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Education

Over-the-top school dress-up weeks have parents feeling grinchy

The holidays are busy enough without throwing "dress as your favorite Christmas song" into the mix.

grinch dressed in an ugly christmas sweater, tweet complaining about school dress-up days

Time to rein in the school dress-up days, folks.

Hey, kids! Happy December! We know that school can feel like drudgery, and it's been a few months since school started, and we want you to not hate coming here, so we decided to do something fun and festive that we think will create a sense of school pride and spirit! It's school dress-up week!

What this means is that during the busiest time of the year, when your parents are already up to their ears in holiday prep, shopping for and wrapping gifts, planning and attending work parties and end-of-year recitals and concerts, trying to navigate the emotional complexities of holiday family drama, trying to make your Christmas magical by moving that frickin' Elf on the Shelf every night, etc., we're going to add to the to-do list by pressuring them to help you come up with specific outfits to wear to school for an entire week. Doesn't that sound neat?

Dress-up weeks are fun on paper, and they can be fun when they're kept super simple. "Wear red or green!" is easy enough. "Dress as your favorite Christmas character!" though? Not so much.


Parents are crying uncle on over-the-top dressup weeks, saying it's just too much. A mom who goes by Mariah on X shared her frustration with how "ridiculous" the whole thing has become.

"I have 2 kids and 9 different dress up days next week," she wrote, before laying out some of the significant problems with said days:

"1. It expects families to be able to go out at the drop of a hat and get multiple Christmas character shirts and ugly sweaters at the most expensive time of year. It’s just another way to alienate kids whose families can’t afford a bunch of extra stuff or the mental load of the extra work.

2. It also assumes EVERYONE in the school celebrates Christmas and creates a whole week out of dressing up for it. Most people do celebrate Christmas where I live but then it’s even more alienating for people that don’t."

Then she offered a simple solution: "Have a PJ Day on the last day before break and call it good… please."

Mariah is certainly not the only parent to feel strongly about dress-up weeks—or months. Some parents shared that their young elementary school kids—second and third graders—had dress-up days the entire month of December leading up to the holiday break.

It's one thing when it's high schoolers who might have the ability to take themselves to a thrift store or whip together some kind of outfit themselves, but for elementary school kids, it's 100% on the parents.

Some teachers are even weighing in with why they dislike dress-up days as well, both for the annoyance and the lack of inclusivity.

Some people offered solutions that allow those who enjoy dress-up days to have their fun while taking the pressure off of everyone else. For instance, one teacher shared that her school dress-up days are always a specific way of dressing up OR wearing school colors. She said many of the students opt for school colors so no one feels like the odd one out for not wearing their PJs or holiday socks or whatever.

She said it's helpful for her as a teacher as well, since dress-up days are a lot of pressure and can mean spending extra money that a lot of teachers don't have to spend.

What if schools moved the dress-up days to January, when the holiday hustle and bustle has passed and the long winter could use an extra dose of fun? What if they kept them super simple, sticking to colors or general things that are easy for everyone, like "Wear your favorite comfy pants" or "Silly hairstyle day" or something like that.

The bottom line is to not let school dress-up days turn into the road to hell paved with good intentions. Rein it in, folks, for the parents' sake.

Identity

Celebrate International Women's Day with these stunning photos of female leaders changing the world

The portraits, taken by acclaimed photographer Nigel Barker, are part of CARE's "She Leads the World" campaign.

Images provided by CARE

Kadiatu (left), Zainab (right)

True

Women are breaking down barriers every day. They are transforming the world into a more equitable place with every scientific discovery, athletic feat, social justice reform, artistic endeavor, leadership role, and community outreach project.

And while these breakthroughs are happening all the time, International Women’s Day (Mar 8) is when we can all take time to acknowledge the collective progress, and celebrate how “She Leads the World.

This year, CARE, a leading global humanitarian organization dedicated to empowering women and girls, is celebrating International Women’s Day through the power of portraiture. CARE partnered with high-profile photographer Nigel Barker, best known for his work on “America’s Next Top Model,” to capture breathtaking images of seven remarkable women who have prevailed over countless obstacles to become leaders within their communities.

