Labor of Love (A Christmas Miracle)

Ok, so I promise this is my last Christmas post, but I’ve got to get it all out before New Year’s. Plus, the Christmas decorations are staying up till 2016, so I think I’m good.

Last year at Thanksgiving I was brainstorming ideas for what to ‘get’ my students for Christmas. I wanted something that would be personal and let them know that I love them right where they are. I also wanted it to be economical. (Ahem, yes.)

Over Thanksgiving break last year, I stumbled upon some clear plastic ornaments at Wal-Mart for just under a $1 a piece and pretty much bought all they had. Having about 27% of an idea…and no clue if it would work.

A week later, the Great Ornament Making of 2014 commenced. It looked a little something like this…


My kitchen table for 3 straight weeks.

I was really proud of how they turned out and was super excited to finally gift them to my kiddos. The excitement of giving them to the kids fueled me each night as I sat down to knock out a couple of ornaments.

Here’s 2014’s end result –

IMG_3218IMG_3219 IMG_3220 IMG_3221 IMG_3222 IMG_3224 IMG_3225 IMG_3227 IMG_3228 IMG_3229 IMG_3231 IMG_3232 IMG_3233 IMG_3235 IMG_3236 IMG_3237 IMG_3238 IMG_3239 IMG_3240 IMG_3241 IMG_3242 IMG_3243 IMG_3244 IMG_3245 IMG_3246 IMG_3248 IMG_3249 IMG_3255

This year was a bit of a different story.

Having all intentions of making the ornaments again (and expecting to love every minute), things got off to a rocky start when the ornaments I ordered came in and they were the wrong size. And by wrong size, I mean they were minuscule!!! (Also, still sitting in their shipping box on my bedroom floor)

When I finally got the right ornaments, I then had two straight weeks of not getting home until 8pm and before I knew it, it was the week before Christmas Break and I had completed maybe 5 total ornaments. 5 out of about 40.

I honestly did not think I could pull it off. There were moments where I thought they would just have to go #offthebeam this year. I kept reminding myself that I was the only one pressuring me to do it and that it wouldn’t be a big deal if I just didn’t get it done.

This year, I was not so much fueled by excitement and the Christmas spirit…I’m not quite sure what I was fueled by (annoying determination maybe?). All I know is that somehow The Great Ornament Making of 2015 happened.

It looked like this –


Not at all festive and a lot more desperate. (You’ll appreciate my trash pile under the table where I threw all trash over the 4 days.)

With a couple of corners cut (one-sided only, no ribbons on most ornaments, and pics taken after they were given out to the kiddos) and multiple 2-3am bedtimes that week, I got it done. It truly was a Christmas miracle.

Here’s 2015’s end result –

(Minus the one class I forgot to take pictures of. I was running on 3hrs sleep that day and functioning like a zombie, so I’m just impressed I was able to drive myself home.)

Wrapping them up at the end of each night, passing them out at the end of each exam, and seeing their faces when they finally unwrapped them really did make it all worth it. And when it was all said and done, I had Christmas Break to cradle me into recovery mode.

Will I do it again next year? I honestly have no idea. But probably. I’m not married and have no kiddos except the ones that sit in my classroom everyday. So, I’ll love the ones they give me. And whoever they are will be ok with me. These personalized ornaments are my way of telling them that.

“Every child needs at least one adult that is irrationally crazy about him or her.”

-Uri Bronfenbrenner

Staying up until 3am multiple times the same week I have to make, give, and grade exams. Definitely irrational. Most likely crazy as well. I’m ok with that.

What sort of labors of love did you pull off this Christmas season? Tell me!







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