VENT:Secret Santa Gifting-Yuck!

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by Mattemma, Dec 16, 2011.

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  1. Mattemma

    Mattemma Overrun With Chickens

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    So it is time for my kids to participate in the classrooms annual secret gift giving. You pick a kids name and for 5 days you give a dollar gift,or a note for 4 days and a $5 gift on the last. Seems pretty simple.

    Alas, my dd has gotten a dud again this year. Yesterday was the first day, and her secret santa gave such a lame note.A roses are red poem written on the BACK of CRUMPLED paper. How sad my dd must have been while others enjoyed their candy,cards,and trinkets. One year her gift giver gave used items from around their house like a torn cat poster,and some religious/devotional sticker booklet WITH STICKERS MISSING. My dd always handles this with grace,but she does tell me at home how sad she was to see what others got compared to her.

    I don't know about other parents,but I make sure my kids give something nice every time. If they do a note it is NICE with drawings and even a candy taped to it. Gifting something from the home would be fine too as long as it does not look used in any way. I have taught them to take the other persons feelings into consideration,and THINK about how they would feel if they got that gift. I am disappointed the kids don't think about this.Everyone wants nice gifts each day,but some are not really thinking about what they are giving.

    I dread picking them up today and finding out she was disappointed again. Atleast this is her last year for this. We don't even have the money to be spending on others,but I feel the need to get them some little things today to make up for the thoughtlessness of others.

    Poor dd says," Ds got a note AND a gift and look what I got." She is the sweetest girl, and it just pains me that a classmate could care so little(once again) for her.Notes are expected,but geez that crumpled up paper was just absolutely horrid.It would have been better if she got nothing.

    If there was an option I would opt them out of this secret santa sillyness and send them to school with a gift I bought myself. I am getting them things,but it will not make up for the let down they go through at school when opening the secret gifts. I just keep telling them that unfortunately not all people care enough to give something nice.Those people WANT(and expect) sometime nice,but giving the same seems to be low on their list of priorities.
     
  2. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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    Was hoping this topic came up being as though it's that time of year. Sorry to hear what happened. Maybe the child who is your daughter's Secret Santa couldn't afford a gift.

    Is it a requirement for all students to participate? I was wondering about the other kids whose family cannot afford a gift. The schools really need to re-think that. There are some families that are homeless or live in shelters and may not have any money to buy a gift. It kinda affects everyone - especially those families that don't believe in Christmas or Santa and don't celebrate it for religious beliefs. And it also affects the kids who do buy nice gifts and end up with a gift like your daughter did.

    I remember when I was in elementary school and there were 3 kids whose parents didn't allow their children to participate in "Holiday" parties at school because of religious beliefs. Those kids either sat in the back of the room or went to another classroom until our party was over or their parents checked them out of school before the party or gift exchange began. I always felt so bad for my school mates. They always looked so sad and looked "left out". We wanted them to stay to have fun with us but they couldn't. [​IMG]

    I hope your daughter gets a good gift today. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2011
  3. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    A few better ways it could be handled:

    NOT mandatory, it should be an OPT IN, and there should be better instructions on what is and is not appropriate.

    Instead of gifting each other, collect gifts for those whose families are in really bad straits; there are any number of agencies that can give names and needs.

    As a class write notes to children who will be in the hospital over the holdays.

    Or simply have a party without a gift exchange.


    Years ago my son's class did a $5 book exchange. I don't recall whether he was in 2nd or 3rd grade, but in both cases, the classes were small, and every child in the class was a fairly good reader. The child who drew my son's name got him a book that was way too simple for anyone in that class; it might have been appropriate for a preschool or kindergarten level girl. Son's feelings were hurt. We exchanged it for a different book that he would enjoy, and for whatever reason, my son told his classmate he had exchanged the book for a different one, the classmate then got mad. While I realize that it was not the best thing to tell his classmate that he had exchanged the book, it was also not a good thing to gift him with a book so inappropriate.
     
  4. DuckLady

    DuckLady Administrator Staff Member

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    I am sorry your daughter is disappointed, but a gift given from the heart, even on crumpled paper is in the end more valuable than a trinket or piece of candy.

    If the kid that gave that to her was not able to buy anything, then he (she) was probably embarrassed and should be treated kindly as your daughter did with no hard feelings.

    It takes a better person to accept with gratitude a humble gift than to accept one with no real meaning.
     
  5. RHRanch

    RHRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:X2

    When I was in school we did similar gift giving activitiy and when I started to complain one time to my mother about it, she said that I was being ridiculous to expect something grand from a school gift exchange and that exchanging gifts was not about what we got, but about friendship and being kind to each other. Then I think I got a long lecture about being selfish and how I could have more gratitude because didn't I realize that my one friends family lived in a shack with about 20 family members, and another of my friends little brother had died in an accident, etc.... Needless to say, I never complained about things I got at school again. LOL
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2011
  6. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    That's $10 per child, plus the cost of cards, which aren't cheap. For a family with 3 kids that might be their entire grocery budget for the week.

    I disapprove of mandatory gift giving, but this is your chance to give a life lesson to your child about having a generous and understanding heart and not expecting gifts.
     
  7. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    Take the opportunity to teach your child that the proper response to a gift is "thank you." It's not, "Hey, cheapskate, I deserve something better."

    I'd be very surprised if this whole thing isn't a lot harder on the gift giver than it is on your daughter.
     
  8. RaZ

    RaZ Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Quote:X2

    When I was in school we did similar gift giving activitiy and when I started to complain one time to my mother about it, she said that I was being ridiculous to expect something grand from a school gift exchange and that exchanging gifts was not about what we got, but about friendship and being kind to each other. Then I think I got a long lecture about being selfish and how I could have more gratitude because didn't I realize that my one friends family lived in a shack with about 20 family members, and another of my friends little brother had died in an accident, etc.... Needless to say, I never complained about things I got at school again. LOL

    X3!
     
  9. punk-a-doodle

    punk-a-doodle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If the secret santa is the kind where the giver knows the recipient, it sounds like the boy was trying to impress your daughter with the poem. Ie. Had a crush on her. I must admit that there are some gifts I have not appreciated, such as gifts 'given' with heavy strings attached (ie. I'll give you a gift if you move into the neighborhood of our choosing...), and a gift from a pushy girl in high school who gave me a copy of her religion's book. Not in a friendly manner, or one attempting to share something they enjoy, but rather one sponsored by her place of worship that she was told to give. So trust me that I'm not saying, "you should be thankful for a sticker book with stickers missing", just, this is a good time to share with your daughter in talking about how to keep things in perspective, about differences in people, differences in incomes, etc. I'd also suggest to the school to keep events such as this optional rather than mandatory, perhaps with guidelines sent to the parent who have their kids participate.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2011
  10. itsy

    itsy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is this Secret Santa thing something that went home with a letter from the teacher and some sort of permission slip or anything like that? We're quick to assume that the kid couldn't afford a gift, but what if he could? What if the parents "opt in" to doing this? If they couldn't afford it, shouldn't that be something they tell the teacher instead of allowing their kid to bring in something that clearly didn't follow the guidelines?

    I'm all for understanding financial problems. I got our family together to donate Christmas gifts to a needy family this year, so I understand.... but why do we always assume it's a financial issue? It could simply be a lazy kid/parent, etc. If we had more information, maybe people wouldn't jump to the "let's be humble, it's all they could afford." scenario.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2011
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