Yes, we gave a first day of school gift. No, you don’t have to.

We give first day of school gifts to the teachers – we always have. They’re usually just little – a mini bottle of wine, $5 Starbucks gift card, Godiva chocolate. Something to start their first day off with a smile, something to make them feel appreciated and express our family’s gratitude.

Fellow blogger Mommy’s Weird was surprised by this, and posed the question on her Facebook page, asking “My friend gives first day of school gifts to her kids teachers. (wine, chocolate etc. ) Some say it’s too far. I say she’s a genius. What say you?”

There’s been plenty of replies, ranging from “awesome” to “overachiever,” and someone replied with a link to a blog saying No gifts, please, a blog suggesting parents should relax and just hit the park one more time rather than spend the time, energy or money on a teacher gift.

I get it, I really do. The pressure to be a Pinterest mom can be overwhelming.

But my reality is that I’m pretty organised, and had everything ready to go with plenty of time to spare. Yes, we could have done one more round at the playground. But thankfulness and gratitude is one of our family’s core values. I have made it a regular practice in my life to practice gratitude weekly, if not more often. Purchasing an inexpensive first day of school gift, and having the kids make handmade cards, aligned with this value. If gratitude is a value in your home but first day gifts aren’t your thing, I’m sure you have found or will find ways to teach that value in a different way – maybe you’re already doing one of these 20 different ways to teach gratitude.

Listen, the way I see it is, you do your thing, I’ll do mine.

I don’t think less of parents who don’t send first day, Christmas, or last day of school gifts. If they’re annoyed by me, well, as the saying goes, I don’t have many fucks to give about that.

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