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DS "won" worst Chanukah grab bag prize....
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greentiger









  


Post  Thu, Dec 09 2010, 2:42 pm
I feel bad for the kid who gave it. For whatever reason the mom couldn't do better, maybe she's sick, or just had a baby, or they are moving tomorrow, or didn't see the note. Or maybe the mother forgot altogether and the desperate kid dug up whatever he found around the house. The possibilities are endless. I think others brought up a good point: it may not sound good but this may be a good opportunity to evaluate why you buy gifts. You spent time and money choosing a perfect gift for your sons friend to make him happy-otherwise you could have given it directly to your son. Hopefully your well thought out gift will be accepted by that same kid with the uninvolved mother. Give with an open heart, because it seems like that kid needed the gift more than yours. I don't mean to preach so don't take this in the wrong way, but I am speaking from personal pain of being that kid in the class whos mom never kept up with the schedule.
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amother






Post  Thu, Dec 09 2010, 2:44 pm
greentiger wrote:
I feel bad for the kid who gave it. For whatever reason the mom couldn't do better, maybe she's sick, or just had a baby, or they are moving tomorrow, or didn't see the note. Or maybe the mother forgot altogether and the desperate kid dug up whatever he found around the house. The possibilities are endless. I think others brought up a good point: it may not sound good but this may be a good opportunity to evaluate why you buy gifts. You spent time and money choosing a perfect gift for your sons friend to make him happy-otherwise you could have given it directly to your son. Hopefully your well thought out gift will be accepted by that same kid with the uninvolved mother. Give with an open heart, because it seems like that kid needed the gift more than yours. I don't mean to preach so don't take this in the wrong way, but I am speaking from personal pain of being that kid in the class whos mom never kept up with the schedule.


OP here, again.
I get you.

Maybe because my mom never kept up with "it" and I suffered, I vowed never to be the same way, and thats why it hurts me that he was so let down. That could have been me.
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greentiger









  


Post  Thu, Dec 09 2010, 2:46 pm
I hear Sad
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shalhevet









  


Post  Thu, Dec 09 2010, 3:05 pm
mandksima wrote:
Although I haven't been asked to do this (here they ask for 15-30 shekels for the year for stuff like this), I can't imagine being peeved for the present your child gets. Don't we teach our kids to say thank you and be happy that they got something? Maybe because I grew up getting weird presents that I didn't really want but even if I was disappointed, my parents sure didn't let me get angry that other kids got something better. My kids would love to get pens, they're 9. I don't get it, am I in a parallel universe here? Kids don't know what things cost, what's up? Is your kid upset or just you?


ITA. Thumbs Up:

I have to admit to have been totally shocked by most of the posts on this thread.

Our job is to be mechanech our own children, not the whole world. Things like this sometimes happen: Aunty Daisy buys the bar mitzva boy the most beautiful orange and purple polka-dot tie. Your parents' neighbours present you with a hideous sweet dish for your wedding that goes straight into the garbage bin. Grandma buys you a delicious chocolate bar that you happen not to like.

I'm sorry OP (and all her supporters). It's time to grow up, not reduce your level to that of an 8 or 10 year old. This was the perfect learning opportunity. "Sorry, Moishe, I can see you are disappointed with the pens. Well, we don't always like the presents we get. Never mind, make sure you say thank you to your friend, because I'm sure he wanted you to be happy." What if he had received a $50 book he didn't happen to find interesting? Actually, for various reasons I don't want to go into here, I personally wouldn't have been too happy for my child to receive a gift voucher for pizza - everyone has their own taste.

Instead you are feeding into your son's sense of entitlement. He is entitled to a gift. And he is entitled to a gift that is expensive enough. And one he likes. What, is this gift wages for working all day? Why is he entitled to anything at all? When we get a gift we say thank you, whether or not we would have chosen it and are greatful the person gave us a gift at all.

Aside from the points some posters mentioned (but which you don't have to share with your son) - who knows if they had the time and/or money and/or intelligence to choose something appropriate? So what if they chose to recycle something they had in the house already - do you know everyone's financial/ health/ work etc situation? Maybe the gift her son had to give was the least of her worries in a very stressful month?
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amother






Post  Thu, Dec 09 2010, 3:11 pm
Well- I hope that your ds isn't talking how disappointed he is with his gift with his friends or while in school.

In high school (in USA) my sister participated in a grab bag. My mom picked up a pair of gloves. On the day of the grab bag, my sister went to the school library and heard a bunch of girls talking. One was complaining(a snobby girl) about the totally lame-o gift she got- a pair of gloves- like...who gives gloves???!!! My sister turned red with shame and just kept very quiet. But it stung terribly.

