On my first trip to Target, my gift cards bought for me

Today is a festive day not marked on any Hallmark calendar. This is Spending Teacher Gift Cards Day, a ritual appreciated and hallelujahed by most teachers.

Don't get me wrong. I like every gift from students and their families. I especially like the kids' handmade cards and ornaments accompanied by hugs. The parents who stop long enough to ask how my dad is doing or if my sons will be here for the holidays are equally wonderful. One of the sweetest things a parent can do is acknowledge receipt of the gift made in class by the student. It doesn't happen very often.

Every teacher has just run a marathon whether they gave finals, read essays, and wrote progress reports, or just got little kids to line up straight for the holiday pageant. In the three to six year old classroom:

  • Each child made a hand print in clay for a parent gift. The clay was fired, then painted, wrapped in bubble wrap, then tissue paper. At times teachers threw their bodies between the fragile hand prints and swinging lunchboxes or karate kicks.
  • Each child made a card for parents.  And a lovely snowflake card it was.
  • All the students collaborated on a gift for the lead teacher, the assistant, each staff member, each room mother and volunteer. That means they helped sew, wrote their names, made thumbprint pictures, signed their names again, and wrapped.
  • The preschoolers made gifts for the elementary students and managed to deliver them to everyone.
  • The preschoolers ate holiday cupcakes that were lovely frosting works of art.  Of course they all had green icing mustaches, and somebody had to clean up!
  • The kids all performed in the music presentation.  More on that later.
  • The lead teacher, the assistant, and the class pet rabbit collaborated on gifts for all the preschoolers.  More on that, too.
  • Each child decorated a bag for carrying home all the holiday things.
And so, teachers like to receive store gift cards, and also wander like zombies in Target on their first day off. You might think it isn't in the true holiday spirit, but we are sooooo grateful! We want to collectively say, "Thank you so much for acknowledging that we've put off our personal Christmas efforts, seriously need some peace and quiet to read or have a thought, and could use a tiny bit of pampering."

Go ahead. Sing along.  On my first trip to Target, my gift cards bought for me:

A challenging Sudoku book
Fresh, new lunchbox
Greek yogurt
Boring black socks
Buick headlight bulb

Winter pajamas
Jicama and eggplant
Dried cranberries
New York Times crosswords
And a giant jug of Drano

© 2010 Nancy L. Ruder

1 comment:

Kim said...

I like to give gift cards to our local kitchen and cool gifts store, The Garlic Press. They also have a little restaurant so the teachers could just go out to lunch if they don't want a nifty kitchen gadget or some fancy chocolate. No Drano, though...hmm.


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