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Kids' Christmas Break is Too Freaking Long

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And this mom's not happy about it!

boy lying on the floor with a Christmas present

Momlogic's Julie: This year, my kids are out of school from December 19 to January 7. What the hell?

Back in my day, we got a week off for Christmas break, tops. Now it's 18 days!

Luckily, my husband is able to stay home with the kids, so we don't have to struggle to figure out how we're going to afford daycare along with all the other holiday expenses. But what about the parents who do?

I get three paid days off for Christmas and New Year's. How are parents swinging the cost of care on the other 15 days? The school does offer an off site "winter camp" but it's $50 per day per child. Who knew sending kids to public school would cost so much!

Plus, for those of us who can't afford to travel this year (like me), 18 days is a looong time to keep kids entertained and engaged. I'm all for family time, but this is overkill!

What do you think about extended holiday breaks like this one?

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14 comments so far | Post a comment now
Kirstie December 7, 2008, 10:48 AM

It’s so long because it’s not a Christmas break - it’s a winter break. Chanukah starts the 21st, which explains why it starts so early … although I can’t explain why it ends so late.

If it makes you feel any better, my parents get to have me home from college from Dec. 15-Jan. 24! Now MY break is way too freaking long.

Educator December 7, 2008, 1:32 PM

First of all…where do you live? Because I want to teach there. We go to school until (and including a full day) Dec 23. We go back Jan 2.
I can’t figure out why you are so upset about this. It only makes your summer vacation shorter (less money for camp/day care then). Kids have to go to school for a certain amount of days, no matter how long Christmas vacation is. They make up those days some other time of the year. Stop complaining and enjoy your kids..after all they are your responsibility and you love them right?

Anonymous December 7, 2008, 2:56 PM

We have always had 2 weeks off for Christmas and New Years…mainly because those two holidays are back to back. Christmas one week and then New Years the next. So in a way it makes since. if you live in Louisiana the kids get Mardis Gras off too! That’s another week there and then they get Easter as well as Spring Break. And a week at Thanksgiving. So I wouldn’t complain too much.

Anonymous December 7, 2008, 5:43 PM

I pity your kids. Why would you whine about this instead of seeing it as a chance to have some fun with them? It sounds like you need to stop and think about your life/priorities. Love your kids like you would like to be loved.

Educator December 7, 2008, 8:38 PM

I am an educator. We our out of school from December 19 until January 5th. Even when I attended public school we were out for Christmas about the same time frame. However, when I was younger we had summer break for approximately 3 months. Now kids are lucky to get six weeks. I really dislike it when parents whine about breaks. Educators are not meant to be free babysitters. Educators and students need breaks too. The break is meant to allow all students to celebrate their holidays in their fashions.

JBL December 8, 2008, 12:44 AM

Come on… she’s not saying she doesn’t love her kids. Pipe down. But I feel bad for her that she has to WORK during that time and can’t even enjoy them home. It’s sad that they get so much time but she can’t enjoy it.

Mary Scott December 8, 2008, 9:33 AM

FREE babysitters. We live in Ohio and let me tell you it’s not close to free to send kids to school. Every year they expect more and more. I have 3 kids and it cost close to $150.00 just for supplies, then you have class fee’s. And they ask all year long for things, and not cheap things. I understand how this mother feels. Childcare is very exspensive. Not all parents can take that amount of time off to be with their kids. Most kids end up at a babysitters house for 10-12 hours a day. Where’s the family time in that. It’s just an added cost most people can’t afford.

Jodi December 8, 2008, 10:10 AM

FREE?! Are you kidding? We live in suburban New York, and the taxes we pay (to support education, among other things) are obscene. Experienced teachers in our school district easily earn around $100,000 — and that’s to work an eight-hour day with 15 weeks of vacation a year. Many parents, meanwhile, earn less than that for 12-hours days with two or three weeks of annual vacation. Yes, we’ve all made our choices, but teachers — especially those with good salaries and working conditions — should stop whining about how difficult their lives are and appreciate what they have. For those of us with only a short break from the office during the holidays, excessive school vacations are very difficult to cover. At least during the summer break you can find someone to take care of your children for a longer stretch.

Educator December 8, 2008, 1:45 PM

I am an experienced educator and I do not make 100,000 a year and I do not get 15 weeks of vacation. I earn 26,000 a year with a Master’s Degree. I would love to enjoy time off but I am required to spend my ‘vacation’ attending workshops, doing lesson plans, and other work-related activities. As far as working 8-hour days—I WISH. The school day ends at 3:15 but I still do work at home for another 5-6 hours each night. I love what I do, but there is more in a workday that just 8 hours. I work 7 days each week and look forward to a break, but it isn’t necessarily a vacation. I will spend my Christmas vacation grading papers and averaging grades so that everything is on the computer once I return to work.

Allis December 16, 2008, 8:13 PM

So what… Sounds to me like you wanna get rid of your kids, try and make the best of it.. even if you might not have much money. Try loving your kids and playing with them. Just wait til they grow up, they wont even need attention.

Anonymous January 5, 2009, 10:56 AM

For the older kids, its great.

Educator 2 January 5, 2009, 11:39 PM

To whoever stated that experienced teachers make over 100,000, they must be misinformed. I have a masters degree and I have taught in two different states and in neither have I made over 45,000/year. We have the same amount of pay as most parents and have kids of our own to take care of and put in daycare on limited resources. We work hard all year to do what some parents,not all don’t try to do at home. Could you sit in a classroom and deal with 26 or more students at one time. By the time Christmas comes alot of people are burned out and need that well deserved vacation to spend with their family and friends, to not have to worry about all of the accountablity of state testing and other aspects.

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