Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Twelve Traditions of My Christmases, Day 5

When I was growing up, there was only one present we could give our elementary school teacher for Christmas. Everybody in my family say it with me now:


Yes, today's holiday tradition is one from the early 70s (and maybe into the 80s... Ruth and Sara would have to report about that). No matter what cool thing we wanted to get out teacher for Christmas, Mom--who worked at the Post Office--insisted on us giving stamps.

In her defense, it's a very practical gift--or was back in the 60s, 70s, and 80s, before you had to start explaining to high school students what stamps are. Speaking as a teacher, most of the things I get (if I get anything--7th grade is not elementary school) are nice, but I find a use for them, rather than the need being there already (although the candy dish I got last year has become a very useful item... it keeps the candy I shouldn't be eating over by the front door, where I almost never go).

I don't know how many years I gave a teacher stamps. Probably seven or so. Maybe more. Possibly less. I don't know that Miss Tyner got stamps from me my Kindergarten year, but I remember Miss Wolfe getting them for sure. (Or maybe it's Miss Wolf... I didn't remember how to spell "Miss Ewens" correctly, so all bets are off!) I have no idea about Mrs. Denny, Miss Coulter, Miss Ewens, Mrs. Chipman, and Mr. Smith, but I'm pretty sure they all got stamps from me. It seemed like the most uncool, impersonal gift to give.

I guess I could hunt some of them down and ask them. I sent Mrs. Denny and e-mail once, but never heard back from her. She was about to retire, according to my principal at the time, who knew her from whatever school district he'd worked at before. On the one hand, I think, "Like they want to hear from you..." On the other hand, I have plenty of former students I'd love to hear from.

Whatever, it's almost like work. If they aren't on Facebook, I'm not going to try much harder than that! Plus, Miss Wolf(e) and Miss Coulter got married, I think!

Anyway, there's a Christmas tradition for you. I don't know that I'd advise going with that gift in this day... maybe a Netflix gift subscription would be better.


Anonymous said...

speaking of stamps.....

EyeRytStuf said...

I can't believe it's taken me this long to put "Shut up" as a comment to that comment...