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OK. So now it’s December 10th and school will be getting out soon, right?

When we had kids in school, every year I was surprised by the last day and found myself scrambling for a good teacher gift. Now that we homeschool everyone, I don’t have that problem, but I was caught *almost* unprepared for our exterminator last week. He always comes on the first Wednesday of the month; so,  thankfully I remembered we wouldn’t see him again until after Christmas in time to get his gift ready.

This really shouldn’t have happened. I’ve been working on Christmas since July to prevent scrambling at the last minute. I really did plan gifts for our service-ers, but December 2nd came really early.

So, if you’ve got folks who serve your family in various ways and you would like to remember them with a gift, it’s time to pull out that list and get moving!

If you can’t decide what to get and would like to move beyond cash or check, here are some simple ideas for teachers, letter carriers, waste transfer specialists (a.k.a. trash men), exterminators, neighbors, etc. There’s nothing amazing about any of these ideas, but they might get you thinking, anyway. If you opt for simple gifts, it increases the likelihood you’ll have time to rest and enjoy giving the gifts rather than stress about getting them together.

  • A tin or platter of cookies.
  • A cellophane bag of chocolate dipped pretzels or other homemade candies (butter mints, peppermints, caramels).
  • A popcorn bowl with un-popped popcorn, boxes of candy, and a Redbox certificate for a movie night.
  • A gift card to a local coffee shop tucked inside a Christmas mug.
  • A pair of slipper socks, a bottle of nice lotion, and some dark chocolate.
  • A mason jar filled with homemade cocoa mix.
  • A mason jar filled with a dry baking mix.
  • A mason jar filled with layers of dried foods and spices for soup.
  • Homemade jelly or jam.
  • Grocery gift card.
  • Gas card.
  • A photo calendar with pictures from the classroom.

You can get fancy, if you like, and check Pinterest for ideas on puns and cute sayings to go with your gifts (“Thanks for getting me out of a JAM” on a jar of jam for your mechanic…). Or, you could wrap them simply and let them stand on their own. In the interest of peace and rest during the holidays, I vote for simple wrap.

Hands holding a gift box isolated on black background