Just as expected . . . the unexpected

So I realized that I forgot to budget for thank- you presents for Addie’s Pre-K teachers. And forgetting to budget for something simply means that I snatch the food right out of my baby’s mouth, right?  Well, not exactly.

I CANNOT go over budget this week because the following two weeks may even require extra money for gas to and from the beach, so if anything, I need to save money.

I will scrimp on groceries and the farmers market and allot $20 max for three teacher presents–not because I don’t value teachers and their families–on the contrary. I AM THE FAMILY! (Wow, that sounded way-mafioso, but you get my meaning, right?) So that means each present needs to be around $6.33.

And now for the stream of consciousness. . . I have to come up with something cheap and clever that I can give them that will say “thank you” and also not humiliate J, who has to continue working with them year after year.  Additionally, there is sort of the hope that a teacher’s kid won’t give the loser present–like the “dollar store mug.”   (I hope no offense intended if you have done this, but seriously every Christmas we get about a dozen new mugs stuffed with candy.)  I don’t want it to be food. Or at least not food that implies they will sit around all summer packing on pounds.

And I don’t want it to be body lotion, candles, or toiletries.  That is also stuff that is also over-gifted and oddly personal for some reason.

As a former teacher, I was thinking I perhaps a little vacation or “beach” bag filled with goodies.  Like a beach read.  And of course it would be lovely if I knew what they all read and could throw in a cute towel and a floppy hat, but we have $6.50 here, so . . . .

Our town has a Library Association Used Bookstore where you can get used books for $2 each. So I was thinking of getting them a gift card for a “beach read”.  They could go pick out their own book.  Then my mom offered to make up a cute little drawstring bag in beachy fabric.  (She sews and does alterations–I recommend her highly. :))

Maybe also a nail polish and . . . . .? I’m going blank.  Also a hypocrite since that probably counts as toiletry.

Maybe a mint plant with a recipe card for mint tea and mint juleps?  Can I find a mint plant (and pot presumably) for around $3?  Does anyone ever actually make the item in one of those do-it-yourself type gifts?

My mom suggested the dollar bins at Target where I could maybe get visors, but I hate to get visors just to fit the theme when in reality they would probably be filler and be thrown in a yard sale bin almost immediately. Wouldn’t they?

So, working around the “beach read” which I can get for $2 each (and support the Library Association), what should be the awesome and wowing remaining $4.33 worth of present?

I rely on you, my following (all three of you), to supply the answer.  Also I need this present by Thursday noon. And I need to notify my mom to get sewing the bags if that is going to be part of it.  So seriously, don’t just sit around reading my blog, SOLVE MY PROBLEMS! (No, I’m totally kidding, do sit around reading my blog)

And solve my problems. :)

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9 Responses to Just as expected . . . the unexpected

  1. Amy Martin June 9, 2010 at 12:23 am #

    I am thinking about your gift and YES I do make the things I get in gifts, especially if they are Mint Juleps or Mojitos. Oh…I guess you didn’t mention Mojitos but I would totally make them if you gave ME a mint plant. SO, I am also cheap in the gift giving and wanted to tell you that I spent 4.99 on each teacher and am giving them a ADORABLE set of note cards from Target.

  2. Liz Mshar June 9, 2010 at 12:49 am #

    I am going to number these:
    1. No visors
    2. Love the “beach read” idea
    3. I also gave nail-polish as teacher gifts…B1G1 at HT…maybe they will run that again
    4. I did receive some chocolate covered stawberries this year that were wonderful and I never would have made them for myself…ate them at my desk! :)
    5. Have Addie make them a nice bookmark…teachers really do like that stuff. I do, at least. Still use a gifted book mark from a student 6 years ago.
    6. Or, buy a cute bookmark…or make one yourself.
    7. Or, along with the book gift certificate, gift a small one to the coffee shop in town. Better than a coffee mug.

  3. Danielle June 9, 2010 at 12:51 am #

    Well, maybe a cute insulated/”sippy” cup and some drink packets (i.e. Crystal Light)? I saw some in the seasonal section at Target, and I think there are some coupons @ Target.com and coupons.com for the Crystal Light.

    Some other ideas:

    http://www.skiptomylou.org/2010/05/04/last-minute-teacher-appreciation-gift/ (I think this one is super cute!)

    http://www.skiptomylou.org/2008/12/15/last-minute-teacher-gifts/

    And tons of fun ideas here: http://giverslog.com/

    Good luck!

  4. Debby June 9, 2010 at 2:04 am #

    you should seriously just make something. I wrote a poem for Adam’s teacher and put a picture of Adam watermarked in the background of the poem. And then I bought cheap ($2) bags from Hobby Lobby and had Adam paint his hand prints in green on them, and he painted the tops of the fingers in other colors (so it made a bouqut of flowers).
    Here is the poem I wrote – I’m sure you can do much better!!!
    For my loving teachers Wheeler and Odom
    I hope you like this special poem.
    I always look forward to school each day
    Where I make pretty things for my Mommy to display.
    I will always know how much you cared,
    And I will not forget all the fun we shared.
    Playdough, puzzles and fire trucks we played;
    Rainbows, penguins and shape books we made.
    I have really enjoyed being in the Nursery 2-3s;
    I will never forget the green cream cheese!
    I think you both are so kind, gentle and great,
    And I thank you for not caring that I am always late.
    Even though the school year is at the end,
    You will always be my very good friend!

  5. erin June 8, 2010 at 11:37 pm #

    i say put some of your family’s favorite recipes together and have addie make the book they go in. my mom (teacher) loves hand made gifts.

  6. Megan June 9, 2010 at 8:01 am #

    I’m trying to remember teacher gifts I liked when I taught Pre-K. I got the typical lotion/candle kind of gifts, sometimes plants/flowers. From one little boy I got a clay pot he had helped paint, and instead of a flower there was a flower shaped magnet picture frame with his picture in it attached to a stick in the dirt.
    The beach read idea is good, and I like the idea of a bookmark that Addie could at least help make. That makes it more personally from her. Or if you have a great recipe for something you think the teachers would enjoy you could have Addie help make a batch, and give them the recipe too. I made oreo balls once for a friend’s birthday and they were a big hit. (In case you haven’t had them…a package of oreos and an 8 oz. package of cream cheese, softened, all ground up together. Then you roll that into balls, refrigerate for a little while, then dip in melted chocolate/candy melts. Yum!)

  7. Megan June 9, 2010 at 8:02 am #

    Oops, sorry, I just re-read your post and saw that you don’t want it to be food, so scratch that idea. I think male teachers get the mug/candy thing a lot more since it’s harder to think of ideas for them usually.

    • Katrina Ryder June 9, 2010 at 8:24 am #

      Yes Megan, you are probably right about male teachers getting more food. I like the bookmark idea, but I am TOTALLY and completely devoid of artistic ability, which is sad since Addie LOVES art. Also, I have to do this today, so . . . .hmmm. Putting all these ideas together somehow . . .

  8. Lisa Pendleton June 9, 2010 at 6:42 pm #

    I think a beach read coupon and a bookmark hand-made by Addie would be a great gift! Definitely no random dollar stuff just to fit a theme.