A number of handmade Christmas decorations, ready to be sent home as special holiday gifts, lined the hallways of Blue Ridge Elementary School last week.
Several teachers also took time out from their schedules to share some ideas that pupils might include in a letter to Santa.
Hint: Homemade gifts are a hit with teachers, too.
"I have a lot of ornaments on my tree that they've made," kindergarten teacher Pam Skelton said of her pupils. "That always brings back a lot of memories."
Carol Flowers, Blue Ridge media specialist, agreed. One of her favorite gifts is an egg-shape ornament with a manger scene, which a parent made for her 25 years ago.
"I love homemade things -- even from parents. It's just more meaningful and something I can keep forever," said fourth-grade teacher Linda Rennick.
Gift cards for restaurants or movies, hand lotion, holiday pins, baskets and candles also are favorites.
"Donations made to organizations in our name would be great," Rennick said.
Sometimes, she said, families will pool their resources for a single present.
"When children do go together and get a large gift certificate, I try to get something really nice like a piece of crystal," Rennick added.
Leave it to the media specialist to come up with another idea.
"I would say my favorite is a good book for the classroom," Flowers said.
Principal Jeff Collman said it is nice when parents try to find out about teachers' outside interests and give gifts that reflect those interests. Collman, a golfer, said he always appreciates a bag of golf tees.
"Parents are pretty good about doing things for the teachers that they wouldn't expect," he said.
The principal said one parent prepares a hot lunch and delivers it to the office staff one day every year before the holidays.
However, the teachers emphasized that they appreciate any kind of remembrance.
"It's just very nice for the parents to think of us," Skelton said.
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