Saturday, March 23, 2013

Soapbox Saturday–Holidays Gone Overboard?

So it’s been a while, but I read a post this week that I felt would resonate with many of you.
Kristen from Rage Against the Minivan wrote how in recent years, every minor holiday from St.Patrick’s day to Pi day have become major holidays that her children expected to celebrate and celebrate in some elaborate way.

She also talks about how there is a new holiday almost every month at school and the kids are expected to make, buy, or bring something to class. Who has time for that? Pi Day, Johnny Appleseed Day, 100 days of school, Dr. Suess’ birthday, and the list goes on…But it’s not as a simple as a card for Valentine’s day anymore. Now parents send full goodie bags of treats, making it a second Halloween.

Luckily, I don’t have school age children yet so I haven’t directly had to deal with it, but I have seen in this Pinterest age how the ‘bar’ has been raised and like Kristen mentions, St. Patrick’s Day is no longer a day to simply wear green. Now kids expect to find gold coins, chocolate, and some kind of leprechaun prank. I agree with Kristen in that expectations have gotten out of control. I don’t mind if parent’s choose to go all out at home and in their own traditions, but it seems like school and Pinterest are setting up other parents to look like slackers.  I definitely think there is room for fun traditions, but I do agree that society has made kids come to expect Easter as a second Christmas and other holidays to be similarly celebrated.

For my family, we keep things simple. For St.Patrick’s day I pinned a shamrock on the boys shirts and Curt requested corned beef and cabbage. Other than that, the day went by unnoticed (honestly because I have no idea what the holiday is about – lol).

So basically, I don’t mind if you enjoy going all out at home. I just think it’s sad that sometimes the true meaning of the holiday is overshadowed by elves, candy, and presents. I hope that my kids will appreciate the traditions we establish and not come to expect presents every month. I think it can be fun to celebrate these smaller holidays with family time. No need for spending gobs of money on decorations and presents. 

What do you think? Do you have school age kids and find this to be true? Are you exhausted from the never ending parties and celebrations or do you enjoy going all out?


  1. I agree. But it's our own fault. The parents are the ones who make it a big deal by buying all the outfits and making all the projects and serving all the goodies. Some are schools' fault (like 100 days and Dr. Seuss's bday), but those are ones they teach the meaning of in class. I think it's better for the kids to make something crafty at school related to the holiday than to pass out/get treats.

  2. p.s. I hate how Easter has turned into a second Christmas.

  3. I agree, but for me it isn't the school, but the in-laws. I didn't grow up with all my extended family in the same state. Hubs did. And it seems like we have to celebrate each and every holiday. My kids end up with goodie bags (usually from grandma, probably costing $5 each) filled with candy and cheap toys. I would rather have the kids savings accounts filled up more than having treats around the house to fill up my hips. And as my kids have gotten older they expect it now, instead of it being a fun surprise. It seems to be such a horrible cycle. And I haven't found a good way to say no more, without offending anyone.
    Thanks for this post. It gives me something to think about, especially with my kiddos.

    1. Yeah, I can understand that. I've had to ask my own parents to scale it back. Luckily we started out asking both sides to keep it pretty simple, but they still give candy and cheap toys here and there. I like to celebrate the true meaning of the holiday, not the presents and candy. I just try to get on the same page as my husband and have him talk to his parents and I talk to mine when needed. I think if you both just decide to scale it back and 'announce' it to both sets of grandparents, no one should get upset. Just something you guys have decided and would like them both to respect. No one is pointed out as having done something wrong. Good luck, that's a tough spot.


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