Spirit Week + Gratitude

October 24, 2023

Spirit Week

It’s “Spirit Week” at school. AND ALSO, it’s Costume Week at dance! The following outfits have been called for:

  • decades day
  • Disney day
  • “twin” day (which caused a bit of a frenzy as kids paired off and didn’t want to be left out – maybe not ideal)
  • sports jersey day
  • career day
  • disco day (dance)
  • camo day (dance)
  • topical day (dance)
  • bonus: themed 3:3 soccer tournament outfit requiring specific themed T shirt and long socks featuring spooky sharks

(Pajama day, the only theme that perhaps requires less effort than just getting dressed, is conspicuously absent.)

Note that most of these mean 3 kids getting dressed with each theme; the dance themes involve 1-2 kids. Note that the above DOES NOT EVEN INCLUDE HALLOWEEN COSTUMES (which yes, we did buy).

I did facilitate buying outfits for twin day (because peer pressure) but otherwise told the kids that a) we were not buying anything for these theme days and b) they are on their own to implement them as they see fit. Because I am supposed to come up with and manage 19 themed outfits on my call week?


(I did sort of help A to help G.)

Life Outlook Report

I am doing better! And I am so, so, SOOOO grateful to be doing better. My tune may change in 7 days but . . . I’ve never been happier to be on call and just living my mundane (though rather hectic, this week) life. My leg is still very bruised but the swelling has decreased so much – I no longer feel like there are hard/inflamed areas on my quad and above my knee! As one reader wisely put it, I am feeling more confident that last week’s accident will become a memory rather than a before/after milestone. It is a reminder (to me) not to take ANYTHING for granted.

It is probably good timing to be starting this book, though I feel very lucky to have many elements of the Life I Want already:

Anyway. Just happy to . . . be here, I guess.


  • Reply Katherine B October 24, 2023 at 6:07 am

    Five in one week and for all kids!!! That is crazy. World Book Day for two once a year was bad enough. Or Egyptian or Victorian day once a term, for one of them. I love how it says “students MAY wear attire” as if in some way this means they don’t actually have to! As if any child wants to stand out as the one not wearing the right oufit for the day in question. My girls tell me they still have the odd nightmare about coming to school on a non uniform day, but wearing their uniform or, vice versa, turning up at school in non uniform when they should be wearing uniform. And while I appreciate this probably isn’t too much of an issue in a fee paying school like yours, this is serious financial pressure on some parents, as well as the mental load aspect. Good luck with all this in call week.

  • Reply Caitlin October 24, 2023 at 6:38 am

    Also for “career day”—what? Some careers have obvious outfits but most do not. This seems impossible lol.

  • Reply Gillian October 24, 2023 at 6:58 am

    As a mother of 4 kids I dread spirit week. My kids don’t really get into it either though so that helps. My husband loves this kind of thing so any participation is facilitated by him. Know your strengths I suppose.

    • Reply Grateful Kae October 25, 2023 at 10:58 am

      I am giggling thinking of my husband willingly participating in any kind of spirit day. hehehe. This would be the LAST thing he would ever do and would !00% probably tell the boys something blunt like, “That is a total waste of time. If you want to do it, you guys figure it out yourselves but I am not spending one second helping you on this. ” 😂 That’s cute that your hubby is into it though!! ❤

      • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger October 25, 2023 at 12:52 pm

        I’m basically right with Ivan on this one 🙂 Hahaha

  • Reply Louise October 24, 2023 at 6:58 am

    That is the most utterly ridiculous, divisive, exclusive idea I have ever seen from a school. I just simply can’t imagine any school in the UK even contemplating 5 outfits per child in one week.

    • Reply Coree October 24, 2023 at 10:08 am

      Right? We have non uniform days 1x a term and that’s plenty!

      • Reply Louise October 24, 2023 at 11:25 am

        Exactly! Fortunately, the only books my son would ever read were related to football so every single World Book Day he would put his football kit on and off he went. Never been more grateful for his horrendously narrow reading life.

    • Reply Marthe Renders October 24, 2023 at 11:16 am

      Yes. In the south of the Netherlands we have a week like this for carnaval but half the kids/families don’t participate so I don’t push, uh don’t mention it to my kids. Exclusive and divisive and way to much head space in the early morning.

  • Reply Susan October 24, 2023 at 8:19 am

    I hate twin day… it seems like a perfect way to make kids anxious about pairing off and having a bestie to twin with. Ours was last week during our anti-bullying spirit week and, fortunately, my kiddo is old enough to not really worry about it much anymore. She found a girl in class to “twin” with and they wore purple shirts and black pants, perfect. I’ve always thought the teacher/principal could help mitigate any anxiety by saying, “hey, I’ll be wearing X color shirt on twin day if anybody needs a buddy, match with me!” Or just don’t do twin day, gah… Obviously it hits a nerve with me, too. The other spirit days were way less fraught – we do still have a jammie day, and we completely forgot to do sports team day, oops…

  • Reply jennystancampiano October 24, 2023 at 8:29 am

    Oh yes, I remember those weeks. Well actually we still have them in high school, but my daughter isn’t totally gung ho to participate in every single day. I can’t even imagine trying to do this with all three kids! And yes- funny that pajama day is not included (why???)
    i’m so glad you’re feeling better! I think you’ll look back on this and think “a stumble may prevent a fall.” You’ll never forget to put your car in park again. I know someone who had a really bad accident for that very reason, so escaping with minor injuries is very, very lucky.

