Okay, confession time. I am not good at being grateful. Oh, I have manners and know when to say please and thank you and I’m sorry (I’m Canadian afterall!) but I am not so good at being full of gratitude. Recently, I was having a discussion with some friends about this topic of gratitude and it triggered a thought… are my children truly thankful for all they have? Am I truly thankful for all I have?! I live in a wonderful country where I am free to post my feelings and thoughts on a blog such as this. I have food on the table, clothes on my back, and a roof over my head. We have two cars and a place we can enjoy in the summer. Our family is truly blessed. In fact, I think we have way too much! I have to start sorting and sharing as soon as the hamster wheel slows down. Gratitude is tricky. Are words enough? Do we need to repay the kindness of a gift with another, reciprocal gift? How do we be good examples to our children and show kindness and exude gratitude without being caught in the cycle of looking like we want something in return? I don’t have the answer to this one. Leave me a comment if you have some insight!
What I do know, is that we gotta start somewhere! So, I decided that after my friendly discussion and sudden enlightenment about my lack of proper parenting, I knew that I had to tackle some thank you gifts! The end of the school year is a great time to make some gratitude filled, easy to make, teacher thank you gifts! These ones were pretty frugal too… an added bonus! We started out with some simple, dollar-store clay pots and leftover plastic buckets from spring planting… and then decorated away with paints and stickers and ribbons — stuff I had hanging around from other projects. The paint didn’t stick to the green plastic, so we used some fun stickers and ABC’s for those. The youngest and I had a nice bonding time doing some crafting… and it was a great opportunity for me to encourage her. She didn’t think her bee looked quite right… so we added whimsical googly eyes … with such a cute result!
Next, we spooned in some dirt and simply added cuttings from some of my overgrown house plants! This not only served our purpose, but gave us another opportunity to discuss sharing and being thankful for what we already have! Succulents are perfect for this, as you don’t need much preparation ahead of time… simply snip and stick in some soil… this kalanchoe we had was spreading and already had tiny root shoots… so was easy to transplant. We also separated some herbs and a lovely purple shamrock plant. In the end, we had six quick and easy (and almost free!) gifts… enough for three elementary teachers and a few great sunday school helpers! Some hand made cards topped off the lesson in gratitude (hand written by the kids, of course!) and volila!
Teachers are very special people… and I am forever telling our four beloveds that teachers play a huge part in their lives! Trust me… it is really hard to impart information to a large group of young people from diverse backgrounds who often don’t want to be sitting in that desk in front of you. Especially when they come with a set of parents watching your every move. Be kind to teachers. They are human too. They need some love and thanks after a full year in the classroom!
I’m not sure that my gratitude level has jumped too many degrees up the scale from this project… but at least it gave me a chance to chat a bit with the youngest two — and share some love around. Perhaps it’s a start. Perhaps it will “grow” on us as we practice more…. Sorry… couldn’t resist… some teacher taught me about puns once… aren’t you grateful? 🙂
P.S. Once you have said “thank you” to your beloved teachers and said good-bye for another school year… keep following mittonmusings.com! Click the follow button on the side bar … I have some exciting changes coming this summer! You won’t want to miss it!!