Thank you for thinking of me at Christmas.
Every year, my kids come home for break with excitement shining in their eyes as they put clumsily wrapped packages under the tree labeled TO: Mom.
“Don’t peek!” they insist. And I tell them I can’t WAIT to see what’s inside!
We keep Christmas pretty simple at our house, so usually those handmade gifts from school are my only presents to unwrap on Christmas morning. And they’re definitely my favorite!
I wish you could see their faces.
I wish you could see mine.
I hang their little masterpieces front and center on the Christmas tree. And at the end of the season, I gently tuck them into tissue paper for storage. Then every year when the tree comes out, we unwrap them together once again.
I always ooooooh and ahhhhhhh. And the kids holler with pride, “Oh I made that one!! Remember, Mom??? I want to hang it!!” as my eyes well up with tears.
My older kids are teenagers now, and they aren’t nearly as excited about the tree.
Sometimes I hold up an ornament and say, “Oh, I love this one! Remember, honey?” and one teen or another will look up and give a half smile from his perch on the couch.
Then I hang their clay candy canes and papier-mache snowmen and snow-globe ornaments myself. Still front and center.
My eyes linger over their little school pictures in hand-painted frames from years past. Remembering.
I know there will come a time when they are ALL grown.
And I’ll decorate the tree like every other year. I’ll ooooooh and ahhhhhh at my children’s precious little ornaments. Still taking center stage.
I’ll think about their faces. Their little voices. Their excitement at Christmas year after year. And how they couldn’t WAIT to give me a gift on Christmas morning.
I’ll remember those precious moments while blinking back tears. Again. And smile.
I hope you realize, dear teachers, the presents you take the time to make with your students in the classroom are absolutely PRICELESS to me.
I know you don’t really have to, you just do it because you care.
That’s what teachers do!
And I’m so very grateful.