I kicked off the holiday shopping season with the personalized rubber stamps for Miss Priss’ and Mr. Star Wars’ teachers. Personalized seems to be the theme for me this year. I usually keep a list going all year (yes, I am that OCD) and jot down ideas as people mention things. When holiday shopping season officially starts, I review the list and try to come up with ideas that might apply to several people, so I can order more than one of the same thing. I have a brother and two sisters who all have kids plus TheRoomDad’s family. We try to do a little something for each family group, so the list gets pretty long.
Here are some gift ideas on my “to buy” list this year, and most of them are personalized in some way. That usually means a longer ship time, so I better get on the stick!
Monogrammed Jewelry: I know my tween nieces would love necklaces like this because they keep pinning these types of things. I also think they are great gifts for my mom, sisters, and sisters-in law.
Monogrammed Scarves: I love all of the color choices for these scarves. I would also do something like this with a pashmina. Find pashminas at a local store and take them to a monogrammer. FYI– This would make a great teacher gift. Classroom temperatures can be difficult to regulate!
Personalized Wrapping Paper: One thing I like about this gift is that it is consumable, so it does not have to be stored for very long.
Mini Photo Books: These books are set up like board books. I think they make great personalized gifts for little people and grandparents to share when visiting.
Custom Ornament: My parents have a collection of paintings of all of the houses where they have lived. We moved a lot, so the collection is large. These ornaments reminded me of the paintings. It would be fun to order ornaments with a different house every year.
Fort Kit: This one is not a personalized gift but a DIY gift. Fill a drawstring bag with supplies to build a fort like plain sheets and clothespins. I think this is so clever.
Anyone else have a successful shopping strategy or great ideas that will work for several people? You could also return to last year’s gift list for a little inspiration.
After completing a thorough search for the perfect holiday teacher gift, I finally selected this year’s sirsee for my children’s homeroom teachers. This is a big decision for me. I contribute to a group gift for the teachers, but I always want to add a little extra from our family. This year, I ordered personalized rubber stamps and will be giving the stamp along with some blank notecards.
There are several reasons a personalized stamp makes a good teacher gift. Teachers need to add their name to all kinds of items throughout the day. We write notes to a variety of people for hand delivery (even if it is just to the school office), and we need an identifier on it. You might think we could just use e-mail, but it is pretty difficult for a teacher to send and receive e-mails (or get to the computer) during the day and handwritten notes sent by “student post” often work better.
We have all kinds of classroom supplies that need to be labeled. Pretty much anything in my classroom is fair game for student hands. If I don’t stamp my name on it, there is a good chance it is walking out the door. My classroom library alone requires constant monitoring. Even if a student doesn’t walk away with my classroom supplies, I loan materials to other classrooms all the time. Without my name stamped all over, I would not get the materials back.
I considered several rubber stamp options, and I think all of them would make a great teacher gift any time of the year. I ended up choosing a Paperwink rubber stamp with a checkbox option. I personalized the stamps with my children’s teachers’ names and checkboxes for desk, class, and library. I received a proof within 24 hours of ordering. Delivery did take a full two weeks after approving the proof, so if you use Paperwink, order early– like today.
What teacher gifts are you considering this holiday season? If you need additional ideas, take a look at my Good Teacher Gifts Pinterest board. I also started a Crappy Teacher Gifts Pinterest board as a public service to parents. Pretty much any scented candle, lotion, or apple related item is out (in my opinion). Punny notes are bad too.
As a final note, holiday teacher gifts are not required, and we really do appreciate anything a student and/or student family might choose to give. But, there are definitely gift ideas that work better than others, and remember, a student can always write a thoughtful note that will be more meaningful than gift cards and chocolate.
Some of my recipes are family recipes, but many come from key cookbooks that anchor my cookbook library. Below is a list of my most used cookbooks along with the names of the best recipes (in my opinion) from those cookbooks. If you click each cookbook name below, it is linked to an Amazon listing.
What cookbooks do you have that you cannot live without?
Family Cookbook (Not for sale at the present time)
A few years ago I compiled all of our traditional family recipes into a Shutterfly album with family photos. My dad is famous for kitchen pictures. These are the pictures of people caught mid-bite, or people standing in their sweat pants on a holiday morning stirring a pot of some kind (see photo below). There is usually one group photo at the table during a large gathering too. These were the photos I used to “enhance” the family cookbook. I use my family cookbook all of the time. I have all of my favorite recipes in one location and do not have to hunt through every loose piece of paper and recipe card box I own to remember how to make our family’s Christmas Eve egg nog. This makes a great birthday gift, Christmas gift, or Mother’s/Father’s Day gift.
Check me out making mashed potatoes. Thanksgiving 2006
I am not saying these two things are related, but my houseguests have been here for 3 days, and I mixed up a lot of cocktails last night. I originally found this pin on Pinterest, and I would like to thank the people at We Are Not Martha for one great drink.
Place cranberries, sugar, and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Then lower the heat to medium-low and continue to cook for about 10 minutes before the berries start bursting. Remove from heat.
Once the berry mixture has cooled some, strain the cranberry syrup into a bowl and set the cranberries aside to use as garnish. If you prefer, you can keep the mixture in the fridge for a couple hours or overnight before straining (we couldn’t wait that long).
Put about 10 mint leaves and a tablespoon of lime juice in each glass. With the back of a wooden spoon or a muddler mash the mint.
Put crushed ice in each glass and pour 2 oz. (~2 shots) of the cranberry syrup and 2 oz. (~2 shots) of rum into each glass.
Top off each glass with soda water. Sprinkle some of the saved cranberries on top for garnish.
*The original recipe made 2 cocktails (clearly not enough), so my simple syrup recipe above has been altered and makes 5-6 cocktails.
My holiday houseguests arrived Thursday night (about 5 hours after school let out for Christmas break). I did not make it to the grocery store before they arrived, so I offered a few leftover rosemary nuts and some slices of cranberry bread that I received as a teacher gift for breakfast Friday morning. We did not even have milk for coffee– my husband had to run out to the gas station.
This morning, I actually had breakfast food for my guests after a major trip to the grocery store (courtesy of my husband– I almost considered that a Christmas gift). I served up some Breakfast Cups to the group, and people were not disappointed. I need another quick prep meal for tomorrow morning. Can anybody help a hostess?
1- 10 oz. Can Ro-Tel tomatoes (I use mild version)
½ c. mayo
1 c. grated cheddar and Monterey Jack (or just cheddar)
1 t. dried basil
8-10 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
½ small onion chopped
1-2 cans 10 oz. refrigerated flaky layered biscuits (I use Pillsbury Grands Original Flaky Layer Biscuits)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a mixing bowl, stir together tomatoes, mayo, cheese, basil, bacon, and onion.
Separate each biscuit into 3 layers.
Press each layer into a lightly greased mini muffin tin and fill with tomato mixture. Bake 10-12 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.