Originally published in December 2009 at Chicago Moms Blog. I'm totally going the gift card route this year.
After pouring more mental and physical energy, not to mention more money, than I intended into homemade teacher gifts last year, I felt our presents did not make the grade. After talking with friends and family and seeking advice my from blog readers, it was clear that teachers love gift cards--gift cards for a quick lunch at Subway, an indulgent treat or necessary pick-me-up at Starbucks, or personal or classroom supplies from Target or a book store.
Homemade treats and tzochkes = nice. Gift cards = good.
Sure the handcrafted Pi magnet my son created for a special math teacher was heartfelt and even practical, but it likely fell flat compared to a free grande peppermint latte.
And getting my kids to complete the projects they were supposedly eager to tackle was like herding cats. Also, I didn't always have the right colors on hand for my demanding artists, so I made a couple of costly runs to the craft store.
"Never again!" I swore.
But here we are a year later. Not only is my husband still looking for steady employment, but my boys have more teachers than ever. Our budget is still tight. Even a small gift per teacher would set me back further than I wanted to go. Which is why my nine-year-old has set-up his own little Santa's workshop, and I've been baking up a storm with my boys.
I'm sorry dear teachers; once again, we're looking at a homemade holiday.