I'd like to formally invite you to partake in Day #5 of A POP CULTURE ADDICT'S ADVENT CALENDAR. I think it's going to be a lot of fun today, and I hope that you've brought your wallets because I plan on selling you a lot of stuff for the holiday season!
I really don't have anything to sell you. This blog is a non-profit one. Has been for the last four and a half years, and I suspect that it will probably remain the same for the next four and a half years or however long this blog lasts.
Though I will admit that this blog is all about selling things.
I don't know how many of you out there were in public school - I'm probably guessing most of you reading this blog probably were at some point in your life. And, I'll be the first one to admit that public school for me was a mixed bag of emotions. Some days I really did want to be there and had a wonderful time. Others I was so frustrated and angry that I swore that I would become a third grade dropout.
But I have to say that the one time of the year that I really liked being in school was during the Christmas season. In our school district, the earliest we ever got out of school was December 19th or somewhere close to that date. Prior to that date, we would spend the whole month of December doing Christmas crafts, singing Christmas carols in the gymnasium, watching holiday movies, and bringing in holiday treats for our classroom parties.
All of these activities were very nice distractions from multiplication tables, conjugating French verbs, and doing spelling dictations. But in order to keep these activities going, the schools would need to have the funds to pay for the supplies needed for the activities.
That's where the selling comes into play.
Every October - just before Halloween - we would receive a stack of papers as well as a catalogue filled with holiday merchandise that we could sell to our relatives and friends. And, from what I understood, every time we sold an item from the catalogue, a percentage of the sales would go towards the school. Obviously, the more money that was raised for the school, the more supplies the school could buy.
Of course, what made it easier - at least back in my day anyway - was that the products that we had to sell were quite nice.
These days, when schools host their fundraising drives, they sell things like Little Caesars Pizza Making Kits or they sell canisters of fudge. I only know this because I bought some of these things from people who I work with whose children were selling them for their own schools. And while I have nothing against selling frozen pizza or fudge for Christmas fundraising drives, I have to admit that I miss the creativity that went behind fundraising drives.
I think the first year I started doing Christmas fundraising was 1988. It should have been 1987, but my evil wench of a teacher prevented me from taking part for reasons that only she knew. I'm guessing that could be one of the reasons why she left our school the year after she taught me...or at least I'd like to THINK that, anyway.
But back in 1988, I remember being blown away at the selection of merchandise that was available for purchase through our school. Chocolates, candies, peanut brittle, gift wrap, ornaments, decorations...it was like finding the entire seasonal department from Target or Walmart in a huge catalogue.
And the prices were quite affordable too.
Oh yeah...did I mention that back in 1988, I had oodles of contacts that I sold stuff to?
Let's put it like this. In 1988, both of my grandmothers were still alive. And both of them purchased items from me. My mother wasn't too keen on supporting the school that I used to get teased in, but she still bought stuff from me because she loved me. Both of my sisters were old enough to buy things from me at that time, and I am sure that both of them ordered items that they thought would look awesome in our living room.
Oh, and did I mention that my two aunts had connections through their workplaces? They took my order forms to work with them and several of their co-workers bought things from me too!
I don't remember what I sold that first year I did fundraising...but it was easily over three hundred dollars.
In fact, I was the second highest seller of fundraising for my school for three consecutive years running! 1990, 1991, and 1992!
And guess what? Some of the items that I sold my family all those years ago are still around! In fact, I have them on display in my own living room and on my Christmas tree! Let me show you some of them!
See this goose in a wreath ornament? There's four of them hanging on my tree altogether. Both my sisters bought one, and Mom bought two. The date on the ornaments says 1988, so that's how I know that they were from the first year that I did school fundraising. Hard to believe that those ornaments are nearly thirty years old and they still look like they are brand new! I guess products had better standards of quality back then.
Oh, and these statues were also just as cute. Just to clarify, I'm talking about the statues with the red candles in them. I think I sold those back in 1989 or 1990. There were six of them altogether. There was a mouse, a cat, a dog, a penguin, a bear, and a reindeer.
And, somehow, we ended up with one of each! I do think this was planned though. My one sister bought the penguin and reindeer. The other one bought the cat and the dog. Mom bought the remaining two.
By the way...those candles? Those were the original candles that came with the statues some twenty-six years ago. Not one of them were ever lit. I suppose we could have lit them if we wanted to, but somehow we thought it looked better if we kept them the way they were. I'm finding it a miracle that they have survived twenty-five Christmases (at least) without getting broken!
But again...that was the quality of the goods that we sold back then.