Monday, May 20, 2013

Saying Thank You!

With the end of the school year, along comes the opportunity to say Thank You to our teachers, coaches, bus drivers etc.   You know who they are!  These wonderful adults that work with our children all year long.  We have been very Blessed this year.  All four of my children had truly wonderful teachers.  Between all four of my kids, we have five teachers, two bus drivers, two LAX coaches and two ballet teachers we would like to show our appreciation to.  Now, this can add up quickly.  But, don't worry! There are many ways to show appreciation and thanks without breaking your budget.

Note: If you are a teacher that has one of my kids this year, you can leave the page now.  Thanks for stopping by.  Come back tomorrow!  Don't want to spoil any surprises....

Here are a few of my favorite teacher gifts.  Please leave your favorites in the comments section below!

Group Gift:  This is a great way to give a gift.  We are doing this for my son's teacher and did this for both of his LAX coaches, too.  It is very simple.  One mom volunteers to start the collection and buy the gift.  Through email, back pack mail and whispers on the field, money is collected.  Then, you can buy something really nice for your teacher or coach!  For both my son's teacher and coaches we did gift cards.  A VISA or AMEX gift card is a great gift. This way the recipient can use it anywhere. With a group, you are also usually able to give a nice amount, too.The thing you need to remember about this is  to start early. Notify the other parents well in advance.  Also, it is good to give a suggested amount, but let everyone know that any amount they can give is fantastic! One thing to watch is the service charge fees.  If you buy the cards at the grocery store, there is typically a $3-$5 activation fee per card.  Some banks do not charge this fee if you are a customer.  Check your banks website before you head out to purchase!

Gift Cards:  I am a huge fan of giving (and receiving!) gifts cards!  For Christmas we gave our teachers insulated travel mugs filled with candy and a Starbucks gift card.  This makes a very nice end of year gift, too.   With gift cards for coffee places, like Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts, you can get a card for a smaller amount too, a $5 Dunkin Donuts goes a long way!  This is something that pretty much everyone will use too.  There is only one person in the world I can think of who would not like a Starbucks card, and that is my mother! (Lines are too long, coffee is too expensive and she can make a better cup of coffee at home for free.  Mom, have you ever even had a Starbucks?  I don't think so!)  But, if you give her a Starbucks card that is fine - because it is something that she can re-gift to one of her kids!  You can also get creative with a homemade card, "Thanks a Latte" for all you do", etc.  With gift cards you can usually purchase them on line and they will either email them to the recipient or mail you the actually card for no additional fee.  A great site for gift cards is Yiftee.  We just used this to send a teacher a gift card for Georgetown Cupcakes.  Who doesn't like cupcakes!  What I like about Yiftee ( is that it is electronic, city specific and supports small businesses.  Also, if you recipient doesn't like the store you sent it for, they can pick another store.  They are not stuck!

Bags:  I love bags!  Bags have a million uses.  When you are a teacher or a coach you usually have one or two of these (at least!) to haul all your stuff in.  We purchased bags for several of our teachers this year and will fill them with surprises and homemade cards.   Some of my favorite places to buy nice bags are from Thirty One and Clear Gear.  These bags are durable and just all around awesome!

Homemade Gifts:  Gifts do not need to break the bank.  A homemade gift is very personal and gets the kids involved, both of which I love!! A homemade gift can be artwork, a craft project,  baked goods, a nice potted plant, or some seasonal seeds and a watering can (check the dollar section at Target!).  For teacher appreciation week the twins and I made really beautiful cards on the computer using a photograph of my twins on the front and a nice poem inside.  Baked Goods are great.  One of my good friends gave me this great brownie recipe.  Hope she doesn't mind that I will share with you.  It is so good and so easy!  Start with your box of brownie mix.  Instead of baking it in a square or rectangle pan, bake it into cupcakes!  She made this with regular sized cupcakes using cupcake liners and they turned out perfectly.  I tried it with mini cupcake pans using a nonstick spray.  Mine did not turn out so great.  I definitely suggest using cupcake liners and you need to shorten the cooking time on the box.  Take off about 10 minutes and watch them closely.  When the toothpick comes out clean they are done.

Thanks for stopping by & have a great day!

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