Dear Maggie – December 8, 2022

Dear Maggie —

For once I am finally starting to think about Christmas gifts for teachers more than three days before break! #HumbleBrag  The problem is I never know what to get them??  Gift giving is NOT my love language, in fact some might even say not being able to give thoughtful gifts is my toxic trait.  (I only recently learned the hard way that not everyone has a Bob Villa chia pet on their wishlist!)  The only thing that comes to mind as a way of repaying these fabulous teachers for forcing my delightful children to learn long division is the biggest bottle of whiskey I can find at Randalls.  I am guessing that’s probably frowned upon, but maybe it’s not.  I don’t want to be the dad that gives crappy gifts especially since I have seen my kid’s response to being forced to write a full sentence – these teachers deserve the BEST!  Can you provide some guidance here?

— Toxic Trait Tom

Dear Toxic Tom —

Well what a refreshing question! I am so glad you asked. Here’s a little known fact; back in the day I used to be the Home Economics teacher… ya know back when a girl’s education was relegated to cooking and sewing (eye rolling emoji).  Let me tell you – no one EVER remembered Poor Old Maggie when they sent Christmas gifts to school with their kids!  Luckily, over the years a better system has been worked out.  Nowadays there’s a community fund that has been created where all the money donated by parents is distributed out to all teachers and staff.  This includes Specials teachers, administration, and support staff.  This way everyone receives a gift and no one gets forgotten (cough cough, home ec! cough cough).  Plus it’s more even-St.Steven – the teacher with the power-Room-Parent who receives a Kardashian-worthy swag basket doesn’t win-out over the poor staff member whose Room Parents forgot and ran to Walgreens for a “World’s Best Teacher” coffee mug on the last day.  The gifts are given in the form of a gift card of each teacher’s choice.

In my opinion, this is the world’s greatest win, win scenario!  Parents are able to just donate online and not have to run around like chickens with their heads cut off finding thoughtful, personalized gifts and teachers get what they want as well.  I know, I know, this feels like a cop out; don’t teachers want something more personal like a hand painted ornament or homemade cookies?…let me tell you it is NOT a cop out!  I’ve done some investigating and these teachers overwhelmingly say they want that cold hard cash!  I know another burning question you have is “How will Little Johnny’s teacher know we contributed to the fund?  I don’t want their teacher to think I’m a cheapskate and didn’t get them anything.”  I hear your concern, no one wants to be the miser of the group!  If you choose to contribute to the fund and want your teachers to know, you could always have Little Johnny make a card and include a note that says you contributed.  Or still give them a little treat on the last day as something personal and let them know the rest of their gift is in the group donation.  So Tom, be toxic no more and give the people what they want! Put the “fun” back in fund!  Donate to the Teacher Christmas Gift Fund here:

— Maggie


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