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Christmas jumper day has become a regular fixture of the school calendar in the last few years, but what if you don’t have a Christmas jumper?
Whatever your views on the election, life goes on and Christmas is looming fast. That means your phone is stuffed full of messages from school or class whatsapp groups about all manner of things. Normally calm people are sending messages with multiple emojis and exclamation marks about teacher presents, carol concerts, Christmas jumper events, Christmas dinners and secret Santas.
Christmas jumper day has now become as much a part of the school calendar as half term, which presents certain logistical problems if you have no Christmas jumpers. I totally reject the idea that I have to buy three Christmas jumpers when no-one will wear them except on that one day. In fact, most of my lot won’t even wear them on that one day, unless forced.
Secondary school people are, in the main, way too cool to wear Christmas jumpers even if they are supposed to be so naff they are ironic. They may have been ironic 10 years ago, but now they are mainstream and any teenager worth their salt does not do mainstream – at least they didn’t back in the day. I recall going to school in plastic shoes, a giant Bionic woman t-shirt and red clown trousers I made myself. Self expression was all the rage. Nowadays the emphasis seems to be more on dull conformity, but maybe we’re just living in the wrong place.
Daughter two has refused point blank to do Christmas jumper day. She is too focused on sociology and saving the planet to indulge in pointless knitwear. She points out that buying something for one day’s wear is the epitome of consumer capitalist waste.
Daughter three won’t wear a jumper either because of all the internal politics around wearing anything that is not school uniform. Having been horribly bullied in the past, she suffers intense anxiety every time the school announces a no school uniform day because everything is judged and the emphasis is on conforming to one particular, very uninspired way of dressing. Essentially, all the girls have to wear jeans and a designer top. Anything outside of that narrow brief makes you a target. Daughter three does not own a designer top and does not like designer tops in any event.
School leaders still seem to think no school uniform day is a reward. It never ceases to amaze me that people who supposedly deal with young people every day often don’t seem to understand very much about them. It might be a good thing to do a little experiment and check how many students don’t come in on no school uniform day, who those people are and whether they suffer from anxiety. From talking to other parents, I think this is a wider problem than schools might think.
That leaves only son. He is against Christmas jumper days on principle because they are at school. Only son is still campaigning heavily for homeschooling. We do have two Christmas jumpers which were donated to us about 10 years ago. They are both red. One is way too big for only son. The other he has worn for the last two to three years and I think, at a pinch, it could last until secondary school. I have also suggested decorating one of his sister’s old jumpers. He is not overly impressed. He grudgingly went to the school panto the other day and complained that the performers were “patronising kids”. Only son is more grown up than me. “I’d rather have stayed at school and read my book,” he commented.
Thank goodness there is no need for Christmas jumper day when you work from home.
*Picture credit: Wikimedia commons c/o Flickr: Vintage 80s Mountain Range Tacky Acrylic Ugly Christmas Sweater. Author: TheUglySweaterShop.com