When kids get to middle school and have 10 teachers, they don't know what to do for Christmas gifts. They sometimes pick just one to give a present to. Or they pick their 4 core classes and leave the rest of us in the dust. Or, their mother's say "this is a great time to stop giving gifts, you're getting too old to suck up anyway, right?"
Or, they bake and give all of their teachers a little bit of the goodies. And I applaud the frugality of that. And the wisdom in giving sweets, because who doesn't love sweets?
And they deliver these goodies the week before Christmas.
Some come in first thing, very proud and excited to give a gift to me.
Others toss me things in the middle of class and I'm never quite sure if they are meant for me, for the whole class or if the kid just found this bag of cookies on the street and wants to get rid of it (this happened today).
And some sneak in, in the still moments when I'm not in my room, and leave them on my desk.
Some even have the nerve to not put their names! Just Merry Christmas. Or sometimes, not even that.
And I have to confess, I can't eat a single one of them. Can't stomach the thought of where some of these things have come from. Some of my nastiest, smelliest, dirtiest kids give me food for Christmas.
So I bury it in the trash, at the end of the day.
It kills me a little, because I am a baker. And I used to make lots of cookies for Christmas and give them to people. And then I looked at myself and thought "what if they're like me and throw it away? All that work for nothing..."
So I stopped.
I'm a tosser. I've been a tosser for 16 years. I will always be a tosser of food, now that I know how gross people are. I have some of the filthiest students. Some wear the same sweatshirt for the ENTIRE year, no matter what is on it. I could not make that up. Some smell like they haven't taken a bath in years (although I blame Uggs for a lot of this because they smell really bad!). Some have filthy hands first period! First period???? Did they stop and change the oil on the way to school?
Selling lia sophia jewelry has only made matters worse. Now that I have been in the homes of some of my students, former and present, I have seen first hand what their kitchens look like. And I have thought, a few times, "how about if I just go home and you use the money you were going to use on jewelry for, let's say, ummm, a VACUUM?"
But, I look for these things because I have germ issues, so maybe the average person doesn't notice and doesn't care. You'd be surprised at some of the germy things I've seen happen in kitchens of people who I would assume are very clean people.
Their kitchens. The very places where my holiday cookies/bars/biscotti/treats were made. Carefully made by my students and their parents. While the kids licked their fingers and scratched their butts.
All for me, for Christmas.
Even if I am up to date on my shots, it's not worth it to have even just a bite.
I'll take the $100 spa treatment and go to jail for taking gifts over $50. Jail is pretty sterile, right?