The purpose of this post is twofold:
1. To share with you another Pinterest-based project that I
2. To remind you to get a holiday gift for your child(ren)'s teacher(s).
So, yes, the Santa Hat Party Mix. I pinned this project on Pinterest months ago. Then some time later I pinned another version of it, with the note that "This version is way cuter."
It turned out they were the exact same version, from the same exact website. I am dumb.
The deal on the Santa Hat Party Mix, as you can see in more detail on the original recipe, is that you make little Santa hats by dipping Bugles into red candy melts. You then re-dip the bottom part in the red melts to get white nonpareils to stick on the bottom to make the white fur part. You dip each a third time to add a white marshmallow puff at the top.
You have to dip each fucking Bugle three separate times.
Somehow this seemed like a great idea!
Now onto the part about how you should get holiday gifts for teachers. Teachers are performing a service for you, like babysitters or cleaning people. You might argue that the difference is that teachers are not directly employed by you, that they are paid by an outside agency. And my rebuttal to that is, they aren't bloody paid nearly enough.
When I was a teacher, the pressures from all directions were nearly unbearable. You were expected to get an entire class of students, with needs as diverse as learning disabilities to the autism spectrum to gifted to English-language learners, to perform at grade level on The Test. There was pressure from the administrators, the school district, and the community as a whole. You had to try to please the parents of 30+ different kids. And you had to do it all while maintaining a positive, disciplined learning environment for a bunch of children.
Teachers deserve a gift.
This year I have seen many, many blog posts and Facebook polls about what teachers really want, and the most common answer is: GIFT CARDS. Some parents report giving actual cash, which is always appreciated, but, I don't know, I guess I just feel a little weird about. So I give gift cards. My policy in the past, which I will probably continue in the future, is to give a Starbucks gift card at Christmas and a Target gift card at the end of the year.
Let me pause and say that I absolutely get that times are tough, and that these days any one kid can have many teachers. So if you can't afford to spend a lot on a gift card, that's fine. Starbucks is definitely a place where you don't need a gift card in an expensive denomination to have a fun time. And if you can't afford any gift at all, please just write a nice note to the teacher. Just do something to acknowledge the teacher and let him/her know that he/she is appreciated.
Now, back to the gifts I get my own personal kid's teachers. As I said, I get gift cards. As I have also said in the past, I like to attach my gift cards to something a little bit heavier, so that they don't get lost.
So I figured the Santa Hat Party Mix would be a great little add-on to go with the Starbucks gift cards.
I didn't take pictures of the step-by-step process of making the Santa Hat Party Mix, because the original recipe includes sufficient pictures, and also because my camera was temporarily misplaced at the time.
But if you could see the pictures of me making the party mix, you might see:
- Me with red sticky fingers getting mad at the whole gloppy process. (This was partially due to the fact that I forgot to buy shortening, which apparently thins out the candy melts and makes them easier to work with.)
- Nathan sitting nearby playing with the iPad, and asking me to help him with something that I couldn't help with because of my red sticky fingers.
- Me giving up after the nonpareil stage and deciding to forgo the marshmallow puff ball stage, and to just throw the marshmallows in separately.
- Nathan taking off all his clothes and putting on his pajamas.
- Me texting Trainer Jill to cancel our session for that afternoon, because I was just so frazzled by my red gloppy project and my messy kitchen and my kid without appropriate clothes.
- Trainer Jill replying back that I was a "weenie."
- The comparatively easy step of making the entire non-Santa-hat portion of the party mix, which just required me to dump a bunch of stuff in a pot and stir melted white chocolate into it.
And the mix is delicious. It reminds me of something my Grandma Arlene used to make. She would come visit us every year from Pennsylvania, and she'd bring along some kind of white-coated snack mix. When I asked her what the coating was, she'd say, "White coating ... from the Amish store."
So, I was never able to replicate her recipe because I have no idea what "white coating" is, nor do I live near an Amish store. But I thought this Santa Hat Party Mix with the white chocolate was similar to Grandma Arlene's recipe.
As you can see, I put the snack mix in Mason jars and attached the cute little Starbucks gift card pillow boxes to the jars with ribbon. I made the jars for Nathan's two teachers, as well as for his babysitter Danielle. I think the whole thing came out cute, but next year I'm just filling jars with some type of store-bought treat.
Also, I think the snack mix would be good for other occasions with just straight-up, non-dipped Bugles (the salted caramel kind). Then it would be a very easy thing to make for a party.