Merry Christmas, all! My weekend was full of hustle & bustle... but now that Christmas is over, I can relax and enjoy my week off. One glorious, beautiful, amazing week all to myself. The best Christmas present of all. :)
And speaking of presents… The families in our parish are not wealthy by any stretch of the imagination. Many are single parent families, who work two jobs and receive some sort of monetary support to send their children to a Catholic school. Despite their financial hardships, I have always found them to be unfailingly generous. No matter what the holiday, there are always presents (even when I don’t expect them). The gifts range from the pricy (jewelry, tote bag, J-Lo perfume, Gap scarf, restaurant gift card) to the cheap and/or tacky (dollar store teddy bear, mug w/candy, glitter encrusted Virgin Mary candle) to the inexpensive, yet thoughtful (home-baked cakes and cookies, framed picture of me w/student, hand-painted personalized wooden apple sign for my classroom door).
So I was quite surprised this year when I only received a present from one child in my room.
At first, I was disappointed. I’ve been teaching for six years, and I’ve always gotten Christmas gifts. Then I talked to a few teacher friends, and I tried to be a little more realistic about the whole thing. Usually, I get things that I don’t need or can’t use. I wind up re-gifting them, or displaying them in my room for the year before shipping them off to Goodwill. Plus, I know that the parents in our school aren’t rich. I shouldn't expect presents from them just because it's Christmas.
So now I’m just confused. It reminds me of a waitress who doesn’t get a tip – is it because the customer forgot to leave one, or did they purposely not tip because the service was bad? Is there a reason that only one student got me a present? Was it just an oversight? I have no problems with any of the parents or children in my room. There have been no confrontations, no unusual circumstances, no major disciplinary actions taken. The other teachers had bags full of gifts when they left on Friday. So why no presents for me?
I realize that this sounds incredibly greedy. Please understand that it’s not really presents that I want from them. It’s acknowledgment, appreciation, thanks. Nothing expensive. A thoughtful gesture. I just feel overlooked, that’s all.