A Cup of Pep and Warmth for T’s Classmates

For T’s class holiday gift this year, I decided that I was going to go with one of my own personal favorite gift ideas: Consumables.

However, one major setback is that we are not allowed to bake for the class. I know, right? How lame is that? I mean, I suppose I understand (health laws and such), but at the same time I would have loved to make those Christmas cookie lollipops for everyone. But I had to move on; it isn’t allowed.

So I had another idea right-quick that luckily involved all pre-wrapped items that were still very much consumable. What if I gave each child a cup of cocoa and candy cane to take home? No, I don’t mean pour the hot cocoa on-site and hand out the candy canes. That could be a little messy (and warm for Southern California… it has been in the 80s here this week during the daytime… don’t hate, please, RMT’ers). What I mean is, what if I could package up an envelope of cocoa with a wrapped candy cane per student and make it look semi-cute and fun?

My "ingredients" for T's class gifts this holiday season.

My “ingredients” for T’s class gifts this holiday season.

I did six cups at a time as that's how many envelopes of hot cocoa were in each box. It made it easier to work that way than open everything and have 28 cups on the table.

I did six cups at a time as that’s how many envelopes of hot cocoa were in each box. It made it easier to work that way than open everything and have 28 cups on the table.

Thank goodness I switched to using plastic wrap for the "lids" rather than persist with the gift tissue. Not only did they seal better but the ribbon went around easier and it didn't obstruct the cute cups either!

Thank goodness I switched to using plastic wrap for the “lids” rather than persist with the gift tissue. Not only did they seal better but the ribbon went around easier and it didn’t obstruct the cute cups either!

A batch of the cocoa gifts ready for the giving.

A batch of the cocoa gifts ready for the giving.

This was as super-easy as it looks… well, that is once I realized that sealing the tops of the cups with plastic wrap was easier than with tissue that kept sliding around every time I went to place a ribbon around it (the teacher ended up with the tissue-topped one that actually looked OK after five attempts, ha!). First, take 6-8 oz. paper cups and place one envelope of cocoa and a wrapped mini-candy cane inside each cup. Then seal the tops of all the cups with a sized piece of plastic wrap. Next, add a string of curling ribbon around the rim for decoration. Finally, I found a cutesy saying online about hot cocoa and friendship from this website and tweaked it up to apply to T giving them out to school friends.

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I think they turned out pretty cute for a last-minute idea! Oh, and they hardly cost a thing thanks to my Dollar Tree finds.

Swiss Miss Cocoa with Marshmallows: $1/box (6 ct.) x 5 boxes = $5
Paper Cups with Holiday Theme: $1/14 ct. x 2 packs = $2
Mini-Candy Canes: $1/30 ct. = $1
Plastic Wrap: Costco big roll (had at home).
Curling Ribbon: Had in holiday stash.
Printed Tags: Used own paper and printer, cut with my mini-paper cutter, and attached to each cup with clear tape.
TOTAL: $8 + 1 hr. (45 minutes of my time; 15 minutes T’s time to help with tags)
COST PER GIFT: 29 cents

It’s not crazy-cheap, but it’s not that cost-prohibitive for something a little different from the usual holiday pencil, notepad, stickers, and/or eraser I’d likely have gotten for a group of 28 school kids. And it’s definitely something the kids can help assemble, too (yes to that!).

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I hope this gift idea warms you up to the idea of trying something new this holiday season on the gifting front!

Please share your own holiday gift ideas for the class, RMT’ers. I need inspiration for 2014!

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