I am a bit stumped about what to give to the kids’ teachers as a holiday gift this year. Back home I’m predictable as the sun: coffee gift card. Because I know I need a cup of coffee or two to get me through the day with my kids, and I made them myself from scratch and am pretty attached. I’d give their teachers liquor cards if I didn’t think that might be misconstrued.
But, hmm, in England, what’s the norm? Someone told me that “American” gifts are appreciated because they are different. That gives me cause to raise my eyebrows because — really? — I haven’t noticed that unusual, unpredictable, and ‘different’ is considered a good thing here. But, you know, being American, anything I do is going to be different, probably.
I had the fantasy of making cookie mixes a la Bakerella, but then I remembered how upsetting people find it when I wish them a nice day.(*) How much worse might it be to give a gift that forces them to bake in order to enjoy it?
Also, I don’t have a color printer, or sueded leather ribbons, or jars, or that much energy and talent, so, whatever.
I did make one for myself, just for fun:
Instead of making more of these we decided to simply bake up the cookies for the teachers. Pros: American, cookies, easy. Cons: American, cookies, easy. But these are my very own recipe, and include not only chocolate chips, not only chocolate chunks, not only m&ms, not only pecans, not only two kinds of sugar, but all that and butterscotch chunks. I don’t care what kind of day you are having, you open up a jar of butterscotch chunks and your day is now amazing.
Each of the kids gave the jar a good shake for luck and to mix up the dry ingredients, and then we added the butter (oh yes) and eggs.
Small scoops on to trays and in to the oven:
And a few minutes later, here’s your army of cookies:
A simple wrap job with gift bags from Michael’s which somehow made it over the ocean tucked into a box somewhere:
We’re passing them out tomorrow. As I ask so often in this blog: wish me luck.
(*) For example: When checking out at the grocery store, customer and cashier will engage in an stream of ‘thank you’ and cheerfully high-pitched ‘bye-bye’ that is apparently endless. A dozen bye-byes in and I start to wonder if I should just grab a chair and put up my feet. Bye-bye! Thanks! Bye-bye! Bye! Thank you! Bye! But a complete conversation stopper: “Have a nice day.” This earns stares. I can almost see them thinking. And I swear to god this is what is going through their brain:
What do you mean ‘have a nice day’? What, to oblige you, I have to have a nice day? Who are you to tell me what to do? Have a nice day? What the hell do you mean by that? Have a — seriously, are you insane? Are you mentally ill? My day is none of your business and you are a horrible rude idiot.
And what they actually say is
Because, as far as I can tell, when an English person wishes to let you know you are an idiot, they ignore you.
But since this gets me out of the checkout line in less than four hours, I’m cool with it. Anyway, I really do wish they would have a nice day. I mean, damn, they’ve got to put up with people like me.