My daughter wanted to make gifts for her Awana leaders this week, as they were celebrating "wear red day" for the obvious upcoming observance of Valentines day. I was impressed with her generosity. Of course, she wanted something for all the clubbers as well, but that was just not possible, being that she came up with this idea the night before clubs!
I'm fighting a soar throat, and my brain was mushy. I looked at several different heart shaped ornaments and book marks, but couldn't wrap my head around the patterns, as simple as they were. So the next morning I surfed myself over to Ravelry and hit the group button for Reclaiming the home and sent out an urgent post for help with quick ideas, I had 12 hours to make something for what ended up being 11 leaders. And I wanted something that the children could help put together as well. So after some wonderful ideas posted by the wonderful ladies at Reclaiming the Home, we decided on coffee mug cozies. So at 11am, we clambered into the truck and headed to the dollar store and picked out 11 surprisingly trendy mugs. With some in 50 cent clearance, the bill was just about $10! Then we headed to our local bulk food supplier store (think restaurant supplier meets Costco)and purchased some wonderful Lipton herbal teas and a tray of Farmers Market mini tarts, assorted flavors. We hurried home and after a quick lunch and putting the baby to sleep we started hopping! The children filled each cup with a wrapped tart, (which fit perfect in the bottom) and tea bags, while I made my fingers fly! I still wasn't feeling tops, so covering my mouth and washing my hands a hundred times, I went to work crocheting 11 cup cozies. I was still a little fuzzy, and had no desire to memorize any patterns, (once again as simple as they are) So I just made a basic dc strip and added buttons on one end that actually made these adjustable cozies. My daughter picked out the buttons from my button jar and then the two of them buttoned them around each cup. I finished the last cozy at 5:55pm, (we leave for clubs at 6!)
I did not have time to wrap them or add cards, so I took them to the office where the leaders check in, and the children told what they were for and handed them out to the leaders that had already arrived. We left the rest for the coordinator to pass out to the others. I'm trying to teach my children discretion as well, so I had them give the gifts out of the sight of other parents and children.
Their reaction was so exciting! So many times we just assume that someone has taken the time to thank these people for all the work they put into our children. But as a former childrens club leader of 14 years, let me tell you...its a (verbally) thankless job!! It got me to thinking, that perhaps every Valentines, our family should take the time to thank some of the service workers in our lives, paid or unpaid! I think I would like to make this a yearly tradition. For schooled children, we often give gifts to the teachers at Christmas, but when was the last time you sent a gift to the custodian? The same goes for a church custodian, do you know who yours is? For home schooled, what about sending a fruit tray or small gifts to the local fire station. Call ahead and find out how many are on staff. These are people we hope we will never see working at our house, but are glad they are there if the need arises! Although as homeschoolers, we often feel self sufficient in our homes, there are so many people out there still looking out for us. How about taking this Valentines to thank those who's service we made need in the future, and who's service we do not maybe see and yet benefit from!