Sometime around mid-August, as the summer winds down, it’s like someone throws a switch and suddenly we feel a nostalgic longing for new shoes, a new sweater, and a new box of crayons. Whether you’re eight or thirty-eight, the start of the school year signifies a new beginning, a time to get organized and get down to business.
We sort through the kids’ closets to see what fits and what doesn’t. We clean out cluttered desk drawers, throwing away dried up markers and broken pencils to make room for fresh new ones. And for those of us at Pear Tree, this includes Mom’s desk drawer. Kids aren’t the only ones who need new supplies for the school year. This is the perfect time to re-stock our stationery drawer.
Personalized note cards, thank you notes and address labels are the basics we can’t do without. Next, depending on our kids’ ages, we find mommy cards can be very handy for making connections with other parents at school. For the new teacher, personalized book markers or note cards make a thoughtful beginning-of-the-year gift. Even if we don’t have kids in school, cleaning out our desks and freshening up our stationery collection just feels right at this time of year.
Anyone with a child in elementary school knows that keeping track of schoolbooks is almost as hard as keeping track of kids. Books sent home for reading assignments have a way of disappearing under the bed or between the couch cushions and reappearing a year later, at which point Mom has to figure out where they belong. That’s where our fun book stickers come in handy as great teacher gift ideas.
Book stickers are decorative personalized stickers you place inside the front cover of a book to identify whose it is. Teachers love book stickers because they are a quick and friendly way to ensure that their books make it back to the right classroom no matter where they are found. Moms who are looking for a unique teacher gift, whether at the beginning of the school year, around the holidays or at the end of the year, can’t go wrong with a set of book stickers personalized for their child’s teacher.
Many schools hold book drives or book sales as fundraisers during the school year, which is also a great time to give book stickers. During these events families purchase books for their kids and teachers purchase, or receive as gifts, books they need for their classrooms. A percentage of the profits goes toward the school or PTA/PTO projects. If your school has a book drive, think about supplementing your gift of a book for your child’s classroom with a set of book stickers for the teacher. It’s better than an apple any day!
While your grad is writing thank you notes, don’t forget to put on the list those who have helped him or her the most. It seems obvious, but this thank you note idea is not one that not occurs to very many people.
How about sending a thank you note to Mom or Dad, Grandma or Grandpa? To one or more of the teachers who inspired you through the years. To a guidance counselor who made sure you graduated with the required credits. To the person who helped you get that summer job to pay for college, or that internship that will get you into grad school? Or to a coach who cheered you on to that athletic scholarship or taught you the meaning of teamwork.
This thank you note idea is not required, of course, nor is it expected. But that’s why it is so special to receive and is usually treasured by the recipient. Aside from the pleasure it brings, it offers a good life lesson for every grad: the gifts we are most thankful for don’t always come in a box. Someday, perhaps, your grad will pass this lesson on to another generation.
Whenever I leave my house I like to leave a little note behind telling my husband where I went. It doesn’t matter whether I’m going to the gym or the grocery store or for a walk, at the bottom of the note, I always like to add a personal message—thanks for something that he’s done around the house that I really appreciated, or that I can’t wait for our movie night tonight, or just a little smiley face with an ‘I love you.’ Of course, I am usually writing this on the back of an envelope or a receipt, the nearest scrap of paper I can grab, which tends to take away some of the romance. Now I am excited to use our new Notelettes for these kinds of messages. They are perfect to keep around the house for quick little notes to your husband, kids, babysitter, whomever. Or keep them at work to give your notes to coworkers a little personality. Notelettes aren’t meant to be saved for special occasions or important messages. They are meant to be used everyday, when you want your message to be noticed.
My son is blessed with many relatives who love him and his sister dearly but, as in many families, our relatives live all around the world. After writing a letter to his Grandfather one day, he decided to write a note to his cousin in California. The very short note was two sentences about how his cousin has GOT to read “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” and some potty talk humor. They are both seven. Need I explain further?
My sister told me that when her son received my son’s note, he immediately wanted to write a note back. My son received the note a few days later, and couldn’t wait to write him back and also draw a (barely legible) comic strip. My sister and I agree that these wonderful notes will be cherished keepsakes as our sons grow up. We are enjoying it as much as the boys.
This exchange made me think about being a 5th grader and writing notes back and forth to my friend Lisa Fredericks in Mr. Ferraro’s English class. For many years I saved these notes. I remember how important it was to connect with her by writing, even though we saw each other every day and were essentially inseparable.
I love the idea of my kids connecting with their cousins by writing and expressing themselves with paper and pencils. Yes, they could talk on the phone, Skype, or text, and will eventually utilize some yet-to-be-developed form of communication. In the meantime, they are enjoying the decidedly low-tech method of putting pencil to paper.