A 14k Gold Glue Gun?-Thoughts from a Room Parent

Relics of Pinterest Parties Past

I debated long and hard about whether or not to brave the box store at this time of year. I approached with trepidation. How long are the lines going to be? How many mom’s are sweating, racing up and down aisles trying to get the last package of googly eyes?

Why the cautious approach?

It is the week of classroom “winter” parties. If you are a parent, that phrase may warm your cockles or strike fear in your heart. If you’re a teacher, you happily hand over the reins to the willing room parent and let them plan something. Or not. 

There was a time when this meant children would trace their hand and use a red marker to turn it into the four-legged mammal who saved Christmas. There was a time you could say Christmas. Moms would throw store-bought cookies at them and ladle sherbet and ginger ale and call it a success. Those days are long gone. Why you ask? Well, there are a multitude of reasons, really. The health department, the sugar legislation, cultural sensitivity…but I blame one organization, really.

Yes, at a time when teachers are surviving on crumbs and caffeine, just trying to get through…




Pinterest commandeered the classroom party.

I know it started with the best of intentions. Parents wanted fresh ideas. The creative people provided them. Seems innocent enough. We find the inspiration and imagine a time of bonding over carefully crafted trinkets.  A splash of glitter, a whimsical swirl of color. A product which speaks of this precious time in your child’s life, a reminder of the day.

But if you’ve ever had the privilege of being a parent helper at one of these parties, you may have a clearer picture of the reality. Let’s just say there may be glued fingers, tears of frustration, and glitter in your hair for days. Air-traffic controllers have nothing on the parent at the craft table.

Which got me thinking…who benefits from this?


Thousands and thousands spent every year on baubles and pipe cleaners. Ornaments that may or may not make it to the tree and may or may not survive the summer in the attic. Trust me. Frosty will never be the same after a summer in a Texas attic.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I DID go into Michael’s because I wanted some paint supplies for my new-found blossoming love of painting. I admire the crafty, talented moms and will never judge an affinity for glue guns. I’ve planned and purchased and participated. I love the ones that show their tiny fingers or how they drew a snowman when they were four. But I will say, loudly to anyone that will listen…


If it fills your soul to string pom-poms and glaze popsicle sticks, DO IT.

If you are the amazing parents who turn crafts into STEAM activities, brilliant! Thank you!

If you can’t afford or choose not to spend the $73 for supplies to make a craft that may or may not make it home, please don’t sweat it.

If the kids have a snack and some free time, they’re good.

And the teachers are likely just happy to have some parents helping this crazy last week.

And, if you are the CEO for Michael’s, I think you should get Pinterest a pretty amazing Christmas present for increasing your quarterly sales by 6,000%. But maybe not a 14k gold glue gun.

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Being a stay- at-home mom can leave one thirsting for a taste of the outside world, a world in which sentences are composed of more than three words. Being an educator means one is always seeking an opportunity to explore and learn. Being a woman with a need to connect can be a challenge when adult conversations are rare. In wine, I find the marriage of art and science, agriculture and storytelling provides limitless areas to explore. But it is the people that keep me engaged. The tenacity needed to keep the family dream alive, the risk to start anew, the trials and principles. I love the history of the vine, the impact of a season, the sentiment in the bottle. That is why I write. I write to tell their stories, to share a piece of mine. I write to learn as I teach others. I write to connect with new friends, to disconnect from the world. I write to celebrate what makes each of us unique, and that which ties us together.

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