“Mabinty, Isatu, Adama, and Kadiatu represent so many women around the world overcoming incredible obstacles to lead their communities,” said Michelle Nunn, President and CEO of CARE USA.

Barker’s bold portraits, as part of CARE’s “She Leads The World” campaign, not only elevate each woman’s story, but also shine a spotlight on how CARE programs helped them get to where they are today.

About the women:

Mabinty

international womens day, care.org

Mabinty is a businesswoman and a member of a CARE savings circle along with a group of other women. She buys and sells groundnuts, rice, and fuel. She and her husband have created such a successful enterprise that Mabinty volunteers her time as a teacher in the local school. She was the first woman to teach there, prompting a second woman to do so. Her fellow teachers and students look up to Mabinty as the leader and educator she is.

Kadiatu

international womens day, care.org

Kadiatu supports herself through a small business selling food. She also volunteers at a health clinic in the neighboring village where she is a nursing student. She tests for malaria, works with infants, and joins her fellow staff in dancing and singing with the women who visit the clinic. She aspires to become a full-time nurse so she can treat and cure people. Today, she leads by example and with ambition.

Isatu

international womens day, care.org

When Isatu was three months pregnant, her husband left her, seeking his fortune in the gold mines. Now Isatu makes her own way, buying and selling food to support her four children. It is a struggle, but Isatu is determined to be a part of her community and a provider for her kids. A single mother of four is nothing if not a leader.

Zainab

international womens day, care.org

Zainab is the Nurse in Charge at the Maternal Child Health Outpost in her community. She is the only nurse in the surrounding area, and so she is responsible for the pre-natal health of the community’s mothers-to-be and for the safe delivery of their babies. In a country with one of the world’s worst maternal death rates, Zainab has not lost a single mother. The community rallies around Zainab and the work she does. She describes the women who visit the clinic as sisters. That feeling is clearly mutual.

Adama

international womens day, care.org

Adama is something few women are - a kehkeh driver. A kehkeh is a three-wheeled motorcycle taxi, known elsewhere as a tuktuk. Working in the Kissy neighborhood of Freetown, Adama is the primary breadwinner for her family, including her son. She keeps her riders safe in other ways, too, by selling condoms. With HIV threatening to increase its spread, this is a vital service to the community.

Ya Yaebo

international womens day, care.org

“Ya” is a term of respect for older, accomplished women. Ya Yaebo has earned that title as head of her local farmers group. But there is much more than that. She started as a Village Savings and Loan Association member and began putting money into her business. There is the groundnut farm, her team buys and sells rice, and own their own oil processing machine. They even supply seeds to the Ministry of Agriculture. She has used her success to the benefit of people in need in her community and is a vocal advocate for educating girls, not having gone beyond grade seven herself.

On Monday, March 4, CARE will host an exhibition of photography in New York City featuring these portraits, kicking off the multi-day “She Leads the World Campaign.

Learn more, view the portraits, and join CARE’s International Women's Day "She Leads the World" celebration at CARE.org/sheleads.


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Over or under? Surprisingly, there actually is a 'correct' way to hang a toilet paper roll.

Let's settle this silly-but-surprisingly-heated debate once and for all.

Elya/Wikimedia Commons

Should you hang the toilet paper roll over or under?


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But perhaps the most silly-yet-surprisingly-heated household debate is the one in which we argue over which way to hang the toilet paper roll.

The "over or under" question has plagued marriages and casual acquaintances alike for over 100 years, with both sides convinced they have the soundest reasoning for putting their toilet paper loose end out or loose end under. Some people feel so strongly about right vs. wrong TP hanging that they will even flip the roll over when they go to the bathroom in the homes of strangers.

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The 43-year-old, who has a 2-year-old son with comedian John Mulvaney, shared her experience with photos, video and a written statement shared on Instagram.

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That's why designer Mallorie Dunn is onto something with her belief — people have different bodies and sizing isn't catching up.

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