The Emotional Torment of Teacher Gifts (Advent Unplugged)
December 20th, 2011
If I had to identify a single activity that most threatened my peaceful, stress-free holiday season it would be the act of selecting gifts for my children’s daycare teachers.
Oh. My. Word. This is an activity not for the faint of heart. I suspect that not everyone agonizes over the decision as much as I did over the past week, but to me, it was a big deal. I mean, how exactly do you convey — “thank you for working very long hours for very little pay so that the most precious people in my life are safe, happy, and emotionally, socially, and physically stimulated each and every day.”
Somehow, a Subway gift card just seems inadequate.
So I wracked my brains and scoured the internet and came up with the idea of homemade cocoa mixes in big mugs. They felt personal, required us to put effort into the gift, and weren’t too expensive. And Miss Mouse could help me make them!
Great. Gift selected. But now, who gets one?
Cue the ominous, anxious music.
The problem is, our daycare is structured such that my kids interact with a lot of different teachers on a daily basis. Miss Mouse has two core teachers and Buggie has three. (Count along with me.) Miss Mouse also has music classes so there’s another person. (We’re at six.) Buggie is transitioning to another classroom so let’s add two more for his new teachers. (That’s eight.)
But what about the teachers in the other preschool room where Miss Mouse spends many an afternoon? What about the teachers in the Infant A classroom who often spend time with Buggie? What about the center director and other admin staff who greet us each morning?
And once you start expanding beyond the obvious choices…what if you forget someone?!?
In the end, eleven teachers received cocoa mixes and I went in with a few other families on a fruit arrangement for the center staff as a whole. I still didn’t feel entirely settled about it, but I did my best. And, in the spirit of Advent Unplugged, I’m letting it go!