Okay, okay, you can yell at me - I forgot to take my camera to school today, so I couldn't take a picture of the pretty poinsettias that I promised to post. I did scan in the templates, though, but they wouldn't make sense without the picture (really). I pinky swear that I'll post the picture and the templates tomorrow!!!!
So to try to make things better, I wanna share our idea for a gift exchange. I love the idea of a gift exchange, but I know that there may be some kids that cannot afford a gift and I've also heard horror stories about individual gift exchanges (like the teacher that told me she once got a used comb in a gift exchange when she was in school...YIKES!). So to avoid these problems, we have a class gift exchange. I send a letter home about a week before the exchange, explaining it to parents. I've included a sample below. If you'd like the word version so you can change the dates and name, just leave me your email and I'll send it to you!
Gift Exchange Letter
I've done this for the last 10-12 years and it works great! We always have our party the day before the last day of school. Since our last day before vacation is always a half day, this allows us to spend that half day playing with and using the gifts that the class brought in. I love this type of exchange because it allows everyone (even those who couldn't bring a gift) to enjoy the exchange (because they know they'll get to use the items) and because it helps us get cool stuff for our classroom (this is where a lot of my games and recess toys came from)! I hope you can use this and if you choose to have a class gift exchange this year, let me know how it goes!