I’m sure you never forget things, right? You are always on top of every special event and have the perfect gift selected for each occasion weeks, even months, in advance. You probably even make your own cards and gift tags and the tissue paper is always perfectly coordinated with the gift bag. That’s you in a nutshell, right?
But, hypothetically speaking, let’s just say you found yourself in Walmart 2 days before school lets out for summer break and you run into another mom and you start chatting there in the cereal aisle and she tells you about the gifts she has picked out for her kids to give their teachers on the last day of school. And as you are looking down at your cart and thinking you probably should have more items in it with the words “flax seed” on them, the reality of what she is saying sinks in.
Teacher gifts! You’ve forgotten about teacher gifts!
Outwardly I’m playing it cool. Sure, end-of-the-year teacher gifts. I’ve had them ready since Christmas, haven’t you?
Inwardly I’m panicking! Oh sure, I could just hand them gift cards but I really wanted something more personal. More fun and thoughtful. Even though I was just now thinking about it they didn’t have to know that, right?
What to do? What to do?
I wandered the aisles of Walmart looking for inspiration. I saw the lady who wears the floppy hat filled with buttons from all her travels. They jingle and jangle as she walks and I find it strangely comforting every time I see her. Maybe I should get the teachers floppy hats? Or buttons? I see a guy (not a kid!) wearing a Batman costume and wonder if maybe the teachers would like something with their favorite Superhero on it. I mean, teachers are like superheros, right?
My desperation has reached a new level.
Think Vanessa! Think!
Then I turned down the aisle filled with all sorts of Summer goodies and I know I’ve hit pay dirt!
Why not help them kick off their Summer with a gift basket? Or, in this case, a gift bowl.
I grabbed different colored large plastic bowls and some fun sets of plates and cups. Then I hit the party goods aisle and picked out coordinating napkins.
Once home, I layered tissue paper in the bottom of the bowl and then added some of that shredded stuff that always looks so pretty but is really annoying if it gets all over your floor as you are opening a gift. I loaded in the plates, cups and napkins and then tossed in some seashells for and extra touch of summery goodness.
The kids wrote thank-you notes and tucked them in and I tucked in my own notes as well. My kids have been so blessed to have the most amazing teachers!
And they proudly carried those bowls (with a little help from mom) into their classrooms on the last day of school and handed them to their teachers.
Do you remember that scene in the movie “A Christmas Story” where the kids are all filing past the teacher’s desk with their Christmas presents and it’s finally Ralphie’s turn to hand her his gift and he gives her this HUGE fruit basket?
That’s exactly how my kids looked handing over their gift “bowls”.
Proud. Grateful. Goofy grins. Eager.
And that’s when I started tearing up. It was the last day of Kindergarten for my daughter. The last day of 3rd grade for my son. This school year FLEW by! I know next year will too.
And these wonderful women poured their hearts into my children and all the children in their classes. My kids are so blessed to be at that school and we make sacrifices for them to be there. But, it’s worth it to us.
Because when I saw those teachers light up when they saw my kids coming with their gift bowls I knew that it wasn’t because they were excited about getting presents. It was because they saw just how excited my kids were to be giving them presents! They oooohed and aaaaahed and made a big deal over the bowls and I just stood there blubbering away.
Then it was my turn to hug them and thank them for all they do. All the things that no one sees. All the love and care and pouring into and encouraging of and praying for.
And I hope they know that the depth of my gratitude to them could never possibly be contained in a simple plastic bowl.
Even if it was pretty and filled with summery goodness!
Looking for some more great Teacher Appreciation Gift Ideas? Check out these:
Teacher Appreciation Tote and Printable Tag
I love your gift-bowl idea! Wouldn’t this be cute for a summer bridal shower too? Except in TWOS rather than FOURS. A bowl, two plates, two cups, napkins, some plastic cutlery… I love the colorful items you chose!!
OK, seriously. You tricked me. How did I end up tearing up over a post about plastic dishes? 🙂
LOL!!! Sorry Courtenay! 🙂
Fantastic hostess gift idea for hitting the many backyard parties, too.
Kimberly Sneed says
LOVE the bowl, plates and cups idea! Those patterns are fabulous and I’m sure ushers in a feeling of Summertime FUN for those teachers! Thanks for including our wreath! xo
Hugs from parents at the end of a school year were always my favorite.
Claire @ A Little Claireification says
LOL – what Courtenay said!! Last day of school in two days and then we’ll have a 1st grader and a 4th grader! Wheee! 🙂 Love the gift idea and may just have to copy that! 🙂
What a great idea for a teacher gift. I bet they were so proud to give those gifts! Awesome.
Shirley@Housepitality Designs says
Oh I so remember those days!…Vanessa the summer gift bowl was a fantastic idea..I am sure the teachers were so excited to receive those wonderful items that are so welcomed for summer…I can just see the smiles on your children’s faces!!….and yours!
Loved the cute gift bowls!!! You did good girl! 🙂
Kristin @ Yellow Bliss Road says
You always manage to add such great class and beauty to everything you write, even if it’s “just” plastic dishes! I love this idea, so original and unique and who can’t use some extra dishes?? Totally doing this!
At The Picket Fence says
Awwww…thanks so much Kristin!! 🙂
My youngest just graduated from High School on Saturday and I cried during the entire ceremony. He leaves for college in the fall and he wants to be a teacher! We have been so blessed to have such wonderful teachers in both of our children’s lives. They grow up sooo fast, enjoy this time as the day they get their diplomas will come sooner than you think.
Linda @ it all started with paint says
What a great story! So beautifully written, as always …
It’s also a reminder that I need to think about teacher gifts too. Though, unlike you, our school year doesn’t end until June 24!
Such an interesting post!! Love the gift idea and that wrapping adds to it.
How sweet!~ I have to say I have always been big on teacher gifts up until this year. Jack is in middle school and has 7 teachers, and of course Alex in HS, I think about the same. It just is too expensive now. I loved giving teachers gifts though and I know they appreciate it, and Lord knows they certainly deserve them.