Online forum Mumsnet has started a debate over whether Christmas Jumper Day should be cancelled by schools because it puts a financial burden on parents who can’t afford it
Image: Lennox Herald)
Mums have started a raging debate on whether schools should have a Christmas Jumper Day with many wanting to cancel it due to the financial burden.
Wearing the colourful outfits has become a popular festive tradition for kids but some members of the online parenting community called for it to be scrapped.
The end of term celebrations over recent years have seen children donning Santa, Rudolph elves and fairies to brighten up their festive classrooms and raise money for charity.
But this Christmas Jumper Day on Friday, members of Mumsnet say the annual fundraising event may create undue pressure for hard-up families, reported the Daily Star.
One member said that some families will spend money they can’t afford on the jumpers.
She said: “I have been thinking about how tough it must be to always be the child with no jumper.
“I know as children grow up you can’t avoid the inequalities but it would be great if we could at least stop it being an issue at primary school. And of course there are the families who buy jumpers when they can’t really afford them.”
Another agreed: “They want you to go out and buy a jumper and then to donate to the school too. We have four kids and are on low income.
“Last week I paid £18 in school Xmas activities and there’s more to come. It’s free to anyone on benefits but we get just over the threshold and it’s a struggle at this time of year.”
A third said: “I do feel for the families that can’t afford too. It must just add to the pressure.”
But others jumped into the debate and said that there are ways to get involved without splashing out much money.
One person said: “Our school has a rail of Christmas jumpers where people can donate old ones that don’t fit and you can go and get one of those or trade an old one for a different size. Maybe you could suggest something similar to the school or PTA.”
Christmas Jumper Day was launched in 2012 and is an annual fundraising event where people put on festive jumpers and donate £2 to Save the Children.
In response to parents’ concerns on Mumsnet, Save the Children also suggested other ways to have festive jumpers without it being expensive.
It stated: “The last thing any family needs at this time of year and during a global pandemic, is extra stress and pressure to buy new things.
“Save the Children is actively encouraging people to upcycle, borrow, host swap shops or buy second hand, instead of buying new for the charity’s 10th Christmas Jumper Day.
“To make it as easy and inclusive as possible for all children to get involved, Save the Children has always emphasised to schools that the £1 donation for children is just a suggestion, and pupils are free to give as much or as little as they are able to.
“Save the Children hopes that people are able to join in tomorrow’s event and spread the jumper joy as well as raising as much as possible to help disadvantaged children in the UK and around the world get the food, healthcare and education they need for a better future.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.