Friday, June 18, 2010

Frugal Dayz of Summer

Winding down...and down...and down!~ School is almost done! So what do we have coming down the line in the way of wallet busting activities? PRESENTS. The teacher, the lunch room lady, the Principal, the piano teacher, the coach, the list goes on and on. To gift or not to gift...that is the question. Gifting is a touchy subject...and I look at it like so: To me, a gift is like a tip. I gift for good service, good feelings, good times. If you are totally gelling with your teacher throughout the year, love the interaction between the coach and your kids, had a particularly warm and fuzzy feeling from the piano teacher you may choose to give them a gift at the end of the year. But hear this: It is NOT a requirement. There is nothing stated in the rules that says you must send your teachers on an all expense paid trip to Hawaii. Got it? {Sorry teachers, you know I love you!} There should be no feelings of "Keeping up with the Jones'" here. A gift from your family to a person who is helping to shape your little people should be personal. From the heart. Something that says "Thank-you so much for your valuable time." So here are a few things to stay within your budget but still tell them you care.

-Anything from your oven, complete with a handwritten recipe card is always a nice touch. And if you aren't the baking type, there is absolutely nothing wrong with calling in the professionals. If you are in the Sasaktoon area check out Cupcake Delight {insert shameless plug here} for an amazing way to show your teacher how sweet they are!

-Something from the craft table. A handmade card, mini album of some activities through the year, or a decorated, blank album that they can fill with their own photos would be a delightful, personal gift. If you are crafty, share the craftiness around!

-If you are very familiar with the person you wish to give a gift, a framed photo of your child or whole family may be appropriate. Decorate the frame yourself! But remember to keep it on the small 8x10 glossy of your fam might look fabulous on your coffeetable but might not be as welcomed on the soccer coach's wall.

-Do you know that the person in question is awfully busy and may not have the time to cook? Are you a Martha in the kitchen? Why not put together a freezer meal with a ribbon on it? Make up a lasagna complete with baking instructions and a little card that says thank-you so much for your time, I thought I would save you some by making your family supper. Something along those lines would put a smile on anyone's face.

-Your time can be more precious than a spa day. Offer a few hours to help clean the classroom, sort library books or take down bulletin boards. Saving some time and sharing the workload can be priceless to an overworked teacher looking forward to the first week of summer vacation!

-Group it together. Take charge! Nab the other parents at pick up time and ask them if they are interested in getting a group gift. If one person gives a $5 gift it might not seem like much. But if 25 people get together and each give $5 it can be one heck of a gift certificate. Think outside the box...I mean, a spa day is always nice but times are tight for everyone. Teachers are no exception. WalMart, Superstore, M&M Meats...they all have gift cards. Get everyone to sign the card, throw in a great gift certificate and you have a wonderful thank-you from the class!

-How about a pet you don't have to feed? Have your child paint and decorate a flat rock. It's a sweet little paperweight to remind the person they are cared for. Don't forget the name and date on the bottom.

I am going with a little of everything this year...a basket of all our fave things! Cookies, bread, etc with a few little crafts done by my son. That is for the teacher and her EA in our classroom. For the extended staff I will be putting out a mini cupcake buffet in the staff room with a card that says thank-you to all for their dedication and hard work.

Remember, saying that you appreciate someone doesn't have to break your bank. It's not a contest to see who can bring the biggest bouquet of roses or who can give a card to the most expensive restaurant. The point of a gift at the end of the year is to say "Hey. You spent time helping to shape my child. And I value that. Thank-you so much." So don't feel overwhelmed by it. A card costs a dollar but says so much more.


Kari said...

Well I have searched... but I have none if the emails.. from our GENERAL MEETING.... I will get Tammi to forward them to me again.... I am not a keeper of anything ... emails are deleted daily ( the important ones are using kept in their proper folder- but not this time I guess)

Jerri-Lea said...

You guys are funny! You sure mean business!!
Kate, I didn't get one of your charms so we must have been in different swaps ~ I think Saucy had two running. Make sure you post what you made this time! I'm curious!!

Kari said...

Thanks for the charms =-) I just opened my bag now and WOW they are all amazing.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Kate for the cute!! It was very nice to meet and visit with you today!! Did you make it to Carrie Underwood?? Just remember if you're up for a run....I'm ready!! lol

Kari said...

Hey send me an email...(forgot your email)

I have an email to forward to you =-)