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Harvest Festival - help me please

21 replies

Fizzylemonade · 14/10/2007 19:56

It is the Harvest Festival on Wednesday, apparently "boxes or baskets" in previous years have been colourful according to the jolly school newsletter. I can do a purely tinned/dried fruit box which goes to a hospice or I can do something else which gets sold at the end of assembly.

This is all new to me so any suggestions as to what to put in the box/basket (OMG BASKET!!!) would be useful. The school is very competetive but I am not that kind of Mum!!!

I don't even have a box and I am loathe to part with a basket. What box would do? A shoe box? I can see me going to Clarks

OP posts:
PeachyFleshCrawlingWithBugs · 14/10/2007 20:01

A shoe box would be fine, cover it in bright wrapping paper, maybe add a few pics (print some fruit and veg pics off the internet for a theme?) and add items (I'd go for tins but whichever you choose)- should be easy enough (if a bit time consiuming I guess)

Baskets, btw, if you fancy that are £1 in Wilkinsons atm 9just filled one with baby stuff for my sister due next month), or charity shops often have them even cheaper.

RustyBear · 14/10/2007 20:01

Do they want stuff with a harvest theme, or just anything that can be sold?

We did baskets for a Christmas fair for several years & people put all sorts of things in them - home made cakes/biscuits, sweets,toiletries, stationery - one person even filled theirs with a load of nails & screws they had to spare & it sold very quickly!

You could use a shoe box & decorate it with autumn leaves/pumpkin/wheat sheaf cut outs, or real autumn leaves if you have time to find & wash them

RTKangaMummy · 14/10/2007 20:03

A shoe box covered in paper either wrapping paper or get your child to paint it bright colours

My DS is now year 8 so in senior school

But he used to take food that would be taken to the old people around the area or a list was given from the Homeless shelter of toiletaries etc.

BUT make sure your child can carry the box unaided

Skyler · 14/10/2007 20:05

I did a (Clarks) shoe box covered in tin foil with a load of tins in and a carton of juice. It was my first effort and I think it was OK

Fizzylemonade · 14/10/2007 20:17

Thank you for your responses, I can feel my pulse rate increasing at the thought of mine being the only box/basket not bought at the end of assembly

There are just no clues on the newsletter, I think fruit and veg is the norm but I think other Mums are baking cakes etc, we are all novices so it is all new to us. I am hoping to ambush some Mums with older children in the school to see what they did.

I like the idea of pictures of fruit & veg, that should be an interesting google

OP posts:
newknifenewslain · 14/10/2007 20:19

mine took a tin of boiled potatoes each

PeachyFleshCrawlingWithBugs · 14/10/2007 20:19

It's a bit of a palava isn't it? We just sent ds2 with a large pineapple

ScaryScienceT · 14/10/2007 20:22

Shoe box is fine - cover it with wrapping paper or tinfoil.

Then put in various tins. The best things are whatever can be used for complete meals, eg tins of soup, rather than ingredients for something else.

If you think that the harvest gifts are going to an elderly person in the community, it is really nice to make an effort with the box or basket.

Fizzylemonade · 14/10/2007 20:41

If I go down the tinned fruit route then it will be going to a hospice, do you think a nice soap & a flannel would be nice? Or I am going too far?

This is a very competetive school, apparently some baskets are covered in celaphane (sp) and tied with a big bow

OP posts:
newknifenewslain · 14/10/2007 20:43

I don't know but yopu could take in some germoloid cream for all the sphincter clenching parents that exist there!

Fizzylemonade · 14/10/2007 21:14

The only saving grace is that it is one of the best primarys in the country. The parents make a lot of effort and I am not the kind of person to compete with that. For example, I haven't got the legs to wear hotpants and tights with ugg boots to school but then I am not 24 years old, it sometimes looks like half the mums have stepped straight off the catwalk and their kids wear Bench coats or Helly Hanson (ffs they are 4 years old)

I just wondered what normal parents did!!!

OP posts:
andyrobo237 · 14/10/2007 21:16

We had ours last week and yes there was one large one wrapped in cellophane with a big bow - the poor child couldnt carry it!

the best one I saw was a gift bag - it had handles - and was small enough for the child to carry unaided.

With a shoe box I would make sure that the stuff doesnt fall out as the LO's cant carry things straight! There are always escaping fruit!

