Showing appreciation this Christmas


My three year old Olly started pre-school in September and it’s not been the easiest ride. At first there were a lot of tears, refusals to go into school and more tears on the playground and it’s taken a lot of patience, support and encouragement from his teachers to help him settle into school. So with Olly’s last week in pre-school before Christmas ahead of us, I’ve spent an hour wrapping some gifts and finishing off the cards that Olly had written for him to take into school this week.

At Christmas time, I like to show my appreciation to those who have helped me and my family throughout the year. It’s a small token of gratitude and one that I like to think goes a long way. A message to say thank you and a little token of kindness to make someone smile. We’ll be sending small gifts of appreciation to the postman and the sorting office to thank you for lugging around all the parcels we’ve had delivered this year. Likewise, we’ll be sending a box of Christmas biscuits to the neighbours to thank them for taking in said parcels in our absence. It’s not expected of us but a small way of saying a little more than thank you for making our life a little bit easier.

christmas gifts

I recently stocked up on some chocolate gifts at the supermarket and was questioned by the cashier as to why I had bought so many. I told the cashier that we wanted to send a token of appreciation to my son’s teacher and teaching assistants this Christmas and her response shocked me. She looked at me with a frown on her face and said ‘What a waste of money, they get paid to look after your son!’ I was a little shocked at what she had said and having family in the teaching profession she instantly got my back up. What a rude thing to say! Yes, they do get paid to look after my son but some children are easier than others and I want to show both my husband’s and my appreciation to the teachers who are caring for our son when we leave him at school in tears.

I’m guessing the cashier didn’t expect any come back from me and probably thought I was about to agree with her but I didn’t. I took the boxes off her and placed them in a carrier bag and told her I was surprised by her statement. I told her that we appreciated the work and support of the teachers a lot more than a £1.50 box of chocolates could show but these were a little token of our gratitude. They may get paid to teach my son to read and write, but they don’t get paid to wipe his tears, make him feel safe and help him thrive.

It made me feel really sad that there are lots of people out there that don’t appreciate other people’s actions and don’t show any appreciation because they get paid for it anyway. A small thank you here and there goes a very long way. I know from being married to a teacher how hard they work. Their day doesn’t end when the children leave their care. There are books to mark, work to prepare for the next day as well as all the extra resources and paperwork that they have to compile and submit. It’s tireless and exhausting but they do it because they care. They care about the children and love to see them progress and develop.

So, to the lady on the cashier at the supermarket; I’m pretty sure my £1.50 box of chocolates doesn’t go very far to show how much we appreciate the work of our son’s teachers but we’ll send them anyway along with a Costa Coffee gift card to have a drink on us. To say thank you and to show our appreciation, just as I said thank you to you for helping me with my shopping despite your ignorance and rudeness.

Will you be sending Christmas gifts to your children’s school this year? What’s your point of view?

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  • Reply Sarah Cantwell 12/12/2016 at 3:55 pm

    Rosalie isn’t at preschool yet so we haven’t had this dilemma. I think it’s all about how you feel and how you want to share your gratitude. It’s a very personal thing xx

  • Reply Stephanie 12/12/2016 at 9:19 pm

    Yeah I send a little something to my kids teachers, teachers do have to work so hard so they deserve a little extra

  • Reply Vikki Holness 12/12/2016 at 10:35 pm

    I see it like this – the teachers and teaching assistants may just be doing ‘what they’re paid to do’ but they are playing a HUGE part in my children’s lives… being role models, helping them learn and encouraging them to be the best that they can be, so i 100% feel that as a parent i should show my gratitude towards them. Be that in the form of gifts or a simple “thank you” from time to time. xx

  • Reply Sarah 13/12/2016 at 5:45 pm

    What a grumpy cashier! We always send something into school, and i also give our neighbours a box of chocolates for taking in our parcels while we’re at work!

  • Reply Keri-Anne 13/12/2016 at 5:46 pm

    I think it is such a beautiful thing you are doing and shame on that cashier! I volunteer in my girls school to do reading recovery and i wipe a lot of tears when the children are frustrated or upset that they cannot read certain words. It is such a rewarding job and today, i got a box of chocolates to say thank you so i understand how grateful you are. x

  • Reply Tracey Williams 13/12/2016 at 11:22 pm

    Oh my goodness what a rude comment to make. How dare she judge you for what you are doing. I work in a nursery doing the admin and finance, and for the first time in 4 years I got a Christmas gift off a parent. I had helped her with some admin over her nursery fees, and I was incredibly touched that she had bought me a small gift. So yes, those little gifts of appreciation can really go a long way x

  • Reply Janine Dolan 14/12/2016 at 10:55 am

    They do get paid a lot to look after our children but as you said some kids are more difficult than others. I think you are doing a nice gesture. I haven’t planned on giving the creche my kids go to chocolates but only because they are new and have only been in there 2 months and I don’t know the staff that well yet. Except for the wobbler room.

    • Reply Emma 14/12/2016 at 4:26 pm

      Thanks for your comment Janine, I don’t think they get paid enough at all. Looking after one child is hard work let alone 30 in a class getting them to concentrate to learn is hard work!

  • Reply Kerry Norris 15/12/2016 at 11:15 pm

    I just don’t get how grumpy some people can be. Good for you. We always get something for the school and nursery teachers x

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