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Last year I had my first experience with Preschool. I have to say that at every turn I seemed to not be quite with the program when it came to the holidays and the treats or gifts that went with each one.
Halloween – My child got a goodie bag from each of the children in her class. We did not hand out any. We didn’t know that we needed to.
Thanksgiving – My child got a small gift from her teacher. We did not give her teacher anything. I didn’t realize that Thanksgiving was a gift giving holiday in school.
So, 10 weeks into the school year I am feeling very guilty about not knowing the protocol for holidays and gifts. I was determined to make amends in the upcoming holidays.
Christmas – My child got a gift bag from her teacher and a gift or card from each child in her class. I sat up until the wee hours of the morning with little foam stockings, foam letter and ribbon making a little personalized tree ornament for each of my daughters classmates. I also made a little picture frame for her teacher and included a picture of the two of them from the beginning of the year. Whew, I think that I did OK on that one.
Valentine’s Day – My child got a Valentine…AND a bag of treats…from each student in the class. I sat down with my child to help her print out 15 Valentine’s Day cards. She had to write TO: their name and FROM: her name. She is not great at printing small letters so she would run out of room…cry because it was wrong…start all over again. Good thing we had 2 boxes of cards. I also had to do 15 cards for my 2 year old. I did not know to send goodie bags for this one though.
Easter – My child got Easter treats from her teacher. She gave her teacher a special picture that she had colored. I hope that was good enough.
End of the Year – OK, this was the big one. My child got a gift bag and card from her teacher. I had gone out and bought a small set of candles ($ 10) for her teacher and the assistant. We also had to buy for my son’s teacher and assistant, the music teacher and the preschool director. I tried to pick out something that I would like as a gift from a student.
So, what conclusion did I come to? The expectations for gifts in PRESCHOOL (where we live) are ridiculous. Did I mention that I was the one doing all the work for the gifts that she was going to give out? Oh yeah, then there is the fact that all this gift giving can get a little costly!!
I am boycotting any gift giving this year. We are making cookies. All kids love cookies right?
For Halloween we made special cookies for the class. I bought the ones that come out of the “can” and have the Halloween decorations already in them. It couldn’t have been easier.
Didn’t have to do Thanksgiving because we were going out of town J Bonus for me!!
My enlightened moment came when I was contemplating what to do for Christmas. This is no way that I am going to have time to be “crafty”. We are going to have a COOKIE EXCHANGE in each of the kid’s classrooms!!!
Here is how it will work:
Each child will bring 2 dozen of their favorite cookies.
Now, I realize that the moms are going to have to do some work here but it will be faster than making decorations and cheaper than buying a gift. The great thing is that you can do this with your kids. My kids love to cook with me. There is always a mess to clean up but there are always smiling faces at the end of it. OK, back to the great idea!!
On the cookie exchange day the parents will send their child to school with the cookies and a plastic container with a lid.
The children will set out their cookies on a table and then go around the table with their plastic container taking 1 cookie of each kind until all the cookies are gone. They can put the lid on the cookies and bring them home. They can think of their friends and enjoy cookies over the entire Christmas Break.
I will get my daughter a package of Christmas cards so that she can write one for each of her friends and her teacher. Her printing is so much better this year but I will get big cards just in case J. There, the “gifts” are done.
So, I have saved myself time and money and therefore my sanity will still be in tact at the time of year I need it most.
I hope that many of you moms can relate to what I went through last year. I just don’t want to be the only one who feels like an idiot for messing up the gift and card thing. Please use this cookie exchange idea. Claim it as your own idea J I won’t mind a bit. Just promise me that you will let me know how it all goes.
Happy (a little bit more sane) Holidays!!
Dayna Palmer is a mother of 3 children 1 girl and 2 boys ages 5, 3, and 1 and lives in Roanoke, VA. She is actively involved in bringing parents and kids together with area businesses and organizations through her popular kids website. Dayna Palmers website Roanoke4Kids.com [http://Roanoke4Kids.com] provides families with a local events calendar, kid friendly businesses and organization, job listings for childcare workers, a classified buy & sell forum and other local kid worthy information. RoanokeForKids.com [http://RoanokeForKids.com] is the only website in the Roanoke area dedicated to all things kids.
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