Are you giving the perfect gift this holiday season?
If you’re anything like me, after spending 0.000547 seconds online, one thing is abundantly clear: you’re probably not.
As with most of life, we’ve managed to overcomplicate things when it comes to gifting. I fell down that Pinterest rabbit hole so hard when I was picking out gifts for my bridal party, I can’t believe I didn’t tunnel straight through Earth and come out the other side. It was stressful. It was time-consuming. And it was expensive.
Now, I see the same thing happening in schools. List after list, tweet after tweet, pin after pin. The 10 worst gifts. The 20 best gifts. 5 teachers share their least favorite gifts.
Which is unfortunate.
Because I think gift giving ultimately boils down to something really simple: it’s a gesture of kindness, thanks, appreciation, or even love. It doesn’t have to be complicated, social media be damned.
Which is why I felt the need to re-publish this post.
If you’re worried about finding the perfect teacher gift, fear not. Those bad gift lists? They’re bogus. I’ll let 2015 Penny tell you why:
To The Families Who Gave Teachers Gifts,
I spent the day before winter break writing your children thank you notes that I am fairly confident you will never see. In fact, they’ve probably already been relinquished to the deep recesses of binders next to permission slips, school calendars, and progress reports or banished to the bottoms of lockers atop moldy sandwiches, gym shirts, and library books. Some cards won’t even make it that far. Some are tossed in the trash, which I later dutifully recycle. Others are discarded underneath desks. Even if you did see my note, the letter I wrote your child is different than what I’d like to say to you.
Whether you spent thirty seconds or thirty days strategizing over what gift your child would bring to school this year, thank you. The picture-perfect pin of travel mugs replete with pun-ny sayings and handknit koozies. The crayon-wreath photo your neighbor posted on Facebook last week that has garnered over 40 likes. Between the Pandora’s box that is Pinterest and the filtered glow of social media, the pressure is enormous and absurd. I appreciate it all.
Whether your child engineered the gift himself or you could barely convince her to scribble her name on the tag, thank you. Some students skipped up to me with their gifts proudly in tow and explained not only the gift but the entire selection and gift wrapping process to me before I could even get the card out of their hands. Others discreetly dropped them on my desk. Some even made you leave them in the front office. They are in middle school, after all. The ideas are all different, but the thoughts behind them are the same.
Whether you spent a few cents or serious chunk of change, thank you. Many of you have multiple children. If you happen to have children close in age, you may even have multiple children in middle school this year. That means that your family gifted dozens of teachers presents today. Be it time or money or both, it all adds up quickly, sometimes bafflingly so. The snacks and school supplies are much appreciated, but the notes and cards are what will fuel me through the next six months.
Whether you have heard it before or not, thank you. Of course, I appreciate the gifts. More than that, though, I appreciate the thoughtfulness, the consideration, and the kind words. Sometimes they’re heartfelt notes that go on for nearly a page. Other times, they’re one line filled with misspellings or grammatical errors. I cherish them all.
For the gifts, for the cards, for sharing your children with me, thank you. Even if your child didn’t hand me a present or a card, your family has given me an incredible gift – the chance to laugh and learn alongside your son or daughter each day. Thank you.
So Tell Me…What are some of your favorite things to give or receive? Do you find yourself enjoying the cards more than the gifts sometimes?