There are few guarantees in life. The sun will rise in the east. Tomorrow will always come (okay, not for everyone but for someone it will) Children will give their teachers candles for Christmas.
On Friday we had a class party, lots of treats and loud Christmas music and fun. And in the afternoon my teaching partner and I opened our Christmas gifts from the kids.
I want to be clear about something. I'm not a snob. I am so overwhelmed that anyone thinks to buy me a gift at all, frankly I don't care what it is. I truly am a "it's the thought that counts" kind of person. Consider also that I work in a school with a high percentage of low income families, many of whom can't afford some of the basics. So really, while I love the gifts, I loved, just as much, the hugs I got from the kids who didn't bring gifts.
One little girl picked out a necklace and earring set. I'm going to be honest, it was ugly. Really, really ugly. But the pride beaming out of this child's face when I opened it was something else. She obviously picked it and I'm sure she thought it was the most beautiful thing ever. And because of that, it was.
I made sure to coordinate my outfit on Friday so I knew I'd match my lovely new jewelery (pink) and after lunch when it was time to start our party I put on the necklace (think Mr. T meets Bollywood) and earrings. When she came in and saw me (us) wearing the necklace and earrings I thought she was going to burst. Her little face lit up like a Christmas tree and she told all of her friends that the teachers were wearing the necklaces she bought us. By the end of the afternoon my ears were killing me (sensitive ears) and I sounded like Santa himself with the jingling coming from around my neck but a little 4 year old girl was happy....and that made it worth it.
And Emily and Mary made out well, they split the earrings and necklace and are tickled with it.
I got a new endless supply of candles and the obligatory Teacher mug (which, by the way is awesome because it's huge and I like prefer big mugs) but again, it's all good because while some people may chuck that stuff aside without a second thought - I love it all, because someone took the time to think of me at Christmas.
I'll be honest, some of it will get re-gifted, and that's okay. It's not that I don't like it, just that I have no need for it (photo albums are wasted on me)
But much like my Christmas tree ornaments, my collection of 'things' given to me by children I've cared for (and now students) grows because I keep almost all of it. I've got things given to me by daycare children 13 years ago. And I still remember who gave it all to me. Because they cared enough to give me something...the least I can do is care enough to remember.