  • Reply Beth October 24, 2023 at 9:04 am

    I’m an elementary school teacher, and we have had a “Dress Like Friends” day rather than “Twin Day.” Another idea that is inclusive and fairly simple (if anyone needs suggestions for your school!) is a color day when each grade level or homeroom, etc. is encouraged to wear a certain color, whether that be a shirt, socks, bandana the school provides, a sticker, etc. We always specify to our families that we do not intend or want them to purchase anything for spirit days, because it can quickly get out of hand.

  • Reply Chelsea October 24, 2023 at 9:28 am

    First let me say I’m so sorry to see that you fell!!!!! You just can’t get a break 🙁

    Also, I’m so glad my kids are not even remotely interested in any of the spirit day/dress up day things. They might *maybe* dress up for Halloween at school, but, even then, maybe not.

  • Reply Nelle October 24, 2023 at 9:34 am

    My mom drew a hard line on helping us with Spirit Week outfits and I respect that. My daughter’s day care did a fall spirit week which was pretty low-lift, but it was hilarious to put Pajama Day on there as if, at 10 months old, she’s not already wearing PJs to school on a regular basis.

  • Reply Ruth October 24, 2023 at 10:52 am

    So glad you’re feeling better! Here in the UK we have the occasional charity dress-up day and my three boys knew right from the start that we would not spend any money on costumes because the whole point is to give money to charity, not the supermarket lol (why this does not occur to our otherwise entirely sensible school staff is beyond me 🤷‍♀️)

  • Reply BethC October 24, 2023 at 11:07 am

    I missed the earlier posts but had a similar experience in my driveway years ago. No injuries, no damage but absolutely scared the sh*t out of me. (My manual subaru was in neutral with the parking brake on…but it wasn’t completely on apparently. Hill assist stopped it from rolling for a few seconds but then it started rolling back down our steep driveway. Fortunately I was able to jump back in and stop it. Scary.)

    Also I 98% ignore spirit week and have zero guilt. My 6th grader has taken things into her own hands this year which is cool with me.

  • Reply Elizabeth October 24, 2023 at 11:21 am

    This week is also spirit week at our school! My children conveniently have come down with strep and are missing Barbie/wear pink day which is great because I had nothing for my son and I refuse to spend money on spirit week wear. I share the negative reaction toward the idea of twin day — just feels like an easy way of feelings being hurt! Our school does dress in color by grade for the equivalent.

    That said, I bet it’s hard to try to come up with themes that are not the same every year and that people may have a chance of owning clothing for? (Trying to give the benefit of the doubt here.)

    That book looks awesome. I’m going to request it now. SOOOOO glad you are feeling better and grateful, Sarah!!!

  • Reply JGold October 24, 2023 at 11:25 am

    I’m surprised that the school promotes twin day – agree with previous commenters that this is another way kids who are different or may not have excellent social skills are put into anxiety producing situations.

  • Reply Lani Inlander October 24, 2023 at 1:28 pm

    Ok, what?! That is insane, and obviously created by a masochist or one of those superhuman SAH/WAH blogging moms that doesn’t sleep. And this is coming from a blogging mom of two who sent a Halloween newsletter out hours ago stating that I love any holiday with special outfits. I’m also an identical twin who still remembers the one twin day our school had, which almost did me in! I was saved by a another superhuman mom who took care of the whole thing. I was just trying to explain to my son that this super creative Mom is actually the CEO of a very important international humanitarian organization, not a SAHM with a lot of time on her hands. We all have our strengths… Good for you for telling the kids to handle this on their own. Every time we have a spirit week I’m made to feel guilty for the mornings I forget what the outfit is supposed to be or mix it up. I’m going to have to remember this trick.

  • Reply Lucy October 24, 2023 at 3:35 pm

    I will never understand this way of schooling. Where I grew up (Eurpean country) we had a uniform and got to wear it every day. Period. There were few expectations on parents. Their job was to pay tuition, buy uniforms and books and get kids to school every day. I really dislike how now they expect parents to do stuff at a whims notice. And for it to be silly stuff, not like pursuing important academic milestones.

  • Reply Alyce October 24, 2023 at 9:59 pm

    To think, I was livid that Simone’s school asked the kids to wear red on Monday…I had no idea how good I had it.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger October 25, 2023 at 12:51 pm

      HAHAHH I guess it’s all relative!!

  • Reply Grateful Kae October 25, 2023 at 10:54 am

    My boys have always been pretty selective about which Spirit Days they choose to participate in. Basically they only have ever really wanted to do Pajama Day or maybe the Wear a Certain Color, or maybe a Sports Jersey day. They never cared about doing any of the more complicated ones and I was totally fine to just have them opt out 😉

  • Reply Haya Finan Mckinley October 26, 2023 at 9:36 am

    good grief!!!
    this might be the straw that would break the back of any camel-mom. (because let’s be real, dads are probably not going to be stressing over any of this)
    proof that the world is indeed going bonkers – the headlines in my NYT morning email are definitely starting to read as quite dystopian these days and it’s terrifying.

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