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Children in schools across the country could miss out on a popular festive tradition after members of an online parenting community called for it to be scrapped.
Dressing up in glitzy jumpers – the bolder the better – has become part of end-of-term celebrations over recent years with children donning Santa, Rudolph elves and fairies to brighten up their festive classrooms and raise money for charity.
But as we mark Christmas Jumper Day (Friday 10 December) members of Mumsnet say the annual fundraising event should be scrapped in schools amidst fears that it may create undue pressure for hard-up families.
One member took to the website to raise the issue and share her concerns with other parents.
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."
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Another added: " 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 despite the concerns, others believe there are a number of different ways to save money.
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"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," suggested one parent.
And with a bit of creativity you can still enjoy the festive season at a fraction of the cost. Here are some of our top tips:
- Hang baubles from a regular jumper with safety pins.
- Attach battery-powered lights.
- Stick on shiny festive stickers.
- Write festive messages with fabric paints.
- Embroider small snowflakes onto jumpers.
- Sew on small beads or sequins.
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We've also found a selection o this year's cheapest Christmas jumpers.
- Everything5pounds* has women’s and men’s jumpers for £5 (plus £3.95 delivery)
- Aldi has women’s, men’s and kids’ jumpers from £7.99 online (plus £2.95 delivery) and in stores.
- New Look* has women’s, men’s, kids’ and even jumpers for dogs from £7.49 (kids), £9.99 (adults), and £12.99 (dogs).
- B&M Bargains also sells dog jumpers from £3. They also fit some soft toys, eg, manatees if your kids want to dress ‘em up.
Christmas Jumper Day – launched in 2012 – is an annual fundraising extravaganza when people put on their jazziest jumpers for one Friday in December, donate £2 to Save the Children, and raise money to help protect the magic for children around the world.
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