The students in the AVID program at my school collect and deliver toys to elementary students who are at the other end of the economic spectrum from the students at our school. Third period classes at our school can "adopt" a class at that elementary school and buy presents for the children in that class. My 3rd period class chose to adopt a class, and we got a pre-K class.
I usually have to "prime the pump" on these types of activities, so off I went to Big Lots. You can get nice presents in the $10-15 range, and that's what I did. I'll put them in the box at the front of the room tomorrow, thereby reminding students that we made a commitment and must live up to it. They will live up to it, but it would be better if they didn't wait till the last possible moment to do so, as the AVID students need some time to wrap all the presents!
But I didn't stop with a couple of children's toys. No, I most certainly did not.
Usually on the last day of school before Christmas break, I wander around campus and give small gifts to some of the people I work with. Usually it's candles, but Big Lots had such great deals on liquid hand soaps, hand lotions, and Christmas tree ornaments filled with bubble bath, that I had to buy a ton of them. Neat fragrances, just like the candles I usually give. I guess I'm a scent-ual person. Or is it scent-uous? Whatever, I'm magnifi-scent!
Gifts don't have to be expensive. They don't even have to be personally meaningful. What they need to be is given in a spirit of friendship, kindness, and appreciation--and these gifts definitely will be.