It was time for Nathan's school's twice-yearly bake sale, which meant it was time for my twice-yearly rant about how pointless bake sales are.
I mean really. First of all, I thought schools stopped doing bake sales because of fears of allergies or H1N1 or anthrax or childhood obesity or something. Is Nathan's school like the last school ever that still does bake sales?
But also, I thought by now everybody had realized that it's a waste of time, money, and energy to have everybody buy ingredients/packaging, and then bake and wrap everything, only to turn around and purchase more baked goods, so that the net profit is less than people collectively spent on the ingredients. Hence the bakeless bake sale.
Is it really that people would refuse to give the school a $5 or $10 donation if they were asked for that instead of a donation of baked goods? Would parents be mad because they already pay tuition at the preschool and shouldn't be asked to give a donation on top of that? Because, I personally would happily hand you a $10 bill if it meant not having to bake a bunch of stuff.
Also, must this bake sale be held at the holidays, when we all have enough other stuff to do and enough other junk to eat?
Now, last year, approximately 75% of the bake sale items contained red and green M&Ms. So as to distinguish my cookies from the others, I threw these Pillsbury Christmas tree cookies in as well, because I think kids like those.
But then this year my contribution was the only one with M&Ms. I know because I volunteered to work at the bake sale. Oh, and my cookies were hugely popular, largely because I promoted them more than the other cookies.
And even my cynical self could see that people still get excited about a bake sale. All the senior citizens who were at the park district for art or exercise classes, or just to hang out, seemed to get a certain kind of excited nostalgia upon seeing a bake sale. And I guess everybody thinks it's cute when it's a fundraiser for a preschool.
So maybe you do need to go through all the motions of a bake sale, because it's important to get everybody in the spirit of working together. Asking for monetary donations doesn't generate much spirit.
But I still would have rather given $10.