This morning in my moms’ group, we were just talking about how hard the holidays are on moms. There are lots of wish-lists to organize: figuring out what’s coming for your kids from the North Pole vs. grandparents vs. mom and dad. Plus, there’s all the shopping not only for family and friends, but also household helpers, work associates, and of course, your children’s teachers.
I know teacher Christmas gifts aren’t necessarily expected, but I desperately want to show appreciation to my daughter’s teacher for guiding, disciplining, and being responsible for my little one for a large chunk of each day. I hope this gifting breakdown helps spark some ideas on when and how to give a little something special to these dear people in our children’s lives.
Over the Holidays: No monogram mug from Anthropologie. No schoolhouse-themed paperweights. No store-bought sweets. Instead, consider plating up a portion of some specialty homemade food. For example, does your family gather around Christmas to make tamales from scratch? Spice locally-sourced pecans? Brew apple cider? Bringing a bit of your family’s tradition goes so much farther than any ol’ prepackaged item. Or, do y’all make a weekend visit to the pumpkin patch or apple orchard every fall? How about picking up an extra bag of their limited-edition roasted pumpkin seeds or a neighborhood baker’s to-die-for apple pie? Gift cards to restaurants are always appreciated, too, but I love the individual touch of giving something seasonal made from scratch.
Just because: After a week or two or a month into the new year, that back-to-school adrenaline everyone had is long forgotten and a teacher is probably exhausted again. How about a way to help her relax back into the routine? Most teachers prefer not to receive scented lotions and potions but I’m really into gifting bath bombs right now. I’m convinced they’re the perfect tiny token of appreciation for hardworking caregivers. They vary in price from about $6 – $9 and aren’t usually something I treat myself to but are a small thing that can really upgrade the relaxing bath experience a teacher so deserves. The original bath bombs are made by LUSH, but now I’m finding them everywhere. Even H-E-B carries some with essential oils that are made in Texas!
Teacher Appreciation Week: This is a moment you push personal creative juices aside and lean on the room mom’s direction. Your parent classroom representative may ask you to bring in a single cup of Starbucks, a bar of dark chocolate, or a photo of your child for a collage…these small offerings will assemble together to create a big group gift. Typically, this is the time when presents come from the class as a whole, rather than from the individual student. That classroom gift might be in the form of a gift-card tree, a collaborative art project, or a small monetary contribution from you to go toward something substantial. Last year, our room mom wanted each child to bring in a single fresh-cut flower. When combined with the rest of the students’, they created a colorful spring-mix bouquet for a teacher to take home.
End-of-year: It’s been a long ride, folks…especially for the weary soul who’s been in charge of your minions for an entire school year. My vote? Give the lady WINE! Seriously, she deserves to pop a bottle. This past May, I assembled a last-day gift bag of stationary, fancy lip balm, gourmet chocolate, and rose’. I got a sweet thank you text from the teacher, but you know what she mentioned specifically? –Yep, the wine. It doesn’t have to be a pricey vintage bottle of cabernet, either — there are so many fun new offerings out there! Sparkling white in pink cans with straws, pink champagne that’s perfect for brunch, bottles with glow-in-the-dark labels, etc. You can even order witty custom wine labels with your child’s photo for the perfectly ironic end-of-year send-off.