Every year, my non-teacher friends (civilians) approach me to ask what they should get their kid’s teacher for Christmas. My answer is always the same: booze and cash. Now, because you can’t bring booze on campus, you can either throw that shit on a gift card, or try and creepily lure us to the parking lot for our “present”. I suggest the gift card. Also, pressing actual cash into our hands is something usually only done to maître d’s and grooms at mafia weddings, so, again, maybe the same amount of money, placed on a gift card. By now, you should be sensing a theme.
Now, parents, anything you send us, we are thankful for, and we appreciate that you took time to think about us, but below are some ideas that I have nixed, when asked:
- Framed artwork from your child. Now, while I know that you think every pastoral scene, featuring V-shaped birds, that Sally spits out, is a SURE sign that she’ll be the next Renoir, but we see that shit er’ry damn day. We LOVE your kid, but 30 kids X 40 years of teaching produces more paper waste than Chris Christie’s butthole, so while we appreciate the gesture, your frame will soon be holding a picture of the entire Special Ed department, drunk as fuck, from the Applebee’s gift cards someone else’s parents sent.
- An entire basket of stuff you got at the dollar store. Seriously, you thought we wouldn’t know? We LIVE at that place, so we can spot something from “The General” from a hundred paces. Take the $5 you were going to spend and give us a gift card to the dollar store, and we’ll be pathetically thrilled.
- This one is a hard one… The popcorn tin. We have a love/hate relationship with these things. When one student brings us one, we LOVE it. When seven students do, we never want to see popcorn again for as long as we live.
- Flowers. Those are expensive, and they die. You know what doesn’t die? The same amount of money on a gift card.
- Homebaked goods. Fun fact: most female teachers are horrible germophobes, so if we don’t know you REALLY well, we’re going to put your cookies in the break room, or pass them off to one of the male teachers, because they’ll eat anything.
- Gift certificates for massage that you bought on Groupon. Unless you KNOW the masseuse, and know that they have an actual practice NOT located in the back of a van…this is a no-go. Remember, if we get murdered, your kid has a sub for the rest of the year, so you can kiss your test scores goodbye.
In summary, again, we are thankful for anything you send us…truly, but if you have the option…you know what to do. Thank you.