Sick of materialistic X-mas!

marcellaDecember 14, 2001

There was some kind of grab bag/Secret Santa thing at my grandson's school and there was all this competition as to who got the best present at the end. One girl could not afford much for her gift and the kids mocked what she gave the other girl: a piece of dollhouse furniture from the dollar store. Why do they do these things? It just makes the kids upset. Whatever happened to the thought that counts.

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Where was the teacher when this was going on?

    Bookmark   December 14, 2001 at 10:39PM
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I actually can't believe that the school would even have such a thing!

When I was in elementary school, we had Christmas parties and things. But, after that we couldn't call anything Christmas--it was a winter celebration or something like that.

It's terrible that some of the kids were picked on b/c of what they brought. Forget cruel kids, what about the teacher! Perhaps a better idea would have been for the teacher to buy each student one simple item, not let the kids buy/bring anything.

Sorry your grandson hat to see such rudeness.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2001 at 11:31PM
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Agrhhh---this ranks with choosing sides in gym. Someone always gets hurt. What I hate the most is that these are cruelties that can be controlled.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2001 at 6:50AM
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A few years back in this area they were still having Christmas parties like the one described.

I can though remember as a child Mother's that would send with their children (even it their family could afford the proper priced gift ), something tiny and inexpensive-spending far less than they were suppose to.
Also there were some that couldn't afford to give the amount that was intended-- usually the teacher would help out on that.

THEN...there was always a child that's mother would buy this huge present that was worth a lot more than any present in the class, and a child would get that present.
Somehow I think the Mother thats child gave that present would know that all the children would "oww" and "ahh" over the present that the child gave, and make remarks about what a Great Present it was...sort of a "Let's impress the other children in the room with YOUR present" sort of presentLOL!!

I don't know if these parties have completely stopped or not at schools around. I seemed to always be the child that got the present that was small or inexpensive...well at least I do remember getting one a few times. But I never said anything negative about the present (Because I was taught to have manners)I would just thank the child that gave it. I don't think as many parents today spend much time talking to their children about manners and also that some families just can't afford the luxuries as other have etc. It's a shame.
The teacher should have been around when the party went on and not allowed the children to comment about the presents, if she could. And if they did comment she should have told them that this was not good manners and handled the situation.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2001 at 8:28PM
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Teachers are really busy, especially in grade school. It's not day care anymore. They have 20 kids or more, and a LOT going on. There's no way a teacher can be expected to minotir and control everything in that classroom.

If you were concerned, polite and participatory (as opposed to censorious) feedback to that effect might be moderately well received.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2001 at 1:06PM
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My daughter's class is having a gift exchange. Each student brings a book, wrapped, $5 limit. The info sheet said anyone with financial concerns could contact the teacher and make arrangements. I think restricting the type of present and amount to spend will help alleviate some of the problems, but I'll have to post back once we see how it goes.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2001 at 5:15PM
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I think the book idea was a nice one. My kids aren't doing this at school but at a chess club party this week. I gave them the talk about being gracious about the gift they recieve and not to make any comments like "wow, that is really cool! I wish I'd gotten that!" I'm sure there will be some hurt feelings.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2001 at 5:40PM
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Or, a teacher can do as one of my son's teachers did one year. She sent a nice little note home to all the parents that she wanted to include gifts at the Christmas party. Each child was to bring something like 2 to 3 dollars (I can't remember now) and the teacher took the money and bought little gifts for the whole class. It worked out much better.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2001 at 9:32PM
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Oh wait, I just remembered that it wasn't the teacher who did this! It was actually the room mothers who were assigned to do the Christmas party that year. Anyway, it was nice and all the little children were very happy. And they didn't have to stress out over not giving or getting a good gift. Everyone got basically the same. Boys got hot wheels and candy - the girls got cute little necklaces and candy.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2001 at 9:35PM
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Some kids are going to be rude no matter what. It's the way they are brought up. When I was in grade school we had a $1 gift exchange. One little girl, who was also one of the poorest kids in class, brought a jumprope that had $.59 on the packaging. Some of the other kids made fun of her to her face about it. That jumprope was just as nice as any of the gifts where the parent paid $1. These kids were also the same kids that were rude to everyone else all the time. Anyway, I like the way that some of the teachers have taken care of the problem.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2001 at 10:00AM
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My DD's daycare is having an exchange this Friday, which I'm going to leave work and meet her there for.