It's just a grab bag. As parents we have to teach our children not to put so much stock in these things and we have to be happy and grateful for what we have and get. don't judge others. And certainly don't knock prizes. Yes, it will be disappointing- but never miss the teaching moment- which I hope you didn't pass over!
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Tamiri









  


Post  Thu, Dec 09 2010, 3:14 pm
Shalhevet, I think you are being harsh. This is a social thing. Sad, but true. There is a great build-up towards THE CHANUKA GRAB BAG, and yeah: kids are expecting a $5 gift in return for the one they gave. It could be that the whole grab-bag premise (is that the word) is inappropriate. But once you set a child's expectations to a certain level (the adults are responsible for this), they are entitled to be disappointed if things don't turn out the way they expected. And, I think that THIS is the lesson: how to deal with disappointment, and forget the nasty gift. That's a side issue. There's a great learning opportunity here, but I think the emphasis should be away from gifts and towards How We Deal With Major Disappointment. And that doesn't involve making nice, turning pens into a gift from Hashem, or Mommy giving something to make the hurt go away. OP mentioned her son isn't a 5 yo anymore....
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chocolate moose









  


Post  Thu, Dec 09 2010, 3:16 pm
I remember those kinds of events as a kid and always got stuff I didn't like. I wonder why the teacher bothers doing it?
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Chavelamomela









  


Post  Thu, Dec 09 2010, 5:02 pm
At one organization I worked at (Jewish, but mostly not Frum), we had this for Chanukah every year. People gave assorted gifts, from food to desk ornaments to gift cards. We also traded with others so we usually wound up with things we liked.

One year I wound up with a stupid desk ornament. It still stares at me from my desk. Another year I wound up with non-kosher wine (HUH??? THIS IS A JEWISH ORG and there are kosher people?!!) and traded it for a gift card to Starbucks or something.

Even as grown-ups these grab-bag style things rub me the wrong way. I think I'll skip it if I am ever asked to implement something like this. There was always one or two folks who got a gift for much less than the recommended amount, and it showed.
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Fox









  


Post  Thu, Dec 09 2010, 5:22 pm
amother wrote:
It's just a grab bag.


I think this is another important point. $5 for a grab bag (let along $10) seems excessive to me. A grab bag is designed to be fun and low-investment/low-risk. I'd say $1 -- maybe $2 tops. A cute eraser, a sticker, a little memo pad . . . these are the kinds of things that seem more appropriate. By the same token, a grab bag shouldn't be an activity that people build up in kids' minds for a long time. It can be fun, but it has to be in the context of "fun" rather than "gift."
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amother






Post  Thu, Dec 09 2010, 8:16 pm
Can you buy your child a gift and tell him you're getting it for him because you feel bad that he didn't like the gift he got in school?
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Mirabelle









  


Post  Thu, Dec 09 2010, 8:56 pm
Fox wrote:
amother wrote:
It's just a grab bag.


I think this is another important point. $5 for a grab bag (let along $10) seems excessive to me. A grab bag is designed to be fun and low-investment/low-risk. I'd say $1 -- maybe $2 tops. A cute eraser, a sticker, a little memo pad . . . these are the kinds of things that seem more appropriate. By the same token, a grab bag shouldn't be an activity that people build up in kids' minds for a long time. It can be fun, but it has to be in the context of "fun" rather than "gift."


I was pretty shocked that the grab bag for my DD's preschool was $10.
The context was to "teach" the kids that on Chanukah we give and don't just take.
Not sure my DD got it as I was the one who shopped and wrapped the gift.
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bakermom









  


Post  Thu, Dec 09 2010, 9:17 pm
I did not read all the posts, but something like this happened to me way back in 4th grade. for the last day of school, we were told to spend $2 on a grab bag, did not know who it's going to. We got 1 day notice. My mother had a baby that night, but she had bought a few cheap toys just in case, so before she left to the hospital, she wrapped up a dumb chachka for me. I had no idea what was inside. When the girl opened it, I was quite embarrassed cuz the price was still on it- 99 cents, but she did not approach me so I did not explain that my mother just had a baby. 2 years later, she came over to me to apologize, she had not heard that my mother had a baby til after the summer and she felt bad that she made a comotion that day.

