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BACK CHAT


BY GRAEME KERR


FUNDRAISING FATIGUE!


Christmas craft fair. As a PTA, we’d always shied away from a CF (I can’t bring myself to name it in full). For a start, we were still recovering from the excesses of the summer version... 50 stalls plus – we needed the summer holidays just to recover! Once we’d settled the children into their new classes, there was quite enough hard graft: drumming up support for the AGM in September, recruiting new class reps, planning the autumn cake sale, the ‘meet the new parents’ event (usually with a quiz) and the Christmas disco, which seems to get more popular every year (last year, parents actually started queuing for tickets before school opened). The last thing we needed was something


W


 came along, brimming with ideas and enthusiasm. The Christmas craft fair was one of them – it had worked a treat at her previous school, apparently. The proposal was for all parents and


children to get together after school to make crafty items that they could give as Christmas presents. To be honest, I was never that keen on the


idea. Spending a couple of hours getting  been my particular forte. All a bit too Blue Peter for me. Worse still, you have to part with a  the pleasure of taking part


e love our new head, honest we do, but there was just one of her bright new ideas that we could’ve done without: a


     


 the offending item sitting under the tree as your own Christmas present, come the 25th. But it wasn’t really the present or its homemade nature that nonplussed me. It was, quite simply, fundraising fatigue. One event too many in the crowded  Just what is it about the Christmas


season that makes every PTA see pound signs? From requests for personalised cards and cake donations, to invitations 


Don’t forget the games!’). But it would be lovely to see it all spread out a bit more. A sponsored spring walk, anyone? An Easter egg treasure hunt? A summer camping extravaganza with BBQ thrown in? I’m happy to support any of these things! And yet here I am, having completed a


 two charming nativity plays, made (OK, sshhh... bought) a beautiful chocolate gateau for the cake sale, danced the Macarena en famille at the school disco, 


AM I ALONE IN SEARCHING THROUGH MY CHILD’S BOOK BAG WITH A SENSE OF SHEER DREAD, IN CASE THERE IS YET ANOTHER DEMAND FOR MY SERVICES, OR WORSE STILL, MY WALLET?


alone the letters from school about the Christmas lunch (‘Can any parents help serve?’), nativity plays and carol services. Am I alone in searching through my child’s book bag with a sense of sheer dread, in case there is yet another demand for my services,


or worse still, my wallet? Now don’t get me wrong,


I’m no Scrooge. I’m just as likely to be swayed by that touching letter to Santa as the next parent (‘Please, please, can I have an Xbox One?


craft fair, and got moderately sozzled with a group of dads at the quiz night as  that went fast!’). But now I’m set for the Christmas break, content in the knowledge that I have done my bit for the school cause. Of course, the Christmas craft fair


 of pounds in the PTA coffers and some    son, that clips to the supermarket trolley via a big bulldog clip. But I knew I was hooked three months later when I’d left the pad on the trolley, triggering frantic calls to Sainsbury’s: ‘It’s in lost property?’ I shouted down the phone. ‘Thanks so much. It really was irreplaceable,’ I said, smiling at my son. I can’t wait to see what he makes next year!


Share your funny stories...


We’ve all had good, bad and ugly experiences in the course of being on the PTA! We’d love to hear your stories – email us at editorial@pta.co.uk.


50 WINTER 2014 pta.co.uk





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