The email from the parent-teacher liaison in my son’s kindergarten class has arrived. The semi-annual request for donations to buy gift cards for the teacher.
How do you treat this request? Toss $10 or $15 or $20 into the kitty? I mean, we’re “supposed” to tip our garbage guys, hairdresser, grocery clerk, bank teller, mail person etc etc this time of year. Why not teachers?
Ruff Ruminations went and canvassed teachers in her area and this is what they said:
Often they do not use or like to receive the gift cards as they are for items like coffee or restaurants and one can only go to the same place so often or they might not even drink coffee or like to take luxurious bathes.
They prefer the gifts with meaning that are handmade
They feel uncomfortable receive expensive gifts [Ruff Ruminations]
$10 is no big deal, in the grand scheme of the excellent teaching and attention my son’s teachers give. It’s less than the tip I’ll give some bar star waitress to bring me a steak and a beer at a restaurant.
Still, we go the handmade route when it comes to gifts for our “support staff” (teachers, garbage, mail, neighbors etc) this time of year. Something the kids help make, something that has a personal effort put into it, something from the heart.
Superstore has bakeware that you can buy and then give away. They’re lined cardboard boxes that not only let you bake brownies or banana bread, but provide a cute box that you can giveaway. They come in packs of 4 squares or 6 loaves for $10 and also have red ribbons to tie a jaunty bow.
In the gift boxes, we bake Ghirardelli Brownies.
In 2010, Oprah named it one of her favorite things and The Today Show did a survey on best instant brownies and this won. They are fabulous. We bought a fleet of the instant mix at Costco last year when it was on sale.
If you prefer to go from scratch, here’s a knock off recipe that claims to be better if you can’t find the box. You could also fill the boxes with Christmas pastries, tarts or these simple peanut butter cookies.
We solved it simply by making some of the best brownies in the world.