Amanda Parry is a stay-at-home mother to two special-needs children who blogs at unexceptionalparenting.com
When I was growing up, my mother worked for the local district as a school nurse. Every December on the last day before winter break, she would haul home gifts from the children at school.
We would spread the loot - usually several grocery bags full - out on the kitchen table: plastic plates of homemade cookies, Christmas tree ornaments, boxes of chocolates, scented candles, and, of course, mountains of homemade cards. My mom loved the cards the most. ("Thank you for giving me my Ritalin. You're a nice ners.") We mercenary children went straight for the chocolate and cookies.
This mound of goodies comes to mind every year when it's time to pick out gifts for my children's teachers. Having seen what they receive every year, I aim to give them something they don't get enough of, something they might actually enjoy.
What is it teachers really want?
I would expect better pay, improved working conditions, more respect from the general populace because they are highly trained professionals, not "babysitters," and less interference from lawmakers who have no idea what actually goes on in the classroom.
Since I can't get them that - at least not in the next few weeks - I'm giving them the next best thing: alcohol.
I mean, what else says "For putting up with intolerable amounts of BS on a daily basis, here's a little somethin' to help you get lit" like, well, something to help them get lit? I'm wiping away tears just thinking about it.
OK, if I'm honest, I'm sure teachers would just prefer cash but since I already contribute to the class gift card, this is something a little extra.
Now, I'm sure you could choose any kind of booze. I shy away from wine because it is so subjective. Beer is too informal. Champagne is beyond my means. Hard liquor sends the wrong message entirely. I don't know what a gift-wrapped pint of Wild Turkey says, but it can't be anything good.
So I buy premixed cocktails, the ones that come in those classy foil pouches, and place them in gift bags decorated by my children. You know, for that personal touch that says, "Think of me when you get blasted."
But there's no reason to limit yourself. Although I avoid Pinterest because the pictures of all those creative achievements hurt my self-esteem, I'm sure people there have already come up with some sort of fancy version of this. Maybe tiny liquor bottles and prepackaged mixers with silver shakers, or hand-painted Mason jars full of strawberry-infused vodka or something.
There's really no reason to limit yourself. Go crazy. As your kids' teachers will - with DELIGHT - when they open your well-chosen gift.