‘Tis the Season

by mykitchenchaos | posted on: December 7th, 2011 |  8 Comments

It’s always about this time of the year when I’m faced with the same conundrum. Do I or don’t I donate to the class fund for my kids’ teachers? Now before you label me as insensitive let’s flesh this out. And just for the record, I’m overly generous. But maybe you can help. At the beginning of the year we’re asked to donate to the school-wide PTA fund for teacher gifts which I do without question. Then, a few weeks into the semester, we’re asked to donate to the classroom fund for teacher holiday gifts. Of course I oblige. But then come the few short weeks of December when holiday parties kick into high gear and parental carpool banter consists of What did you get Mrs. X and Coach Y?  which makes me question the entire three-tiered donation system. Of course, all of this is optional and there’s ‘no obligation’ from the school to donate. But c’mon, what happens if I’m the only one in the entire class who doesn’t do an individual gift? Yeah, then I’ll look like the insensitive b*tch alluded to above. *warning, run on sentence/stream of consciousness follows* Like the time when I donated to the PTA fund and the class fund and then bought some really cute decorative mugs and filled them with candy just as an extra token of my appreciation (and believe me, it was heartfelt) and was feeling all jolly as I walked into the classroom to deliver them when I just happened to overhear an unnamed over-the-top parent give the teacher an extraordinary gift certificate in an extraordinary amount to a well-known Michelin rated restaurant in town. Yeah, how lame were my little candy mugs looking at that point, huh? I mean, who can compete with a Michelin rated restaurant gift certificate?

So I gotta know: is everyone doing this? Giving to the school fund, the class fund and then doing the private gift? Is it just me or is this a bit excessive? Or, does it have nothing to do at all with being excessive, it’s just a bunch of paranoid parents who don’t want to be the only one not doing all three? If you think teenage peer pressure is bad, man just wait until you hit mom peer pressure! Please, don’t get me wrong. I love my kids’ teachers more than I love {certain members of} my own family. They are amazing. And totally overworked. And underpaid. And deserving of Michelin rated restaurant gift certificates. But when does it stop?

Then again there’s always homemade stuff. Which I’m totally going to do this year. But I want to make sure you do it, too. Okay? Okay?

Homemade Chocolate Peppermint Bark

You tell me a $300 gift certificate is better than this? Don't answer that.

Drizzle this over a rice krispy treat and watch your kid get straight "A"s for the rest of the year.


  • Huge bar of meltable white chocolate (I find these are much easier to use than chocolate chips. They’re made to go right in the microwave and melt evenly)
  • Huge bar of meltable milk chocolate
  • Peppermint extract
  • Green food coloring (optional)
  • Bag of candy canes
  1. Put candy canes in plastic bag and crush with hammer or meat tenderizer (great to do if you’re mad that day).
  2. Melt chocolate according to directions on box. If using chocolate chips, melt in double boiler. If using white chocolate, mix a few drops of green food coloring into chocolate.
  3. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper and spread chocolate on paper.
  4. Sprinkle with candy cane bits.
  5. Freeze for one hour.
  6. Break up into bark.
  7. Remember to never succumb to peer pressure.
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8 Responses

  1. Alison Levo says:

    I’m laughing and crying at the same time. Because this is so damn true and I literally am sitting her trying to figure out if I should buy gifts or not!!

  2. Sharon says:

    I totally get you! I was super hyper Mom when our oldest was in Kindergarten, but with 3 in school now its just way too much. We just do the best we can, when we can and I help the teachers as much as I can in the classroom because they need that more than they need stuff, you know>? That said, I am so making this peppermint bark because no one ever takes my hint and buys it for me!

  3. Raina says:

    Hilarious! Making this bark tonight! Thanks for the laugh and great recipes.

  4. Sara Causver says:

    Yeah, this is a major issue in my household every year. This year I’m only doing the class gift, nothing else. I think the teacher’s really just want one thing anyway and they get a big gift certificate. So I’m holding strong on this one! Great post! Love your blog.

  5. carmen Mia says:

    Well put! I’m never sure what to do and this year has been especially hard for us. I like the idea of making something. Seems more genuine and I’m going to make this bark!

  6. Marianne Selby says:

    Once again you write what everyone is thinking! This couldn’t be more true. Great post!

  7. Gerry Magaha says:

    I loved reading your post. I feel you took otherwise boring information and turned it into new and fresh content.

  8. Andrea says:

    It was very difficult to make the decision but I don’t donate for teacher gifts anymore. I always thought it was ridiculous and wrong to even have such thing promoted by the school under the guise of ‘no obligation’ rule, but it’s far more obligatory than anything organized by the school. I’ve spoken to several mothers since last year and some of us no longer participate in the donation system. It should be banned and schools should be ashamed of continuing to keep such tradition going.

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