End of Year Rush

Josie Leavitt - June 12, 2012

It’s that time of year again: the end of the school year. I’m still baffled why this is such a crazy busy time for folks. I never had the sense of craziness when my school years ended. We just calmly packed our cubbies and went home to do nothing for the rest of the summer. I mentioned this to several customers and they just laughed at me, all saying, “You were a kid!” I don’t have kids, so I guess it’s a little naive of me to think there should be no stress about shifting the kids from school to summer.
Here in Vermont, and perhaps elsewhere, the last three days of school bring a flurry of activity to the bookstore. People are waiting for us to open in the morning and racing in at closing for those last-minute teacher gifts. I suspect we are not alone in the sheer of volume of gift cards sold in June. We even have our signboard facing the schools and it says “Teachers love books (and gift cards).”
I love that we are also suggesting actually picking out a book for a teacher. There is something lovely about a student sharing his or her favorite book with a beloved teacher. We have one family to whom the teacher books are so important, they order them in March, just to make sure they’ll be here in time. That kind of thoughtfulness is touching and speaks to the quality of teachers these kids have that they care so much. Gift cards are also good gifts, although I do worry sometimes that they won’t get redeemed, and the family will have wasted money on them. But from a cash flow perspective, I’ll happily take the $3000 bump in gift cards from the last week.
Some kids have summer camps starting right away, so they come in to stock up on books to tide them over the slow camp days. One boy was picking out books on Sunday with an eye towards trade-ability; he was trying to figure out which books would be more valuable at camp. I just loved that approach and knew that this kid was going to be the camp wheeler-dealer. I suspect he’ll be the kid who always has Pop Tarts in his trunk.
So, here’s hoping everyone gets a chance to relax, buy books and just read.

2 thoughts on “End of Year Rush

  1. Kitti

    I think the times have changed a lot. The most any of my teachers got at year end was a thank you, delivered verbally. The rich kid’s mother would bring in a gift, but the rest of our parents didn’t have money to throw around. I think the “buy a little gift for everyone” trend got started by the yuppies in the early 1980’s.

  2. Beth

    My daughter made soaps for her teacher – not really expensive, hand made, but nice, and something the teacher could use up and it wouldn’t take up space. We did gifts this year because it was her first year of school. Probably a Starbucks card will suffice for next year!


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