Us moms had to buy gifts for a child under $10, wrapped it and put it under the tree, for the exchange on Friday. I think it's a great idea, each child was assigned a child's name to buy for.

I remember as a child, in school, doing these gift exchanges. It was the bullies and the always-rude-anyway kids who made fun of the kids who got something "less cool" (in their selfish eyes) than what they got. There are kids out there (and Adults) who are so very thankful for just "anything", because it truly is the thought that counts, NOT the quality or price, etc.

Then there are the selfish, mean-at-heart kids and adults who sneer at others just because it makes them feel better about themselves.

I'm all for a Christmas party and gift exchange, in schools, daycares, at work, etc.

It is a real crime when people act that way... making fun of other people or bullying them. But it is true what the above-poster said; it is usually the kids who are always mean and rude anyway who do this at the exchanges. The teacher should step in and use discipline on a case like this, but in the cases I have witnessed myself in school, the teacher is usually nowhere in sight or not within ear-reach.

- darkeyedgirl

    Bookmark   December 19, 2001 at 2:47PM
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Possibly I'm out of line here, and sorry if I offend anyone, but those who are celebrating CHRISTMAS's not's CHRISTmas, that's what makes it so special. Happy Holidays (whatever yours may be!)!!

    Bookmark   December 19, 2001 at 4:15PM
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Check it out, the X in X'mas is acceptable. X is Greek(I believe)for Christos, Christ. You'll find X used throughout religious teachings.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2001 at 5:13PM
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Rose is right. The Greek letter X has been used as a symbol for the Christ since the earliest Christians. I like it because of the ancient traditions it embodies.


    Bookmark   December 19, 2001 at 5:42PM
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You can read about Xmas at :) And while you are there, you can read other Christmas myths. It's very entertaining and enlightening.

Here is a link that might be useful: 'Xmas ' explanation

    Bookmark   December 19, 2001 at 7:50PM
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very cool, I guess they were right when they said you learn something I can use it without feeling, I've always thought of it as X-ing out Christ from Christmas! :)

    Bookmark   December 21, 2001 at 9:44AM
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I agree with you, timberslysmom! I always though X was getting rid of the most important part, but now I know it's not.

Anyway, this whole discussion makes me think of a sad story ...
my niece was 7 years ols, and slightly overweight and big for her age. One day my sister found a book in her bookbag that she checked out of the school library. It was called: "Please don't call me fat."
I cried when I heard this. KIds are sometimes just mean. I do think it has to do with upbringing and how they are raised, but sometimes they are just being too honest.
I am just glad that looking back I never did any of these things (well, I may have called my brother fat but he deserved it :)
Happy Holidays everyone. And remember, those "mean kids" out there do one good thing: they make you happy that you've got the good one.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2001 at 2:39PM
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It's sad that children can be so cruel. In my grade school (when I was a boy) the children were predominantly middle class. But, there was this one girl from a poor family that didn't wear nice clothes and lived in a mobile home. Some of the children looked down at her because of it. I have to ask myself where these kids get these values from. I'm sure that they learned them from their parents and/or from society.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2001 at 8:02PM
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My DS' teacher asked each child to bring in a pencil already wrapped, and they had a gift exchange of pencils only. I thought it was such a good idea. DS took a Veggie Tales pencil and recived a green glittery pencil. The kids thought it was fun.

I'm the room mother for DS' class, and didn't receive any notification to organize a Christmas party. When he came home last Friday (with the pencil) he also had a goody bag and a small tree-shaped cake. I asked him where they came from, and he said from the Christmas party. Should I call the teacher - did I miss something???

    Bookmark   December 26, 2001 at 3:42PM
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It's sad that kids can be so cruel, but a lot is learned from adults unfortunately. Look at the media and there's all kinds of game shows for people who are smart--and the new survival shows applaud not just cleverness but cruelty and cunning--but when did you even see shows celebrating people who are just plain nice? Nice has become a four-letter word in our society. Nice trait to have, but not nearly as important as being smart or athletic or a financial mastermind. Nice guys finish last, so the saying goes. Look how parents cheer and rave when their kids score a goal or get the highest math mark in the class. I'm not saying parents ignore it when their kids share a toy or help a friend, but it doesn't get the same type of cheering, typically. I can't remember who first said this quote but we have enough smart and athletic people in this world--we need more nice people. You want kids to be nicer--clap and cheer for the next kid you seeing doing a kind act--instead of the next kid you see scoring a goal.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2001 at 12:45AM
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