Now, my mother is usually a very organized person who follows the rules, but this was an exception.
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imabima









  


Post  Thu, Dec 09 2010, 9:32 pm
My oh my. This thread brings back a lot of bad memories. My Mom always had a room (she still has it) called the gift room. She buys gift whenever she finds a 'deal' and puts it in this room. She is still NOW giving my kids gifts that are from the '80's and '90's. I remember always getting awful gifts from the gift room to bring in for grabs. They always smelled like my basement and I just pretended they weren't mine. Sigh...
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louche









  


Post  Thu, Dec 09 2010, 9:57 pm
imabima wrote:
My oh my. This thread brings back a lot of bad memories. My Mom always had a room (she still has it) called the gift room. She buys gift whenever she finds a 'deal' and puts it in this room. She is still NOW giving my kids gifts that are from the '80's and '90's. I remember always getting awful gifts from the gift room to bring in for grabs. They always smelled like my basement and I just pretended they weren't mine. Sigh...
Laughing

Sorry, I know the memories are painful, but oh, my, the way you wrote it...Seinfeld has nothing on you!
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CatLady









  


Post  Fri, Dec 10 2010, 9:28 am
When searching for the rules for the Secret Santa game for our office party, I learned that there are people whose norm is to do a White Elephant gift exchange with the worst gifts imaginable. Some families have one particularly heinous gift that gets regifted year after year, and they can't wait to see who's stuck with the Bad Gift. It sounds like it would be hilariously fun, and I may implement it at next year's Chanukah party for my family, who would appreciate this snarky spin on things. (We'd do a "real" gift exchange, too!)

If snark is your style, you could let DS know that receiving the worst gift could be a badge of honour in the right circumstances. You could even try the White Elephant Gift exchange in your house, maybe on a snow day when you're looking for something to break the monotony. By hinting loudly, "I hope I don't get a pack of pens as MY gift, because that would be AWFUL", you've laid the groundwork for potential hilarity and the creation of some fantastic family memories.
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louche









  


Post  Fri, Dec 10 2010, 10:35 am
CatLady, that sounds utterly hilarious and fun. Back when we were still the young crowd in shul, we had a Horrible Wedding Gifts event. You wrapped something you got as wedding gift that you thought was awful. These were auctioned off , still wrapped, with proceeds going to the shul.

I have no recollection of what I contributed but vivid memory of what I bought--and promptly donated to the shul thrift shop. Not long afterwards, we were invited to friends for a meal and saw on their coffee table--the very item I had bought and gotten rid of as fast as I could! Al taam vareach...
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amother




Maroon


Post  Sat, Oct 08 2016, 11:58 pm
I know this is an old thread... it came up on bottom of a different thread.

This brings back 2 memories.

One when I was in 4th or 5th grade and had a Chanukah grab bag. I dont' remember what I brought or what I got, but I vividly remember one girl who was the tzadekes of the school throwing an absolute fit over her grab bag prize. It was such a shocker because she was the best girl in the school--serious, aidel, well-behaved, an excellent student, and this behavior was so uncharacteristic of her.

Also last year I hosted a chanukah party for our relatives. It wasn't even a grab bag, I purchased all the prizes myself (all in a similar price range), but my niece and nephew who are from a very wealthy family threw tantrums over the prizes they got while my kids happily accepted what they were given. And these kids have toys and games like you would not believe, yet they were throwing fits over a $3 prize.
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amother




Red


Post  Sun, Oct 09 2016, 4:49 pm
Ha- thank you, Maroon, for bumping this- I also saw it in the bottom but wasn't going to comment until I saw the date on your post!

I can totally commiserate with getting the short end of the stick, but also with being the one who gave a "lousy" present despite trying my best.

Once was in my (co-ed) high school, when a student-organized "Secret Maccabees" game was poorly planned. I don't know why no teacher seemed to be supervising this, but they had guys giving to girls and vice versa. Well, we had a lot more boys in our grade than girls, and I think on Thursday of the week that this was going on one of the organizers came over to me and asked me to take on another boy whose name hadn't been picked. I would happily have baked cookies but didn't have means of getting to a store, and what are you going to get for 5 dollars for a high-school boy, anyways. I found out in time he had a gazillion food allergies and pulled something cheap we had at home, because what was I going to do overnight? And again, this was the second person I was being asked to buy for. Sad

The other time was in a college class in a healthcare field and the teacher did a grab-bag for the last day. Well, 90% of the class were girls, but there were several kashrut/halal/allergy issues I knew about and a bunch of people I didn't know well enough to ask, so I got something cute but inexpensive from a bath-and-bodyworks-type place. Figures one of the 3 boys in the class pulled mine Embarassed
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amother




Violet


Post  Mon, Oct 10 2016, 1:11 am
wow. the pettiness and immaturity on this thread is astounding.
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vicki









  


Post  Mon, Oct 10 2016, 2:48 am
I understand the disappointment well. We are talking about excited children thinking they will pull something, at least cute. Pens? No.
I am not addressing the adult disappointment, but for the most part the adults here handled it well.
For two years in a row my daughter received nothing. Once a grab bag and once a Mishloach Manot. In one instance the girl that was schedule to give my daughter did not regularly attend class and had no idea about this program. So she received a cute Mishloach Manot and my daughter got nothing. The teacher was a clueless blob. Not just in this case.
Luckily my daughter is even-tempered. She was disappointed but came home in an OK mood.
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