It is every grandparent's nightmare. The start of school and the few months before Christmas when every school in the nation seems to take on a plethora of fund-raisers.
If your grandchild is active in school, the typical grandparents will dole out the dollars to make little Billy or Beth Ann a proud child.
How? You dare to ask?
Simple. I currently have only 2 granddaughters in middle school. The older four have graduated and the younger four haven't started... yet. That's right, another four coming through the ranks and it isn't getting any cheaper.
My granddaughters are active. They play sports. They play band. They belong to chorus. Oh, and the older of the two just started high school and now is thinking of joining some clubs.
The band is selling stuff to raise money for something - aren't they always? The one sport's group is also actively hustling something to buy. And I believe the chorus/music department is pushing something, too.
I'm diabetic. There is only so much candy one can buy and the diabetic candy is even more expensive! Oh, wait, they have non-sweet, not candy stuff to sell. So the diabetic can't get away.
Just what I need. Wrapping paper that costs more than the present itself. Really? I want to purchase three sheets of colorful "holiday" wrap that will bring joy to any child opening the present? What?!! I spent $12 on those 3 sheets and they will "nicely" wrap 3 boxes, 15 X 3 X 10. Huh? So basically it will cover a standard shirt/blouse box. I buy a nice t-shirt (on sale) for $2 and buy a box, another $.75 and then wrap it in a sheet of $4 "colorful holiday" wrap.
We live about 2 hours away from these grandchildren, so it isn't like they can "pop-over" to let grandma and grandpa check out the list.
No worries!! You can now do it ONLINE!!
That's right. Grandma went online and she found grandpa's favorite candy - candy corn. She was able to get a whole pound for only - do you want to guess? Only $12. But wait! There's shipping charges. Of course, if you spend $50, shipping is free. Uh, another word synonymous with grandparent is retired and with retired is the ever-popular limited income.
Simple enough. Just buy $25 from each girl and get the free shipping. No!! Each order is individual and the $50 is per child. So grandma paid the shipping - another $8.75.
WHAT?!!! Almost $21. And I am now the proud owner of a cheap, clear glass container of one whole pound of candy corn - some have been dipped in chocolate.
Be still my heart.
It was delivered today. I'm expecting the other box to come tomorrow.
Now for the truly sad part about this whole fiasco.
We ordered and the school will get its token amount - and it better be a goodly amount - but our granddaughters will get credit for the sales but it won't reflect on the scoreboard since only after the event is over and the sales have been finalized, will the final figures be revealed. On the day the orders need to be turned in, some secretary is going to tally up each child's order form (key word here) and the one who sold the most will get the big prize at General Assembly the next day. So much for Internet sales. Plus, the winner is always the person with the most relatives in the area. My granddaughters have an uncle near them. The rest of the family live 2+ hours away.
Personally, I would rather have just taken a ten (or a twenty since that is what it all added up to) out of my pocket for each girl and given it to the school directly. Everyone would have been ahead. I truly don't believe the school made $10 on my $12 order. I certainly didn't need a pound of candy and it would have eliminated a lot of stress on my wife who spent too much time agonizing over all the possible items to select just the right one - in other words, the most for the cheapest price.
Be honest now. When presented with the order form, it is Nature's mechanism kicking in to look at the full selection and then decide which item gives you the best bang for the buck. It's only natural. We do it with any catalog. We will select an item on desire THEN look at the price and decide to find another that is "less expensive" and close to what we want.
Before I forget - I commend those brave parents who take these order forms into work and covertly badger co-workers to buy. When I worked in a factory, it was quite common to see several of these order forms either thumb-tacked to the bulletin board or discreetly sprawled across a lunch table. Don't get me started on Girl Scout cookies since that seems to be the "get in your face" marketing ploy for sales. Who can say no to Girl Scout mint cookies. At pushing $4 a box, I'm learning how.
But, if you look at an order form, 90% of the time, at the top you'll find grandma and grandpa. Mom and dad aren't at the top, they are at the very end of the list to make up the difference in the pseudo competition created to reach a certain level.
From mid-September until mid/late November, let the crazy fund-raising begin.
I wonder - will a school just accept a cash donation and get rid of this ridiculous thievery? The only ones who I feel are making out like bandits are the fund raising companies. How much of that $12 I spent will the school receive? Think about it. IF I were to give $10 out of my wallet, I am going to bet I am giving them more than they get with all this fund raising.
Until next I ramble on...