I thought the whole idea of harvest festival was to celebrate the locally home grown produce - ie potatoes, apples, pears, carrots, etc, so I went to a local farm shop with my DD and got a few locally grown stuff - we had a discussion with the lady about what was grown in the ground (we always go there so are used to us!) and she chose wisely! We spent no more than a pound.

I always think it is a shame to send in any old stuff that people have in the cupboards - we saw packet sauce mixes, oxo cubes and the like - must have made a trip to the local cheapie bargain shop!

I dont do 'competitive mum' - preferring to get DD to create her own idea - piccies etc as older people appreciate the effort - sod what the other parents think - as long as DD is happy and pleased with her efforts, then so be it!

newknifenewslain · 14/10/2007 21:23

why is it a shame to send in oxo cubes?

lilospell · 14/10/2007 21:35

I used to always provide fresh fruit and veg, thinking it was in the true spirit of harvest. Then got to thinking, that our school gives out the parcels to nomiated people in the local community. TBH tinned fruit, Oxo cubes, packet sauce mixes "and the like" (regardless of whether bought from local cheap shop or Waitrose) probably are of more use to older/housebound people than more fresh stuff that they cannot use. Tins and packets might just feed them one wintery day when they cannot get out to buy fresh stuff. Please put yourself in the position of the recipient, and resist the urge to want to look good in front of other Yummy Mummies, when making decisions like this.

Carbonel · 14/10/2007 22:54

Ours as going to a hospice so I decided to get 'more for my money' and got lots of tins of ASDA value stuff - the school had already given us ideas fo what to get eg tinned potatoes, baked beans, tinned macaroni cheese.

The instructions for us were 'shoe box sized' and many of them came on carrier bags with no box at all I agree with the previous poister, think of where they are going and spend your money on what will be of use to them rather than cellophane and bows!

Blu · 14/10/2007 23:04

LOL andyrobo - look at the contradiction in your last two paras...or at least the contradicton that the donors of bargain basement packet sauces might reasonably infer!

Take a cake, or a bag of windfall apples in a white paper carrier bag which your child has decorated, or a lovely treat for someone in a hospice. Don't honestly think my life would be greatly enriched by a tin of fruit cocktail...but a small stick of solid cologne might be nice.

We were asked to take groceries and toiletries for homeless people - I took toothpaste, and tins of meat, fish and fruit, all of which had ring-pulls.

Clary · 14/10/2007 23:11

I find the harvest stuff is often destined for homeless shelter etc so last week for church we bought cereal, biscuits, toothpaste, soap, a couple of tins (beans, soup).
Packed in 2x decorated shoeboxes (kids did some sweet pictures).

My neighbour had some stuff in a carrier bag. We both took the view that this was fine (we only did pix because the kids wanted to!).

PeachyFleshCrawlingWithBugs · 15/10/2007 11:26

The whole idea is the spirit of giving and thanks surely? Competition (and mine attend a very uber mummy school too) is such a shame when it comes to HArvest and completely misses the point!.

DS2 took a pineapple as it ws his turn to do assembly with his class and he was talking about fruits from tropical countries, he also did a solo and had to hold his donation so wanted something big that he could easily show. beyond that, what does it matter?

Skyler · 15/10/2007 13:34

I actually think tins and packets are ideal. The stuff from our harvest went mainly to elderly locals on limited income and I think tins of fruit and veg are perfect. I was concerned by the amount of fresh stuff in a way as I know my dear old Granny won't cook for herself anymore so won't bother with prepping vegetables etc, but she will open a tin. Not being funny but she is the war generation and perfectly happy with tins of fruit and veg, plus they are nice and soft for her teeth .

StripeyKnickersSpottySocks · 15/10/2007 14:51

Our school sells off the produce on the day, so not only do you have to take a load of stuff in - you then have to buy other peoples stuff.

I bought a pumpkin for £1 from Tescos as I thought someone might like it for halloween. Have also put in a 2ft long marrow and some corn-on-the-cob from own veg plot. The box is an old Amazon box.

portonovo · 15/10/2007 16:25

Our school splits it two ways - fresh fruit and veg and flowers etc go to a local old people's home, I think a few of the 'treat' things like biscuits do to. Nearly all of the tinned and dried goods go the local Salvation Army's day centre for homeless people. At our school there's no real competition, but people take in anything from a cellophane-wrapped basket or box to a pumpkin to a single tin of baked beans. There's room for everything, although I personally think it's a bit dreary to have too many tins of beans or spaghetti hoops, so try to put in some basic everyday goods (tea, coffee etc) and a few luxuries.

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