Shopping can be an all-encompassing obsession this time of year. Besides the regular list of family and friends, there are also all the people who take care of your family:
The garbage men.
The music instructors.
The bus monitors.
The list goes on as long as my credit card statement. Some people argue that all this gift giving tarnishes the true magic of the season. I respectfully disagree. Showing appreciation to various service providers is part of the Christmas spirit. And in Chicago, it also helps ensure your street will be plowed all winter long.
Teachers are always tops on my list in terms of those I acknowledge. They spend more waking hours with my children than I do. They have earned my respect like nobody else. Yet I have found the trends in teacher gift-giving to be rather depressing. Most of my friends and family who are teachers have an unsettling supply of:
If I were a teacher, I would feel really paranoid about my personal hygiene and start questioning the effectiveness of my deodorant.
Yet should Armageddon strike and darkness befall the earth, please find a teacher. They have enough candles to survive until the next millennium.
And your hands will never be dry or chapped.
In order to throw some additional goodwill towards our fine educators, I took a very informal survey of what items they would prefer over the scented warehouses they call home. I really had to push my friends for responses as they really do treasure any gifts from their students and parents. I had to position it as "gun to your head….hand lotion or….?" I was surprised and pleased with the responses of our humble civil servants:
So there you have it. Forget Yankee Candle. Put down the apricot-scented oils. Think easy. Think simple. Think of this awesome blog and have yourself a very Merry Christmas!
Marianne is mother of three sons and the wife of a southside Irish fireman. She has learned that sometimes you're just too dumb to know what makes you happy. She blogs regularly at We Band of Mothers (webandofmothers.com) and curses with even greater frequency. Her material is written for the imperfect, the imprudent, and the impatient mothers who know that all this stuff is really very funny if you just give it a minute.
See more of Marianne's stories here.