Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Customizing Christmas

My first tips-for-Christmas post!  Yay!
Motivated by the fact that, again, 'tis the season to think of neat Christmas gifts for your children's teachers.  To spread good tidings as well as thank yous to these wonderful educators for having the skill and patience to handle my boys for years.  Lol!

Now I know how easy it is to bake Christmas cookies for them, or get them some festive-looking school supply, or lovely, colorful doodads off a supermarket shelf.  But you know me, I'm not a big fan of easy. 

So for 3 years running, I've been customizing my boys' holiday tokens for their gurus.  It's fun, creative, and downright personal.  Oh and did I mention cheap? :)

A few Christmases back, I had statement caps made specifying the class each teacher heads.  You can do it embroidered (expensive) or silk screened (cheap) --guess which option I went for?  It's the message that gives this almost-ordinary gift the oomph!

Last year, I went for a more personal approach and did school logos on key chains and teacher initials on bag tags.  These are ridiculously affordable.  It's just photo printing inserted in acrylic slots.  But the design and usefulness of the gift will take it far.

Another idea is to look into the school's mission statement and tweak it in such a way that it gives a double meaning for the school and the teacher.  If the school's slogan is 'Letting your child reach his full potential', then it's a great idea to have acrylic tumblers dressed with the line '100% enREACHed'.  Hmm... interesting, eh?

Aha!  I can see the words 'Kiss up!' floating in your thought bubbles.  Yeah, maybe so.  But that's what customizing is all about --giving a regular thing a deeper, heartfelt meaning.
And believe me when I say that long after the fruit cakes have all gone ...these gifts will live on and still remind the teachers of your darling kids.

 *pats self on the back and makes the 'rock on!' hand signal*

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