December 16, 2011

Note to Self... Never Again!!!!

    I gave in reluctantly... I knew I shouldn’t have...but I did. Admittedly, it is my awesome co-workers fault. Her class was going to exchange gifts and eventually my class found out (most likely within 2 seconds after they found their friends at recess). There was so much excitement in the air when they told me that we were also going to exchange gifts (imagine my surprise). When I told them we were going to do something different, there was some major sulking going on. That’s when I folded... after all I didn’t want to take their JOY away from them. Besides, I was all wrapped up in their excitement and it wasn’t until later (5 seconds or so)... that I started getting this sick feeling in my tummy.

Parents were told (3 times) to PLEASE let me know if they were unable to provide a gift and I would take care of it. I was pretty confident (since I checked them off as they brought them) that everyone but one little girl had brought a gift. The morning of the party I find a note in my mailbox notifying me that the little girl would indeed not be bringing a gift! Are you kidding me!!!! Irritation set in because I realized I had forgotten to buy an extra gift... Grrrr!!!!!! After scurrying around a bit, yeah the gift is take care of!

     And then the much anticipated party begins. The kiddos loved our reindeer race! The treats are quickly devoured. Now they are ready for the greatly anticipated gift exchange. I’m rather curious what kind of gifts the kids brought to exchange. It didn’t take long, and things started happening. One girl loudly said she didn’t like her gift and began to pout (not that it matters, but this was the same little girl who didn’t bring a gift). I quickly make a scan of all the faces trying to locate the little girl who brought the present to see how she was handling the fact that her gift was hated. It didn’t take long and I saw her. Tears were beginning to form in her eyes and by the time I reached her she was sobbing! By this time all the other children were looking at her and asking her what was wrong. She was not hesitant at all about telling them. “Everyone else got a toy and I got a blanket!” Yep! I was 100% wrong on that one! I wanted to scream “ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!!” Another parent immediately turned to her daughter and said something. The next thing I know the daughter is bringing her gift and offering it to the crying child. Unbelievable!

     Wow! I’m glad that is off of my chest. And with that being said I’m once again back to my original plan. I will not do gift exchanges ever again. I’m going to keep this post and as a reminder to myself read it every year around December 1st as a reminder!


  1. Oh my. I feel your pain. My grade level is doing a book exchange this year and I'm crossing my fingers no issues pop up. (Giving a used book instead of a new, not liking a book and on and on).

    Yearn to Learn Blog

  2. Oh that's too bad. I've never done a gift exchange so don't have any insights. I used to give all the kids a book but I rarely got a thank you from the kids or parents, so I stopped. I guess they get as tired as we do. I know I felt like I might burst into tears today . Ha ha. Take care :))
    Grade ONEderful

  3. oh girl...nothing's worse then melt downs with parents in the room watching how you handle the craziness. I think I was sweating through my cute Christmas outfit on Friday because the parents watched us do our gifts. It's so stressful. I don't do gift exchanges only because when I was in elementary school I received a pair of used socks as my gift and I gave away a doll that I really wanted. It killed me. I didn't react and I hid the socks and never told anyone. whew...there I said it. It was awful. I knew the girl had no money so I just protected her and sucked up the disappointment. sounds like you handled everything really well! Happy Vacation--you deserve it!

  4. Let's set the record STRAIGHT TODAY the ONLY reason the COWORKER had a gift exchange THIS year is because HER COWORKER did it LAST year and BRAGGED how GREAT it was and MY parents GRIPED about having to spend SO much on 17 little items for MY kids' stockings (ie pencils candy etc!!!) that I do EVERY year! BUT NOOOOOO this year I decided to be NICE and do the EASY thing and just ask for one gift EACH!!!
    Oh I'm SO glad it's over and that I LOVE MY COWORKER SO VERY MUCH!!!
    OH and by the way I was the one that had TWO moms, One dad, a TWO year old sibling his friend show up an HOUR and HALF early, and when I politely said (at least I thought I was polite) that their kids would not even BE in the classroom for the next 45 minutes they replied "that's ok we'll just hang out with you!!!" ARE YOU KIDDING ME???
    we love our job, we love our job, we love our job....LOL

  5. I learned this lesson my first year teaching. We did a gift exchange and a little girl cried because she didn't get the gift she brought. They were 3rd graders! So if 3rd graders couldn't handle it I knew it would never work for 1st. Oh the lessons we teachers have to learn right along with the kiddos. Hope you have a great vacation!

  6. Agreed!!! Not to mention I've had Johova's (I know I didn't spell that right) Witnesses in the past that were not allowed to participate in these things, or very religious families that didn't want too much Santa hype, etc.

    Nope, I like to stick to the basics, especially with the little ones.

    Have a good vacation!!!

    Tales from a Traveling Teacher

  7. OK, this is a HiLaRiOuS post, only because today when we were decorating, we pulled out this adorable little Snowman ornament, my 7th grader said, "hey, why do we STILL have this? Don't you think it's time we threw it away?" Then I remembered his 2nd grade party . . .he ended up with this instead of the gift he wanted because it was a TRADE party . . . and he started to tear up because he thought it was a "girl" item . . . . and the MEAN room mom looked at him sternly - RIGHT in front of ME - and said, "You get what you get and you don't throw a fit!" Well, that DIDN'T help! Ha. We STILL have that ornament . . . I kind of like it even though it brings back questionable memories. Oh, and I LOVE the little girl who offered to fix things and make it better . . . she'll be your school counselor one day : D


  8. wow! I'm so sorry...we don't even THINK about doing exchanges b/c god only KNOWS what the kids would bring, if they bring anything at all. I have a hard time getting ANYTHING donated for a party, much less for gifts....but you are EXACTLY right to NEVER EVER do that again! ha!
    Sorry you had to deal with that.

    ♥ Jen Ross
    The Teachers' Cauldron

  9. Oh my word! You've got me a bit nervous because I'm doing a gift exchange for the first time ever on Friday. My kids don't have a lot of money so I specifically made the rules that the gift should be homemade, thinking.. ornament, craft, picture frame, poem, card, story. However, I noticed that the two gifts under the tree so far are pretty lame. My kids are in fifth grade so if they're not happy, who knows what will come out of their mouths!