By Amy L. Hatch
There’s plenty to dread about the holiday season, but we think getting caught without a gift for the teacher/newspaper carrier/Secret Santa is right up there at the top of the list.
The best way to avoid that awkward moment is to keep a handy supply of awesome gifts stashed away. I see you rolling your eyes, and you can just cut it out.
Why? Because chambanamoms.com is here to offer you a bevy of gift ideas for everyone on your list, from the babysitter to the cleaning lady to that weird friend who you barely know but always buys you something at the holidays.
Ditch The Coffee Mug
Yeah, that Starbucks coffee mug is super-cute, but please, for the love of Pete, do not buy it for your child’s teacher. According to the Web site Christmas Gifts for Teachers, the coffee mug is the No. 1 least-wanted gift.
So what do teachers really want? Gift cards. To restaurants, movie theaters … and how about the book shop or office-supply store? Or just go ahead and put together a wee basket of paper, glue sticks, and even a box or two of tissues. That’s stuff that’s sure to get used.
As the wife of a former elementary-school teacher, I can say with some authority that it costs an awful lot to make those classroom bulletin boards look so snazzy. Construction paper ain’t cheap, people.
The holidays offer a terrific excuse for chowing down on goodies, and everyone likes candy. Our favorite pick is Toffee by Audra. Available at Art Mart, this treat is sure to please even the most picky palate. Perfect for just about anyone, really.
Art Mart is also the official Chambana home of Ruebens Chocolates, former located in the Shoppes at Knollwood. The candy company makes mouthwatering confections in a variety of flavors that make our mouths water just thinking about them. Keep a stash of small boxes around the house to hand out to delivery people or to give as hostess gifts (or to eat in front of the TV).
Other tasty homegrown options are gift cards to local restaurants like Great Impasta or Milo’s, eateries on the more expensive side that folks might otherwise skip in favor of less pricey alternatives.
Help Them Relax
Wrapping, baking and general merry-making can take it out of a girl, so how about a spa gift card? A manicure at a fancy salon is an indulgence at any time of year, but will be especially appreciated after a season of shopping. We recommend Spa Envy in Champaign and Timothy John Salon in Urbana.
Why stop there? How about the gift of a massage? Pamper your favorite dog walker or babysitter with a gift certificate to Body Work Associates. You can be sure that your generosity will not be quickly forgotten.
So there you have it. Now go make your list, check it twice — and don’t forget to add me. I’m partial to chocolate and massages, myself.