It’s that time of year again…
When us moms rack our brains trying to think of what to give teachers and bus drivers as thank-yous for taking care of our little cherubs. Note I said MOTHERS. Please some man stand up and correct me. Tell me, as a dad, you are aware that the last week of school and the holidays for that matter, is when you have to come up with a thank you for the people who mean a whole heck of a lot to your kids. Tell me dads; tell me you’ve been feverishly plugging away on Pinterest looking for that perfect momento to sum up a year passed.
Yeah, I though so.
Do I sound a little unenthusiastic about this endeavor? Yeah, it’s not my favorite. Thank you’s can be a little bit of a stresser for me.
What I know for sure is that I am not supposed to send in a mug filled with Hershey kisses. My teacher friend confirmed this, they have plenty of candy filled mugs thank you. I kept probing my school teacher friend. I said “C’mon, fess up. What would you actually like?” My friend was way to gracious to give me the honest to goodness truth. She just said what you’d expect a really sweet elementary school teacher to say “really, it’s all about the sentiment”. I said “Fine. More mugs for you then, you had your chance!”
I then asked my bus driver friend, she said no thank you to perfume but a coffee gift card would be great. So there you go. Coffee gift card. I can do this!
So off I went walking around in circles in the stores, trying to find the perfect teacher gift.
I was thinking: What do I think the other families will be giving? I don’t want to get that. How much is too expensive? How much is too cheap? What is just right? Do these tokens of affection get saved or thrown in a box in the basement until the five-year mark?
Oh the angst.
(I hope you realize I am just poking fun here. This really isn’t a big deal, I just thought the angst might be more amusing for you the reader. Ha!)
So my kids go to an environmental school. It’s part of the curriculum. I make them wrapper-free lunches, they drink water from aluminum bottles, they compost food not eaten, they garden, they recycle, they sing Kumbayah….It’s a lovely crunchy-granola existence. Of course this filters out another 80% of the tchotchke one might come up with for a teacher! No plastic, no waste, the gift must have a purpose… yadda..yadda..yadda..no pressure here…..
So this is what I came up with:
I bought enviro-water bottles made from glass and bamboo. I attached some ice tea bags and dug up some of the most delicious mint I’ve ever tasted. My girlfriend Erica brought me some last summer. It is called mojito mint and it’s awesome…maybe the teachers can add a little rum to their mojito mint….Oh wait, I didn’t say that. It’s for iced tea!
You would have thought it was catmint the way my cat kept sniffing it! I used recycled cans to plant my plants. Good thing right? whew…. and I had the kids create thank you tags with tags I found at our recycling center. They might look a little homely, but it’s the sentiment right????
I went right out and bought those coffee gift cards but, I did want to make sure there was a little TLC somewhere in there. I busted out my watercolors and made little school bus gift card holders.
Inside there’s a pocket and all. Next I will have the kids write a little thank you on the inside and my quest for the right Thank you gifts will be complete!
Until Christmas time….
I did drop these little tokens off at 3pm today. I gave the teachers super hugs. I especially thanked my son’s kindergarten teachers. This fall they inherited a little monster. His clothes were backwards and inside-out and he solemnly vowed he would never do anything that resembled “work” if he could help it! They had their work cut out for them and they are sending me home with a wonderful little student. The difference is like night and day! I personally think a bottle of champagne and hair-dye would have been a little more appropriate gift, but I try very hard to come off as “normal”.
What it really comes down to, is I feel silly bringing in these little gifts. I feel like I should be buying them a vacation home, a 24k gold medal, maybe even a $100K check for putting up with a Walsh??? There is no gift in the world that can equivalently convey their importance in our lives. Their patience. Their positivity. Nothing.
As the teachers struggled to get all the kids back-packs on, their papers sent home, their final reminders about tomorrow, I faded into the background. The school returned to humming with activity.
We got to say our thank-yous, but really, I don’t think they’ll ever know just how great we think they are.
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