December is upon us and it is the time of giving, receiving, baking and laughter. This holiday season, my heart is lifted and I really want to focus on the giving aspect of the holiday time.
I honestly am at a loss as to what to get my husband for the holidays, but I know I will find the perfect gift between now and then (I still have ALMOST 20 days to shop, right? LOL)… I have holiday gifts for my kids, parents, and the rest of my family.
This season, our family has been focusing on random acts of kindness… whether it is helping the next door neighbor carry in her groceries (she recently had hip replacement surgery), paying for the candles for the woman in line before us at the store, or saying hello to people while shopping. I think sometimes during the holidays, we almost forget to go forth with a thankful heart and gratitude. People get cranky with the people in the stores who are helping them, and we basically get rude instead of jolly. SO I SAY GO FORTH WITH JOLLY THIS SEASON! Shed some joy on those around you, because maybe their place is a bit darker than yours.
So, this mom of four is on a mission this year---a mission to make a difference.
It may be a small difference, but I am going to try and make the holiday time very special for some people in our lives that we just don’t thank enough… our kid’s teachers. Some schools in our local community actually have teacher wish lists, our school however does not!
Now, usually we give a card with a gift card in it, but really does it reflect us? Does it reflect our children’s teacher? Or is it just a convenience we use so we can give a gift without the thought. Honestly, I don’t know my kid’s teachers well enough to know where they would like to eat or if they even like coffee. AND here is the thing, my kids spend more time during the work week with their teachers versus me. Reality set in… my kids are wonderful, maybe I need to remind their teachers of how awesome they are and thank them… TRULY thank them for what they do… and put a little thought into the holiday for each teacher that touches the lives of my precious children.
It has been a very fun project for my nine year old son and I--- every day, I ask him to find out something about his teacher and report back to me, so we can make a list of things she likes. For example, last Monday I asked him… “Find out if Mrs. P wears jewelry.” He came back and said, “Mom, she has fancy pretty jewelry on every day.” I was able to find a PERFECT bracelet for Mrs. P. on Facebook. Yeah, right? Whowouddathunkit. Not only can you stalk your ex, your spouses ex, your baby daddy, the drunk you went to school with, keep up with your friends... BUT you can shop. I love logging in on Wednesday nights (7:30 pm central/ 8:30 pm eastern) to find gifts on one of my favorite boutiques (since I cannot physically go to the shop itself). Jenny Boston is a fantastic place to find affordable, unique gifts. I honestly have found 4 different holiday gifts this season just from playing on Facebook. Check them out at https://www.facebook.com/events/119674798181809/permalink/146717125477576/?ref=notif¬if_t=like#!/photo.php?fbid=10152129945450582&set=a.10150264131765582.537293.213971580581&type=1&theater
Great, note one in my teacher log. NOT THAT I AM STALKING HER FROM A FAR, but I am trying to get a sense of Kennith’s teacher through his eyes. The next day I asked him, “Does your teacher like candy? Find out what her favorite candy is.” He came home and reported, “MOM… She LOVES, I mean LOVES Snickers.” SO, another item went onto our Mrs. P gift list. If I forget a day, he reminds me. He is getting to know his teacher and we are getting ideas for her gift basket.
I have also been purposely picking up our 3 year old from day care (she goes to daycare at the same school where my husband teaches) just so I can talk with all of the teachers and get a sense of who they are and what they like. For example, Miss Melissa loves Scentsy and I know she likes warm cinnamon scents and needs a new pot… WELL, I know exactly what she will get for her holiday gift! I logged into the Macaroni Kid Cedar Rapids Holiday Gift Guide, (http://cedarrapids.macaronikid.com/#holiday-gift-guide-2012-13) and wah-lah… there was someone who represents Scentsy. So not only am I giving a gift that her teacher will love but I am shopping locally and giving back to my community! PROJECT GIVE BACK is fully underway!
I have also noticed when I am at daycare that the director always has a cool scarf on! So, I went on a hunt to find a small business that has scarves out there. I shopped on Facebook on a random Wednesday night at Jenny Boston (AGAIN, THANK YOU JB) and found a designer scarf PERFECT for the director! Shipped to my door for less than $20. Another gift that is perfect for the recipient, AND money going to a small business!
My message: Sometimes we just need to take notice of those around us. The important people in our lives are not only our spouses, children, parents , immediate family members, and friends… but they are also the people who touch our lives in ways we could never imagine. Teachers. They do so much for our children and really just ask that our kids succeed in return. I have seen it when my husband sees a student who is grown up and in college and his eyes twinkle. They do their job so our kids can have more.
This holiday season, give joy. Make it count!!! BE JOLLY!