+
upworthy
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.

A young woman drinking bottled water outdoors before exercising.



The Story of Bottled Waterwww.youtube.com

Here are six facts from the video above by The Story of Stuff Project that I'll definitely remember next time I'm tempted to buy bottled water.

1. Bottled water is more expensive than tap water (and not just a little).

via The Story of Stuff Project/YouTube


A Business Insider column noted that two-thirds of the bottled water sold in the United States is in individual 16.9-ounce bottles, which comes out to roughly $7.50 per gallon. That's about 2,000 times higher than the cost of a gallon of tap water.

And in an article in 20 Something Finance, G.E. Miller investigated the cost of bottled versus tap water for himself. He found that he could fill 4,787 20-ounce bottles with tap water for only $2.10! So if he paid $1 for a bottled water, he'd be paying 2,279 times the cost of tap.

2. Bottled water could potentially be of lower quality than tap water.

Keep ReadingShow less
Democracy

This Map Reveals The True Value Of $100 In Each State

Your purchasing power can swing by 30% from state to state.

Image by Tax Foundation.

Map represents the value of 100 dollars.

As the cost of living in large cities continues to rise, more and more people are realizing that the value of a dollar in the United States is a very relative concept. For decades, cost of living indices have sought to address and benchmark the inconsistencies in what money will buy, but they are often so specific as to prevent a holistic picture or the ability to "browse" the data based on geographic location.

The Tax Foundation addressed many of these shortcomings using the most recent (2015) Bureau of Economic Analysis data to provide a familiar map of the United States overlaid with the relative value of what $100 is "worth" in each state. Granted, going state-by-state still introduces a fair amount of "smoothing" into the process — $100 will go farther in Los Angeles than in Fresno, for instance — but it does provide insight into where the value lies.

Keep ReadingShow less

Where is the third dog in this photo?

Optical illusions are wild. The way our brains perceive what our eyes see can be way off base, even when we're sure about what we're seeing.

Plenty of famous optical illusions have been created purposefully, from the Ames window that appears to be moving back and forth when it's actually rotating 360 degrees to the spiral image that makes Van Gogh's "Starry Night" look like it's moving.

But sometimes optical illusions happen by accident. Those ones are even more fun because we know they aren't a result of someone trying to trick our brains. Our brains do the tricking all by themselves.

Keep ReadingShow less
Science

A 6-year-old asks ​Neil DeGrasse Tyson an adorable question. He gives her an awesome answer.

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science." — Albert Einstein

Neil DeGrasse Tyson at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA.

I recently spent some time with Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson. He's known not only for breaking down stereotypes about what kinds of people go into science, but he has actively stood up and spoken against those who would close its doors, especially to young women.

So when Neil was asked this question by a little girl during a public speech, he gave one of the best answers I've ever heard. It may drive some parents crazy, but it also might just help change the world.

Keep ReadingShow less
Photo courtesy of Kara Coley.


Kara Coley, a bartender at Sipps in Gulfport, Mississippi, got an unusual phone call on the job last week.

"Good evening," Coley answered. "Thank you for calling Sipps!"

A woman on the other end of the line asked, "Is this a gay bar?"

Sipps welcomes everyone, Coley explained to her, but indeed attracts a mostly LGBTQ crowd.



Keep ReadingShow less

An avocado tree farmer explains the science of Hass avocados

Have you ever seen anyone put an avocado pit in water to grow an avocado tree? I've seen lots of people try, but only a few succeed. My mom has a tiny avocado tree growing in her living room that she managed to grow from the pit of a Hass avocado she ate. It's small but thriving, and I've often wondered if it will ever grow actual avocados.

As it turns out, it could—but they won't be Hass avocados.

Wait, huh?

Keep ReadingShow less