overdoing" Christmas?
Apart from the usual nativity play and Christmas dinner, there is a tea party, Christmas story parent-and-child reading event, jumper day, own clothes donation day (separate from the above), parents' carol singing day, Christmas disco etc.etc. And there seems to be no single channel of communication about this - some notices come through the school app, some are printed only in the school newsletter (that stubbornly lands in the spam folder, no matter how many times I add the sender to the white list), some are distributed via PTA on whatsapp. Sometimes there are even conflicting dates for the same event!
This morning I spectacularly failed as a parent as apparently everyone had to bring a christmas themed toy and a little cake or a mince pie. Had to take a cake-related emergency half day leave from work as DC was in tears. Racing back to school now with some vaguely reindeer-looking plush abomination from the corner shop and a box of mince pies I strongly suspect of being on their last "best before" date.
I will be probably voted BU. Can I ask for your tips to juggle all of the above with work and single handedly parenting two children (in KS1, so unreliable narrators when it comes to the school timetable)? I don't want to sound dramatic, but it starts feeling like a part-time job at the moment.

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

53 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
FreedomfromPE · 17/12/2019 09:43

They're taking the piss. I bet they don't put in even 5% of the effort for the celebrations of faiths of any other students at the school.

ohwheniknow · 17/12/2019 09:51

I feel exhausted just reading about all that.

hennybeans · 17/12/2019 09:52

A Nativity for KS1 and a party for all is enough. No need for anything else. It's actually a lot of classroom time to miss. Our school does a lot of what you mention plus church services and an afternoon watching a Christmas film.

Not to mention every other activity my three DC do also has at least one, sometimes more, Christmas activities/ parties which require cakes, secret Santas, dressing up, being taken to a different location at a different time than normal.

SympatheticSwan · 17/12/2019 09:53

Also true. We are atheists, I am ok with the cultural aspect of Christmas, but I just feel like it is too intense.
Also don't feel like doing anything Christmas-related outside of the school, just have a total overdose of seasonal cheer at the moment.

OP posts:
Maryann1975 · 17/12/2019 09:57

I think you need to have a word with someone in the school. It’s too much and there communication is shockingly bad. We had a new head a couple of years ago and she has got communication nailed, we have dates for the whole year emailed out in September,harvest/ Christmas shows/parties/discos/sports days/leavers shows etc so parents can plan their annual leave around what they need to attend. I’m really thankful to them for doing this.
As someone else has said are they doing anything at all for any other faiths?

MrsNoMopp · 17/12/2019 09:59

Some of the above sound as though they are optional, such as parents' reading day or a disco. In many cases, isn't the Christmas angle just a case of adding extra interest to things which are good to do anyway? It sounds like the main problem is confusing or missing communication from the school.

UndertheCedartree · 17/12/2019 10:01

That is a lot of events and the commmunication sounds very poor.

At my DDs school they have a parent and child Christmas decoration morning, nativity play, christmas dinner and last day non-uniform and class party. All these things are in the last week of term so don't have to keep remembering things all over December. They have been on one page in the newsletter (sent by parentmail) for the past month and also have had seperate Parentmail notices and reminders for each event. They are also all written on chalkboards in the playgrounds.

Fatted · 17/12/2019 10:04

My DC school is like this and it's a nightmare.

SympatheticSwan · 17/12/2019 10:05

They are optional, but - for example - the disco is straight after school, and everyone is asked to bring party clothes to change straight after the PE. It is also Frozen themed, and I don't have a heart to tell my 4 year old that she will have to change back into her uniform and go to the after school club while every other girl is changing into an Elsa dress. I realise it is a choice though.

OP posts:
Whattodoabout · 17/12/2019 10:09

YANBU, it’s a busy enough time without school making it even more hectic. My DC did their nativity last week and all had to stay after school until 6pm to also do an evening performance. Today is the Christingle service which parents are invited to, there’s a disco this week and Christmas jumper day on Friday when they break up. It was Christmas dinner last week too.

Communication is pretty dire. The school uses class Dojo which is supposed to help but teachers are obviously busy and sometimes forget. The headteacher has literally barked at parents before ‘IT WAS IN THE NEWSLETTER’, my DC almost never give me a newsletter.

Unicornhamster · 17/12/2019 10:10

YANBU, our school is the same and seems every year there is a new event, they don’t scrap an old one though so we end up with December blocked out for the 5 year old. He breaks up on Wednesday, I can finally sleep without waking at 2 am because I forgot to buy/make/write something.

Beccaishere · 17/12/2019 10:11

Does sound like a lot, especially when parents are already busy this time of year with shopping and working etc. But then on the other hand it sounds like fun for the kids? My sons school is terrible there is hardly anything Christmas going on at all! Christmas dinner and jumper day were on the same day so not to have too many Christmas days. No class room is decorated just a small tree in the hall where no one goes!Hmm
Our school never does anything fun, we have no harvest festival, no fun summer activities, no dress up days, no world book day etc we are always told it takes time away from learning, everything is concentrating on grades!Angry

Only a few days left op and then back to normalXmas Grin

bridgetreilly · 17/12/2019 10:15

That is bonkers. And no, it's not a celebration of faith, not at all. It's an excuse not to do proper school. One play and one party, in home clothes or Christmas jumpers, both in the last week of term is plenty. Children don't need a constant cycle of over-excitement.

