22 March 2013

Holiday Overload?

I logged onto Facebook this morning, and was really disappointed I saw this on my feed. The person who posted it said can I get an "AMEN" to this!? 

For the sake of you who don't read huffington post, I am going to copy and paste the article below.

"This past Sunday was St. Patrick's Day, a holiday I had completely forgotten about until my oldest stumbled out of bed and into the living room at about 11:30 p.m. Saturday night while we were watching SNL.  "Can I help you guys hide the gold coins?" he asked. The WHAT?  "The gold coins. I know the leprechauns aren't real. I know it's you, like Santa. So I want to help you. I can make the leprechaun trap, too."
We told him to go to bed and then looked at each other with exasperation. Gold coins? A leprechaun trap? Is he serious?  When I was a kid we celebrated St. Patrick's Day by wearing something green. THE END. I had noticed that over the past few years, our kids were getting some grander ideas from school. But I didn't think that we needed to replicate these experiences at home.
Apparently, the children believed that we did.
All four of them woke up and came into our room like it was Christmas morning.
Did a leprechaun visit?
Can we search for him?
Did he leave a pot of gold?
Let's go find the gold coins!
I bet he left chocolate!
So. Many. Expectations.
All of which were dashed.
I had four seriously disappointed and grumpy kids on my hands. At one point my daughter went into full-blown meltdown mode, kicking random items in her room and yelling about what a LAME HOLIDAY this was.
And in my overly-tired impatient state, I might have yelled back, "YOU'RE RIGHT. This IS a lame holiday. It was never my favorite. All we did was wear green. That's all we're doing today. I'm sorry if you do more at school. That's not what we do here. I don't know where you are hearing this stuff but it's not happening here."
Fellow parents: St. Patrick's Day is supposed to be a "phone-it-in" holiday. Yes, I've turned into a bit of a grinch, but SERIOUSLY WITH THE HOLIDAY OVERKILL. It used to be Christmas was the main event, but now it's as if every holiday must be at a Level 10. And if Christmas wasn't already hard enough as a parent, someone also decided that we have to move an Elf around every day, into creative tableaus? And then someone else decided that the Advent Calendar was A Thing beyond a simple religious observation and now involves some kind of gift each day leading up to Christmas?
And about a month after having survived that whole mess, we've got Valentine's Day, which has became The New Halloween, because God forbid you send a simple store-bought card. You'd better include some candy or your child will be shunned. Shunned! One of my kids came home with not just a candy from each class, but a WHOLE FREAKING GOODIE BAG from each student.

And then, I think I've got a break for a month BUT NO. Surprise! We've got 100 Days of School to celebrate. And by "celebrate" I mean the kids sticking 100 things on a hat. And by "the kids" I mean me.

And suddenly Pi Day is a thing? My children expect to be served pie because someone at school told them so?
And Dr. Seuss's birthday? Sure it's a great event for school, but my kids are now asking what we're doing to celebrate that at home, too.
And do not even get me started on what Easter has become. When I was a kid my mom went to the store and bought us a new dress and a pre-made plastic Easter basket for $8.99.  THE END. There was candy and we loved it. Maybe we would die some eggs from a kit sitting in the check-out lane at Target. They would look like crap.
Now we've got to leave footprints from the Easter Bunny and make artful, Pinterest-worthy eggs with stencils and ikat prints and probably some that are ombre. AIN'T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT.
I don't like the feeling of disappointing my kids. But I refuse to give into this holiday overkill. I'm overwhelmed enough as it is. Today I gave all of my kids a bath. We read with each of them for the recommended 20 minutes. We reviewed our math facts. We practiced guitar. We sat together at the table and ate a meal that was NOT procured at a drive-thru.  We played outside. Most days, I'm struggling to achieve all these things. I can't have these haphazard, once-monthly overblown holidays take over my life.  I can go big for Christmas and Easter. That's all I can handle.
But I can't do this alone. Fellow parents... teachers... sunday school workers... I beseech you. BRING IT DOWN A NOTCH.  Ya'll are setting up expectations that I just can't maintain. Wouldn't we all be just a little happier if we returned to the slacker days of store-bought valentines and kit-dyed eggs and JUST WEARING A GREEN SHIRT AND CALLING IT A DAY?
For the sake of overwhelmed parents like me, I beg you. Stop the madness."

The article was taken from here:


I am disappointed because as a teacher, I felt really let down that a parent would feel that we, the educators make little holidays fun for their kids and she had nothing positive to say about it, other than griping that we created more work for her as a parent in "Celebrating" these holidays!

What is so wrong with having fun at school, making a day feel a little bit special, or celebrating something with a new tradition? Just because you didn't do it when you were a kid means we don't have to or can't celebreate it now?  Kids are only kids for a short time, and then all the magic will be gone. So I say SHAME on parents for thinking its wrong of us educators to make holidays fun for kids! 

It's about setting expectations of your own children, and not competing with all the moms/dads on Pinterest or the teachers or the neighbors. Celebrate in your own way, create your own traditions, and make it fun. It's not a chore. Really?




