Of course today was the last day of school before Christmas break, and at our school that meant the traditional staff potluck at lunchtime. How nice it is to take over the library and have food as far as the eye can see.
While eating, some other teachers at my table were talking about something that I had been thinking about but didn't feel comfortable voicing. I teach in an upscale area wherein live some very generous people, and there have been years in which I've had to make a couple trips to the car to pack up all the Christmas presents I'd received--and I'm not the only one, by a long shot. Anyway, conversation at the table was about how many fewer gifts teachers were receiving this year than in years past.
Now please, don't get me wrong--no one was lamenting the lack of a haul, or showing any sign of being personally disappointed in receiving fewer gifts. No, there was widespread recognition that even in an upscale area, people are feeling the effects and uncertainties of today's economy.
I am very thankful for the gifts I received, and on the first day of school after break I'll be giving out handwritten thank you cards as I do each year.
I love the Christmas season.