Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Joy of Giving

I love giving gifts!  The joy of finding just the right gift for the people on my list has got to be my favorite part of this time of year.  So let me share with you about my two big gift-ing opportunities...

I enjoy giving my students treats!  And Christmas time is no exception!  Thank goodness for Scholastic Book Clubs and bonus points...I was able to find two activity books...a Kakooma puzzle book and a Mad Libs book.  Then I had enough bonus points left (don't worry I earned all the bonus points buying books myself...not parent orders!) to also get each child a free book pick gift certificate!

Then I also ordered my students personalized pencils from For Teachers Only.  These are a fantasic deal...99 cents for a set of three personalized pencils!  My students with less traditional names that have difficulty finding their name on pre-printed items LOVE these!

As you can see, I wrap each child's gifts.  Presentation is a big part of gift giving for me...and what child doesn't enjoy tearing into wrapping paper!  My sweet peas were so grateful for their gifts, and I got lots of big "thank you" hugs!
 
 
I also recently had my grade level gift exchange.  The tradition in 4th grade at my school for many years has been a Favorite Things exchange.  The idea has spread to other grade levels at my school too.  
 
Here is how it works...You know Oprah's Favorite Things???  Well, pretty much the same concept!  Except no one is giving away new cars!  Each teacher brings a $5-$10 item that they enjoy.  Last year, I gave a Tervis Tumbler with our school mascot on it.  The year before I gave personalized note cards from my favorite stationary site, A Touch of Whimsy.  The year before an ornament decorated with the recipient's first initial and polka dots.
 
This year I had an awful time trying to decide on what my Favorite Thing would be!  Luckily my mom gave me some inspiration...and luckily I had enough time to get it all together and ready!
 
So after school, we met up at Olive Garden for dinner.  After a very yummy meal, we each presented our favorite things...
  • an adorable scarf with tiny pompoms in our school colors
  • gift cards to Starbucks (great minds think a like!)
  • inspirational saying note cards and EOS Lip Balm (now my new fav!)
  • adorable Christmas plates from Crate and Barrell
  • a straw tumbler with our initials
  • a big bottle of Bath and Body Work hand sanitizer (We just recently survived a flu epidemic...only hit 4th grade!)
  • a warm, fleece Christmas blanket
  • and from me...
a big magnetic calendar.
I designed the "4th Grade Teachers Rock!" graphic and uploaded it to VistaPrint as a poster calendar.  Then I had it printed on magnetic paper.  They turned out really cute!  And my grade level buddies loved them!
 
Share with me your school gift giving ideas!   Do you give your students a Christmas gift?  Do you have an exchange on your grade level?

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