Love puts a bow on it

By Mir
December 17, 2009

I sometimes bitch and moan about things like teacher gifts, and it is primarily because I’m pretty good at bitching and moaning and not, in fact, because I hate teacher gifts. I actually sort of love doing teacher gifts. I like wrapping up multiple identical gifts. I enjoy layering different kinds of cookies into tins. I always get a smile out of the cards the kids make.

And it makes it feel like Christmas.

That’s a very welcome thing, right now, when—trees and lights and all other signs to the contrary—I’m generally not overly full of the holiday spirit.

But my kitchen counter IS full. Of cookies and paper and hot cocoa and bows and buckets and maybe even gratitude.

So I will continue to “fake it ’til I make it,” because I know from past experience that the rituals of packing up cookies and wrapping up presents and truly focusing on what kindnesses my family has been shown this year will snap me out of this little funk. If I go through the motions, my emotions will eventually catch up. (They’re a little slow.)

Despite my best planning attempts I’ll end up getting everything put together well into the wee hours of the night, most likely. I’ll fall into bed exhausted, wondering why I didn’t start sooner and feeling grateful that I don’t have to do THAT again for another year.


But I’ll also feel grateful that we have so many to whom we owe thanks, and a life full enough to hold endless tins of cookies, and rich enough to give them all away with a smile. This year it feels like a lesson I’m sorely in need of, and as I sort and wrap I find myself wanting to put a bow on everything I love, just for a little while, just as a reminder.

I know it’s supposed to be gifts for everyone else, but every year I’m always surprised to discover it’s a nice little gift to myself.

Happy Love Thursday, everyone. Here—have a cookie.


  1. Megan

    I miss teacher gifts! We sort of stopped when the Children hit junior high (for various reasons) but I loved getting to know the teachers and finding something special for them – a few magic tricks for the kindergarten teacher who spent a day as ‘Magical Ms. Mucca;’ gourmet popcorn and a movie for the teacher who told me she had always wanted to see it but couldn’t bring herself to splurge; teeny-tiny magnetic photo frames for the teacher who was spending a semester away from his toddlers and needed a way to keep them close by…

    … which reminds me that a particular math teacher has been patiently dragging my son through Algebra II and Trig this semester and probably could do with a little something…

    Thanks for the reminder Mir – and the cookie of course!

  2. Frank

    Nothing like a holiday (or a Love Thursday) to help put a lot of things into perspective. It always helps us to remember that, as a general rule, there is more happiness and good around us than we might think- especially in the trying times. Here’s hoping that your ‘Best Laid Plans’ of holiday gift giving give you the joy you so anticipate, and so deserve.

  3. Kat

    “If I go through the motions, my emotions will eventually catch up.”
    I just love that. It’s exactly what I need to hear, exactly what I need to do. Thanks!!!!!

  4. Katie in MA

    I was so stressed last night trying to throw together cookies, fudge, and rice krispie treats for teacher gifts. And then of course I was missing a key ingredient after it was too late to turn back (no – not sweetened condensed milk) – but everything ended up being fine. It was late, but it was done. As I was assembling the plates, Gracie asked me how I knew what to do. I told her I had been putting plates together every year since I was HER age, when I was helping my mom. When I realized that it had come full circle, I felt so happy and warm and full of light. True Christmas magic!

  5. Javamom

    Last night I went to bed with a tummy full of home-made Xmas cookies. This morning I woke up very thirsty (all that sugar) and in dire need of coffee (more than usual). I vowed I will be without cookies today to give my body a break from the white sugar. I don’t have a problem doing this under regular circumstances (i.e. non-Xmas time) but this year, I am actually looking forward to sampling all these cookies I make. Hard habit to break this time of year.

    Then the tot gets an ear infection and the 4yo is too tired and therefore endlessly whiny and I end up eating more cookies than I really want to.

    Because they make me feel better. Short-term self-gratification? So what. It’s Xmas. For crying out loud.

    After reading your post, I thought “wouldn’t it be nice to know what kind of cookies Mir makes and then doesn’t eat?” and “those tins are really cute!”.

    It’s partly your fault that I bake cookies around here, and I thank you for that!

  6. Ruth

    Yum, cookies! Thanks for your uplifting note; even though gift-giving is not overblown in our family, it still just feels like so much trouble sometimes. Your note helps me realize that I can make the holiday what I want it to be and I want it to be a good thing. A lovely testament of mind over matter.

  7. Jamie

    Here, here! (Raises a glass of wine in agreement to Mir!)

  8. Pam

    I do love your Love Thursday offerings, Mir (even if it’s Friday when I get them over here) – always worth a pause for thought, and always so honest and beautifully written.

    Thank you for this latest cookie.

  9. kate setzer kamphausen

    A pastor friend used to say, Will is the locomotive, emotions are the caboose. I’d add to that: Ignore the caboose at your peril! But I can trust that it will *eventually* come along……

  10. Dani

    Can I just say that I love your Love Thursdays. They make me feel happy and warm and wanting to spread the love around here as well. Thanks.

  11. nae

    Next year try a xmas decoration. Chickadee can pick out one for each teacher. They dont have to be expensive (we go to Target) She can wrap them and give them out all by herself. Works in our house!!

  12. Heidi D

    I just bought those same red containers! Now I just have to bake and fill them up with cookies. :)

    Those teachers will appreciate the hard work you put into the gifts. You’ve done a good thing.

  13. BethR

    “and as I sort and wrap I find myself wanting to put a bow on everything I love, just for a little while, just as a reminder”

    I won’t tell if you go put bows on Otto, the kids and Licorice. Matter of fact, I’ll probably smile :)

  14. Anna Marie

    Thank you, luv. I could use a cookie right about now. =)

  15. Cele

    I am in the same boat you are, I only made my first batch of kahlua tonight, but now I usually have almost three cases done. Your love Thursday and inspiration helps.

  16. Jane

    Thank you. Thank you for the reminder. Merry Christmas Mir, to you and your family.

  17. Nicki

    Yes, love puts a bow on it…after love has measured, mixed, baked, and packaged it.

    Happy Love Thursda

  18. Lori B

    I just can’t get in the mood this year, but I’m faking it anyway. Thanks for letting me know I’m not the only one! BTW, forgot the teacher’s gift card today (last day of school). That would be the gift card I drove 20 minutes to get this week. Good thing she’s had two of my children, and I can be honest with her about how I stink at stuff like that…

  19. Tracy

    I just finished up with the Cookie Exchange at the office. Boy, the smell of home-made fresh baked cookies, well, it’s about time Christmas got here. Happy (belated) Love Thursday…on this Friday.

  20. Jennie

    I was a teacher for 35 years and I must say that homemade goodies are one of the best gifts you can give a teacher. ( cakes, pies, cookies, casseroles, breads, jam. soup mixes etc) Ornaments are nice, but I have enough now to decorate 5 houses. Gift cards and coupons for food, coffee, ice cream, movies, food etc. are also great. These work really well especially for secondary teachers because you can stick them in a card and be more discreet about it. I know it is a burden to do all of this but just remember many teachers spend more waking hours a day with your child than you do. None the less, it is all appreciated.

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