The Season For Giving To Others
“It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” My four generous children like to give their many teachers homemade gifts during the holidays. Their kindness and thoughtfulness makes my heart burst with pride. They have done this for as long as I can remember. While writing this blog, I received an email from my then Kindergarten aged daughter’s Principal. The Principal shared a photo of a Christmas ornament that my daughter made for her eight years ago. That ornament still gets hung on the Principal’s Christmas tree!
Saturday, I went to Target because they sent me a coupon “spend $100 get $20 off.” It is not lost on me that we have very little time to make teacher holiday gifts before Winter Break. Especially for four kids with at least eight teachers each.
From Arts & Crafts to Holiday Treats From the Kids
Our days of pipe cleaner beaded snowflake ornament making are sadly behind us. And, gluing sequins and ribbons onto pre-cut holiday themed cardboard shapes is also a memory from the past. We have evolved into giving Rolo pretzel treats. Rolo pretzels bring holiday cheer in an affordable manner while allowing my kids to be generous and show gratitude over the holiday season. Instead of glitter glue all over my house like from days long ago, my kitchen and dining room are set up like a factory because we assemble a boatload of pretzel Rolo treats for their teachers.
So, I went to Target to purchase Rolos and pretzels. Coincidentally, I ran into the woman who gave me this recipe – melting Rolo candy onto square pretzels and freezing them. Ta-da. The hardest part of this effort, after unwrapping each individual Rolo, is to not eat the Rolos.
OY to the World
Back to shopping at Target. I was walking through the crowded aisles filled with many people wearing ugly sweaters and holiday graphic t-shirts. I considered buying a holiday t-shirt with my coupon money, but the joke will wear off for me after the first wear and I know that I will never find the shirt during the holiday season. I don’t need such a shirt in February. Also, I am Jewish so I give a nod to Hanukkah simply by wearing a necklace that says “OY to the World” – that is my holiday cheer.
Standing in the candy aisle, the sale tag on Rolos is confusing. The sale was three bags for $10 or whatever was about 55 pieces per bag/165 total candies. After I figured out the pieces of candies per servings, times the number of servings per gift bag, times four children, times eight teachers each, plus other adults in the building and Crossing Guards, and receptionists, and nurses, and lunch ladies, the Custodian and EVERYONE, I needed a lot of Rolos.
Alex The Target Employee & Talent Scout
Then I met Alex, a Target employee, working in aisle G30. He overheard me calling my Dad, “Are you busy? Are you in front of your computer? I need you to go onto Amazon. Target is smartly blocking the Amazon site (at least that is what I think). I need you to give me the unit price on Rolos, please. WTF? My measurement in Target is by the pound. No, I can’t do the conversion in ounces for Amazon. Grams? Hell no. Okay, so you agree? Buy Rolos here? It’s probably the same price? Yeah, that’s what I thought.” Alex asked me if I ever thought about getting my own TV show. Thanks, Alex. Alex said that I had a lot of options for my TV show, but it would be a comedy, possibly a cooking show, but definitely a comedy.
Now that I had an audience, Alex confirmed that the price at Target was great. He didn’t even know the Amazon price. But, Alex thought I was funny and I think he wanted to be on my TV show. So, I tossed 9 bags of Rolos into my shopping cart. Though if memory serves me correctly, that at Christmas, there are larger quantity bags of Rolos. I told Alex what I was doing and he proceeded to show me other candies that would also taste good melted over ice cream. Please Alex, there is NO ice cream involved. Then I showed him a box of candy canes and suggested that he open each individually wrapped candy cane, place it in a Ziploc bag, and mash it with a hammer so that he would have Peppermint crunch toppings on HIS ice cream. He was impressed. I bid Alex adieu and told him that I have to figure out the Rolo formula regarding pretzels, because we need enough bags of pretzels for two pretzels per Rolo. And, if you are really on the ball, you know that some pretzels will come broken in the bag, and someone may or may not eat some Rolos, unauthorized.
Full Price for Christmas Wrap?
Moving along from the candy aisle, I ended up in the Winter Wonderland section. I met a mom pondering aloud with a toddler in tow if she should buy more Christmas wrapping paper, she’s not sure if she has enough paper from last year. I inquired, “Excuse me. Hi. How are you unsure about this? Don’t you buy Christmas paper AFTER Christmas when it’s on clearance and stock up for next year?” The look on her face was priceless. She responded, “What does that mean? You actually buy Christmas paper AFTER the season when it’s on sale and use it the following year?” WTF? I am no financial planner, but they aren’t canceling Christmas. She left impressed. I left overwhelmed knowing the knowledge I have to share with the world.
Next thing I see IN the Winter Wonderland is another sized bag of Rolos. So, now I am doing the formulas that I did previously but adding fractions into the formulas for price comparisons. I was getting screwed by the candy company. Turns out that the second packaging option was saving me pennies. I reached for about 9 of those sized bags and separated my shopping cart between the first batch of Rolos and the second batch. I walked back to Aisle G30 to return the first round of Rolos. I am a model citizen in these situations. I can’t believe it, on the end cap, there was a THIRD option. I have my calculator app going, I am scratching numbers on scrap paper and decided indeed that I am going with the third option. I pull back into Aisle G30 and find Alex. I tell Alex that I did not intend to spend my morning earning a degree in Mathematics. He was sorry. But, in my absence, he thought of more recipes. I was putting the bags back on the shelf and his manager walked by. I told his manager that Alex went above and beyond good customer service. Though I worked really hard at all of the math and re-shelving the inventory. In hindsight, Alex just told me that I needed a TV show. I recommended that Alex get recognition and he received a customer shout out on the employee wide walkie-talkie radio. I led the cheering in my section of Target.
Rolo Pretzels Are Coming! And So Is Discounted Christmas Wrapping Paper! … It’s the Thought that Counts!
Anyone who has taught my kids over the past 7 years knows that the Rolo pretzels are coming. When they say “it’s the thought that counts” indeed, I have given this a lot of thought. … and as a public service announcement, put a reminder in your calendars to buy Christmas wrapping paper on clearance after the New Year. I’ve thought a lot about that, too.