It’s the most wonderful time of the year–the time when we parents find ourselves just a teensy bit busy with all the holiday to-dos.
I mean seriously–it’s the holidays, the end of school term and the time to use up that money in the flexible spending account. This week my schedule contains 2 potlucks, a wreath decorating contest, a school sing along, one trapeze show, a teacher conference, a dentist appointment, a parade, the elf on the shelf, a tree to water, cats to knock out of the tree, a broken oven, one head cold, a neighborhood happy hour… Plus my full-time job and the three kids, one of whom won’t talk, one of whom talks too much, and the other one just wants to text.
So here’s one place I make things simple for myself: teacher gifts.
I write a sincere note. One year, for Vivi’s teachers, it went something like: “I appreciate all you do to make Vivi’s days fun and interesting. I know she can be a handful so I’m guessing you could use a drink. Have one on us!” Then I slide in some folding money. Gift = done.
When the Cool Kids were discussing teacher gifts and I confessed this, a couple of eyebrows went up. (Libby had to put down her glue gun and glitter holster to clutch her pearls.) Cash? That’s so…not Pinteresty.
I admire people who have the time, skill and creativity to knit a scarf, fold it to look like a cupcake, wrap it in cellophane, print a thematically colored and personalized tag in a festive font, find a hole punch shaped like a snowflake and punch that bad boy right in the center then tie it all up with locally sourced organic raffia…but that’s not my forte.
Card, pen, $20. DONE.
Why not gift cards instead of cash? Well, gift cards are limited. What if they don’t LIKE Panera or Chipotle or Fatz? What if I give a Target card to a Wal-Mart shopper? What if Kroger is too far away?
Cash is flexible–you can spend it on a book, a pedicure, a bottle of champagne. Or something more practical. A few years back, I got a note from one of Vivi’s teachers, who told me that the money we gave her paid for a tank of gas that meant she could afford to go home one extra weekend. I will never forget that.
So what do you think about cash gifts? Too tacky? Not enough thought behind it? Or is it the way to say “Treat Yourself to What YOU Want?”
I’ll be over here smacking the cat out of the tree and warming up for the sing along with my freakishly white teeth. Discuss!