This is my big holiday baking week. It’s a tradition that I started when the kids were in preschool. I bake all our favorites over the course of two or three days freezing much of what I make for later.
Since we had an Annual Fondue Party at our house for about eight years, I combined my baking efforts and made enough for the party and for gift baskets for their teachers.
Try to imagine that I actually crafted my own centerpiece with real apples and votive candles.
Scary I know because I am so-not-a-crafter.
But the baskets have always been lovely in spite of my missing crafter gene. Sometimes I’ve even busted out a can of gold or silver spray paint to make a natural wicker basket more festive.
One year I think that totaled eight baskets including music, art, computer and PE teachers plus the administrators and office staff.
I remember thinking how many darn apple notepads, pencil holders and smelly bath salts could one teacher endure year after year. I know that gift cards are always appreciated and many times the room mother takes up a collection for this but I really like to give a more personal gift.
I was delighted to read this “Announcement on Behalf of Your Child’s Teachers” blog post last week and if you don’t have time to read the whole post (but really you should because it’s worth reading!), here’s the section that validated my teacher gift giving.
Feed them. If money is an issue and you have many teachers to gift, there’s nothing wrong with making several batches of fudge, toffee, cookies, haystacks, peppermint bark, etc., wrapping them up with ribbon, and presenting them with a nice card (written from your child or you). Being able to go home on the last day of school and gorge on all the goodies is a wonderful thing. Giving the gift of treats also might allow the teacher to not have to do work in the kitchen this holiday season, as they can take some of the goodies along with them to parties or serve them if they are hosting. It’s essentially the opposite of forcing them to run an errand.
You can read the rest of the post here.
My gift to the teachers is heartfelt. I appreciate how much time and energy they spend with our children for way too little pay. I think by the time the holidays arrive, they are exhausted and ready for the holiday break. I’ve always written a little note of thanks and let them know that I hope the basket of homemade goodies will help them and they can make a platter or two if they have guests. Or they can just sit down and eat it all themselves. 😉
I set up the kitchen assembly line style with saran wrap, cellophane gift bags, labels I print on the computer, curly ribbon, tissue paper and baskets or containers I try to score on clearance after Christmas. I always included a colorful plastic knife to cut the mini loaves of bread and tuck in a few holiday napkins. Sometimes we have added a couple of Dollar Tree mugs and assorted envelopes of gourmet hot chocolate.
Here’s the kitchen island from last year…
There is not a surface in our house that doesn’t have some baked good on it for a few days.
We have standard non-negotiable items that HAVE TO be made or we can’t have Christmas at our house. I make the mini loaves of quick breads and cookies and I delegate fudge and miscellaneous confections to PhilBillPaul.
- Poppy Seed Bread
- Pumpkin Cranberry Bread
- Mini Black Bottom Cupcakes
- Illinois Soft Sugar Cookies
- Raspberry Shortbread Dreams
- Fudgie Bon Bons
- Chocolate Mint Cookies
- plus at least 4 batches of my special “Semi-Cajun” Chex Mix
- Maple and Chocolate Fudge
- Chocolate Dipped Pretzel Rods
- Cinnamon Almonds
Then we have a wish list of a few new recipes to try to see if they will be basket-worthy for the next year.
This may be where I’ve gone wrong. We keep adding instead of subtracting!
These are my additions to add this year:
- Peanut Butter Brownie Cookies
- Chocolate Turtle Cookies
- Chocolate Mountains
- Lemon Drop Cookies
We’ve actually already made these 3 or 4 times so we know they are keepers!
Any creative or crafty teacher gift ideas you will share? If you’d like a specific recipe for anything on our list just leave a comment and I’ll be glad to share!