I'm always happy to be reminded of just how thoughtful are the students and parents at the school at which I teach.
In the not-so-distant past, the first semester ended in mid-January. That meant that the last day of school before Christmas break was a "party" day, and at my school the gifts to teachers were legion. Now that we start school in mid-August our semester ends before Christmas break, which means that the last day of school before break is scheduled for final exams.
Even so, the generosity of my students and parents is quite humbling. I received many homemade gifts, including jam and a candle, as well as a multitude of varieties of chocolate in its many forms, among other nice presents--which were, remember, given to me on final exam day!
As is my way, I'll write out an individual thank-you note to each of those students and give them out when we return to school in a couple weeks. I think that writing thank-you notes may be a dying grace but it's one I want to keep alive for awhile. Each year students seem genuinely surprised to receive one.
Let the Christmas break begin!