Dear Parent Guru,
I received the below e-mail this afternoon from my daughter's teacher and was hoping to obtain your thoughts on the matter.
Last year the same teacher started the secret santa activity in the class with a $5 suggestion - which was later increased to $10. This year the expectation is $15. Money is not an issue for us, but I'm sure it must be for some.
The teacher sent home a note two days ago where parents were asked if they wanted to participate in the gift giving - tick 'yes' or 'no'. It was underlined that it was optional. I ticked 'no'.
My daughter has been sewing gift bags and filling them with chocolates for her actual friends which she will give to them outside of school hours. The teacher in the note below had the words 'giving of gifts' bolded in the e-mail to emphasise that she thinks giving gifts is important.
The aim of secret santa is that you don't know who you will get to give the gift to, so to say that you will be giving a gift to a 'friend' and should put thought into it, when frankly most of the children in the class are first class brats, seems a bit rich to me. I've also had enough of the plastic rubbish that comes home with these activities.
Furthermore I don't like this modern day emphasis that teachers place on everyone feeling happy and included. The reality of life is that sometimes you won't be happy and sometimes you will be excluded. In my opinion you just suck it up.
My question to you is, am I being a scrooge and should just go along with it to keep the peace? Or should I stand my ground and say 'no'?
I noticed that Phoebe was a little upset about not being part of our class secret Santa activity. I quietly asked her why and she mentioned that you might not be here on the last day of school. I have had a few other parents say the same so we will share presents on the second last day instead. This activity is a lovely way to finish the year and I know how much Phoebe enjoyed participating last year. I am trying to get the children to focus on the giving of gifts and putting serious thought into a gift their secret friend may like.
I hope you will allow Phoebe to participate as I really don’t want her to feel upset and excluded. She is growing into such a lovely young lady, you should be very proud of her.
I’ll look forward to your reply.