December 1, 2016

Our Christmas Card Unveiled 2016

Sending Christmas cards is one of my all-time favorite holiday traditions (see last years). It was even more-so once Philip and I got married two years ago. Every year since I’ve planned and prepared a number of seasonal activities and movies to help get us into the Christmas spirit. From making a list of our favorite Christmas movies, going ice skating (pre-baby), to constructing a gingerbread house, we go all out during the holidays and this year it’s even more special. Greyson adds a level of excitement to this year’s festivities and although he may be too tiny to really know what’s going on, it’s our duty to document it so that these memories live on.

One tradition that is slightly new this year was getting professional photographs taken of our family to use for our cards. I figured it was time to invest in quality family photos (especially wrangling an eight month old and our Murphy-dog). I am so glad that we made that investment because the photos and cards turned out beautifully! Once we received our photos I couldn’t wait to start creating the cards we’d send to our family and friends this year. This years card is especially important because it is Greyson’s first holiday season! Thankfully Minted provided us this opportunity to share with all of you just how great their 2016 holiday card collection really is! So, let the unveiling begin!

 Card: Cheers For The New Year

When it comes to our Christmas cards we typically go for a simple design. This year we wanted our photos to be the focus, with a specific focus on our family as a whole and our Greyson baby. In keeping with the woodland theme we also wanted to extend that feeling with a card that encompassed more earthy-tones versus the vibrant colors associated with the holidays. One of my favorite features that Minted offers is their ‘find it fast option where you can place your own photo and watch as it is placed into Minted’s vast selection of holiday cards! It truly makes the decision making so much easier, and faster too, since there are hundreds of cards to sift through.

Another great feature that makes Minted stand out amongst the rest? Their FREE recipient address printing! OMG the days of having to handwrite each recipient name and address are long gone for the Daniel house and I am grateful. Minted offers a number of styles that you can choose to match your card theme or opt for a different design.

Personally, I went with the address printing that matched my theme but to each their own! In addition to my free address printing I selected their wrap return address stickers which are always a favorite of mine and worth the extra dollars. It makes addressing my cards so much easier and while we are living in our apartment (of which we’re moving in the spring) stickers, versus a stamp, is the way to go. But no worries! Minted also offers return address printing too as an add-on.

Holiday Teacher Gift Guide

The holidays are quickly approaching, as they do every year, and although you’re probably thinking, I have time!, it’s always a good idea to start thinking about what you would like to gift the teacher of your little one(s). Speaking from the teacher perspective, we love the holidays for more than one reason: we get to see parents at the class holiday party, we look forward to those Starbucks gift cards, and really feel appreciated by the families we serve when we are thought of to any degree.

So, here are my holiday picks for gifting those teachers in your life that make a difference every day with your child. The best part is: this list is made by a teacher for teachers and parents like you.

Minted Class Photo Frame via Minted
I’m not sure if you know, but Minted has a cute selection of art pieces and even ones you can customize just for teachers! I thought this apple print was adorable and it would be easy for any room-parent to snap some photos of the class and present it to the teacher at the class holiday party. Teachers love having keepsakes from each class and what better than something they can hang in their rooms for years to come!

Monogrammed Anything via Etsy
If you’re wanting to reach a little bit more outside the typical gift for a teacher, go with anything monogrammed or personalized. I have yet to find a teacher that doesn’t love jewelry, a personalized coffee mug, pencil holder, etc. I loved receiving a ‘K’ initial necklace my first year teaching and it was something I wanted to wear over and over. Plus, it makes the child feel special when they see you wearing and enjoying their gift (even if mom picked it out).

Custom Wine Label via Evermine Occasions
This particular wine label went viral just a few months ago and it’s for a good reason! What a funny, yet practical, gift for any teacher! Because honestly, we’re probably the biggest winos out there so don’t feel weird about gifting us a bottle of wine- it will be used! I had parents of students in the past do this and I loved it because it’s truly amongst the things we really want right before winter break. Add a fun custom label to it to make it extra special.

Starbucks Anything
Want to know something teachers love more than wine? Coffee (or tea). Whether they make their own at home or pick it up from their favorite roaster (i.e. Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, etc.) getting them anything from a gift card to a new travel mug will be sure to brighten their day. Those tend to be things we want, but never buy for ourselves.

Gift Cards
This is by far the most typical, yet most coveted, gift you could give a teacher. It is nothing new for parents to know that teachers always spend money out of their own pocket to provide materials for the class or for that fun activity she/he has planned. It’s also no secret that we aren’t necessarily bringing home top dollars either to help fund our classrooms. So, with that in mind gifting a teacher a gift card will be very appreciated. Here are the top retailers most teachers shop at regularly:

  • Coffee (Starbucks, Dunkin’, etc)
  • Target or Walmart
  • Teachers Pay Teachers
  • Amazon or Barnes & Noble
  • Michael’s or Hobby Lobby (whichever is nearest to you)
  • Visa Gift Card
  • Stitch Fix (this is an exception. Most teachers love this service but check with the person before assuming they’ll use it)
Other gift card ideas include fun things like a nail salon or massage so we can treat ourselves, movie tickets, restaurants or popular chains like Subway or Chipotle, and even office supply stores like Staples are great ideas.

Scarf or Other Accessory via Mom Advice
I love scarves and all of my students knew that so it was a lot of fun to receive a gift I wasn’t expecting. Our little kiddos are a lot more observant than we give them credit for. So, if you have a favorite accessory please believe they’ve noticed.

Ruler Photo Ornament via Simply Kierste
One of my favorite gifts ever from my kids were those who thought to buy me ornaments I could hang on my Christmas tree at home. Most of them were store-bought, which were very cute and I still hang to this day! However, if you have the time or find something on Etsy that’s handmade, just slip your child’s photo in and voila!

Gift Registry
This one is really special and the most overlooked. Is your teacher engaged? Have a baby on the way? Do some digging to see if you can find their gift registries and pool the class on getting an item or purchase one from your family to theirs. I found it to be so thoughtful (and a huge surprise) that my class bought me the Kitchen Aide from my wedding registry at the end of the year. Absolutely touched my heart.

Letters From Students
A free gift that could possibly take the cake and be more valuable than any Starbucks gift card is anything made from our students. Whether it be a letter or a handmade item, it all means so much to us and we love receiving little notes about how much our kids appreciate us as teachers. It’s little sentiments like that, that get us through those tough work days.

So there you have it. Gift teachers this year something they would really appreciate and get a lot of use out of. I hope this guide helps you decide on a gift for the teacher in your life!

Anything missing from my list? What would you add to your Teacher Gift Guide?