  1. i honestly love a lot of these "holidays" something for the kids to look forward too, something for the kids to dress up for, something for the kids to be EXCITED about!

  2. I wasn't crazy about the article either. I think it's fine if she doesn't want to do anything for certain holidays (sad, but her choice). I also don't think it's wrong for teachers (or other parents) to make certain days special for kids. Either for real holidays or made up ones...

    I made basketball cookies for my bf for the first day of March Madness yesterday. Did I have a million other things to do? Yes! Did it take very long? No! Was he super happy that I made a random Thursday more fun for everyone at his work? Yes!

    I say good job to all the educators out there who make any day more special for their students! More power to them!

    1. Agreed! Thanks so much for commenting!

  3. as an educator myself, I enjoy celebrating 100 days of school, read across america (dr. seuss), and any other day made special. if anything i feel like it's been taken away, at least in my district. we are only allowed to have one party per year and typically it's christmas. i love and enjoy all the extra special things we get to do for our students.

  4. I was a teacher and now I'm a mom. Fortunately, my 2 year old doesn't come home from preschool with high demands for every holiday; however, I thoroughly enjoy making a big deal out of holidays for my daughters. It's fun! And the whole Pinterest thing is what you make of it- no one said kids expect Pinterest projects as projected in this article. Kids are easy and resilient. My daughter will do just about anything for M&Ms in her yogurt, haha. It isn't that hard!

  5. So, I have the same blog design as you. I love Rockaboo Designs and this was my fave! My dad's had a stache all his life so that's another reason I got it :)

    As far as this post...I couldn't agree with you more. I have a 4 year old daughter and I try to be as absolutely creative as possible, whether it's a Holiday or any random day of the year. To me, it's all about seeing her eyes light up. She is all vamped up for Easter next weekend, and I'll be dang sure to leave Bunny tracks outside!

    1. Thanks so much for commenting and stopping by!

  6. I taught last year but now I stay home with my daughter. I read the article a few days ago but took the viewpoint that things have gone overboard with holidays, and not just in schools. I get being creative (it's what I love to do) but I definitely think moms go overboard a bit with some holidays but to each his own. I never wanted one of my students at school to feel bad because they didn't bring over the top goodie bags or keep up with what the other kids' moms were doing.

    1. I agree with you, there are definitely moms who don't work and just have all that time on their hands that go above and beyond with holidays stuff, which is great, but no need in others feeling like they suck in comparison either :) Thank you for stopping by and commenting!

  7. Uh, I guess I am going to be the voice of dissension here. I agree with the mom. Do I think it is the fault of teachers? No. But, I can't make everything over the top and there does seem to be this expectation that every holiday be crazy. Christmas has to start right after Thanksgiving, with crazy decorations and the damn elf every day. Just too much. That said, I am happy for my kids to celebrate all of these things at school. I am just not going to hide coins or set traps or any of that.

    1. No, I agree with you, and I agree with the Mom. I am a teacher and where NO, I don't believe it's ALL educators faults, it certainly is SOME educator's faults. I know teachers that feel they'll get fired if they don't have their classrooms changed for the season/holiday every two weeks. Are you kidding me? Like the mom said "AIN'T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT."

      The problem is that kids EXPECT all this crazy shit once a month. We were just fine with getting a toy on our birthday and Christmas.

  8. I've read that blog post, and it offended me and I don't have kids. I love celebrating holidays. Even while in elementary school, my parents and I went "all out" for holidays. My mom even helped out with planning the classroom holiday parties. I was the girl who made treat bags for my friends. My mom and I did crafts together. I loved that as a kid. Childhood is so magical. I don't think it has to be "over the top" but just a little something, doesn't take that much effort. Parents aren't in competition with others, nor is anyone else. I always did crafts and did stuff like that, but my husband never did growing up. I just love DIY and creativity and holidays.

  9. Why is everything so over the top?? It's insane.

  10. All I can say is "wow"...honestly, I guess I can see both sides of the issue. I am an unmarried, childless childcare provider and I enjoy going a little over the top to help my kiddies celebrate the holidays. But my cousin, who I am VERY close to, is another story. She recently became a mother to not one, not two, but THREE (3)foster children in the space of a few months. She absolutely doesn't have the time nor energy to go "all out" for every holiday. Now, that being said, I don't think ranting and raving at parents and educators in general to "CALM DOWN" is a solution to the issue. I think its a matter of what you as an individual can do. If partying big every holiday is going to stress you out, then don't do it! Keep things simple. Kids are resilient. They will get over not having their hair dyed green for St. Patrick's Day if they get some chocolate and can attend a parade. But just because you can't handle something doesn't mean someone else can't...maybe where this overworked Mommy limits her holiday experience, someone else going all out will pick up the slack. Just a thought :).

    By the way, C Mae, I love reading your blog and seeing the projects you do with your class. Personally, I LOVE that YOU go all out! :)


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