Lipz · 17/12/2019 10:21

Oh God I hear you. I've 5 kids so everything is multiplied. Not one of the schools communicate through email, just texts , letters home day before. I got so mixed up with xmas jumper day that I sent one in wearing it when they were not meant to and one not wearing one when they were meant to. I've been to so many events they've put on that I'm all christmased out lol

it's cost a small fortune with 2 quid here and there, 2 quid for no uniform day , 2 quid for play, 2 quid for craft market, 2 quid for coffee morning, 2 quid for bake sale, 2 quid for just existing!! Then multiplied by 5 !!

It does seem to increase every year with the amount of things organised. God forbid you don't turn up.

This morning one of mine told me they had to dress up, I swear I didn't get any note or text, had to rip the house apart looking for a Christmas fancy dress, needless to say we'd nothing suitable, ds wouldn't just wear his xmas jumper so he went in dressed as a minion Blush

Goldenbear · 17/12/2019 10:29

My Dd's school have had a Christmas disco first week of December, Christmas play/performance last week, Christmas jumper day, Christmas church play and carols this week and Christmas Dinner party thing on the last day.

My DS at secondary school has had nothing to attend as the Christmas Carol concert at the local church is optional.

halcyondays · 17/12/2019 10:29

Yanbu. In primary we had nativity for p.1-4, carol service for P.5-7, Xmas fair, sometimes a Xmas Jumper day, maybe a class party at end of term. That was about it.

Goldenbear · 17/12/2019 10:30

Oh and the Christmas play at the school last week had two performances, one in the evening on election night, it didn't finish u til 8 and then I had my work Christmas party!

Bluewavescrashing · 17/12/2019 10:30

Far too much and the children will be even more hyped up as a result.

I'm dealing with my DCs' two schools (infant and junior) at the moment. Nearly every day since half term there's been something going on. All dates are different between the two schools.

Children in need dress down + donation (different dress code for each school)
Bring a bottle in return for dress down
Cake sale- bring a cake and money to buy one
Secret Santa shopping day- bring money
Bring in nativity costume
Roman day dress up
Bring a wrapped present for disadvantaged child
Bring money to buy back the soft toy they sewed in class
Bring donations of jam jars filled with sweets for infants fair
Bring donations of unopened toiletries for Juniors fair
Christmas Dinner--book in advance and pay online, different dates for different schools
Christmas jumper to be worn on day they are having Christmas dinner
Buy raffle tickets
Donate prizes for raffle
Order tickets for nativity

I could go on!

Ho bloody ho.

ellsbellls · 17/12/2019 10:38

You are definitely not BU! It's totally over the top and ridiculous. By the time they've broken up and Christmas should really be starting I'm sick to the back teeth of it all and wishing it over. I know loads of parents at my kids school feel the same so I think a collective letter to the Governors/Head is in order.

Shinyletsbebadguys · 17/12/2019 10:43

Yep and my DC school dont do anywhere near that much.

Not to mention the ridiculous amount of time the parents are suggested to take off (there was a borderline riot when a teacher started publicly in the playground telling parents in front of their DC that they should really try to attend the church service and what was more important their children or their job...this was the same week that those of us with two DC at school had attended two plays and two decoration workshops that had already been told the children all parents were going to attend)

I am not exaggerating when there were at least ten parents having to explain they couldn't take the time off and upset children. I'm amazed that teacher survived to get out of the playground.

bookmum08 · 17/12/2019 10:44

What were the mince pies and Christmas toy for? Charity? Show and tell? Most people will have brought a pack of 6 mince pies rather than a single one so there would be plenty to go round. If the toy was to donate to charity you just say you can bring one tomorrow or even not bring one. It's not compulsory to give to charity. If it's for show and tell then tell your child to just describe a toy they have at home. This things are no big deal. Seriously!!
(the communication issue though is something that needs to be addressed)

SympatheticSwan · 17/12/2019 10:49

For the christmas-themed teddy picnic (a Christmas themed teddy bear was suggested, but a footnote said that any soft toy would do). It was indeed on the class whatsapp from the class rep, but given that there are 200+ messages a day I just missed it. Blush
Yes, I forgot the Christmas fayre with the donations to the tombola etc. I don't begrudge the money or the donations - it is just I feel it difficult to keep on top of everything.

OP posts:
bookmum08 · 17/12/2019 10:57

Well I expect there will be 450 mince pies left over as how many kids will actually want to eat them. Sorry your little girl was upset though. It is a big deal to children obviously. Surely there would be some soft toys at school though. You/the teacher could of asked her which is her favourite 'school' toy and then used that one. Does the class not have a class bear?

AJPTaylor · 17/12/2019 11:05

In dds lower school they had:
School Xmas dinner
School nativity play x 3
Class Party incl visit from Santa
Singing Assembleyv
Packed into 4 days.

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