Posted by Luanne | Posted in WFMW | Posted on 10-12-2008
If you have children, you understand that desperate need to let those people who are an intricate part of your children’s lives know that you appreciate them. Especially this time of year. Teachers, youth pastors, cross walk men & women, student teachers, coaches, babysitters; you want to throw them some love, but what?
My daughter is homeschooled, but she spends 20-30 hours a week now at the ballet studio. Her teachers, the director of the school, and the professional company members have been so good to her. They are like her second family. Her youth pastor and his wife have given her more than I could ever explain to them in words…but I try. A few weeks ago I tried to tell Krisha’s youth pastor and his wife how much they meant to me and I started crying. You know how it is, when someone is loving and caring for your child, they are loving and caring for you in the best way possible. That is the first step. Make sure throughout the year you are telling people how much you appreciate them. Send them notes, email them, leave them a message on their voice mail. Then, when it comes to this time of year, you don’t panic and over do it. You can’t spend $20 on each person. Well….at least we can’t. Here’s my helpful list:
1. Buy a $5 gift card for the local coffee shop or restaurant that is close to their work. I get $10 UNO’s gift certificates for the ballet teachers. It is right next door, they all go there at least 3X/week during breaks, and until Dec. 24th, git cirtificates are 20% off, so I pay $8 for a $10 certificate. I put the cards in little stocking & mitten ornaments that I got for about 20 cents at Big Lots.
2. Food is always good. Bake cookies or make candy and put it in little cellophane bags or tins. You can get them at any craft store. Don’t forget to use lots of curly ribbon to be festive.
3. Candles are a great treat for anyone. The jar candles look beautiful if you just put ribbon around the neck. Pick out yummy seasonal “flavors” like Gingerbread or Toffee Apple Crunch (I got one yesterday from a friend…yum!!) Anything that is sweet screams “Christmas.”
4. Give of yourself. In most cases it is completely free. You might have a neighbor who would love free babysitting for 4 hours so she can go shopping, or better yet, stay at home alone in peace and quiet while her kids are screaming, playing, and having an awesome time at your house. I know some teachers who would love to have someone grade papers for them. Give them a gift certificate for a night off of grading. Clean someone’s house for them. Who do you know that wouldn’t love that? The list is endless and people will love it.
4. Ornaments are the one gift that isn’t consumable that I like giving in these cases. Make sure it is durable especially if your child makes it, so it will last a life time. Be sure to put your child’s name and the year on it somewhere. I know a lot of teachers, nurses, and coaches that love to have ornaments from their kids/patients on their tree every year. Last year I went to a drama at my old High School. I saw my favorite music teacher….ever! I had the biggest crush on him in 1982. I made him a doggie ornament and gave it to him when I was in the sixth grade….over 25 years ago. When I approached him last year, I said, “I know you probably won’t recognize me, but….” He interrupted and said, “Luanne, I will never forget you. I think about you every year when I put your doggie on my tree.” I cried.
Be careful about giving “stuff.” I don’t know anyone who needs more stuff. It may be cute and say “teacher” on it, but is it useful? Will they be trilled to get it? Ask yourself; is it useful or memorable? If so, it’s a go.
Enjoy this time of year. Don’t make it more difficult than it is. This is Christ birthday. It is a celebration about love, life, and sacrifice for the sake of both.
For more great WFMW ideas got to Rocks In My Dryer