I decided to write each kid a personalized note to hand out with a tiny little candy cane. Yeah, I am cheap - and lazy, since I would normally bake several different kinds of cookies to give out on finals week.
I think I will do it again, though, because I heard things like:
"Aww! That made my day!"
"You wrote one for everyone - wow! Thanks!"
"A personalized note - that's so cool!"
And just to keep me humble - I heard (a LOT):
"Wait - can you read this? Her handwriting is so ... difficult."
Then there was the funny kid who announced loudly, "Hey, mine says I'm her favorite student!" I agreed, of course, because it was funny - and because secretly, I have a soft spot for him since his mom was my teaching assistant and she passed away a few years ago. I often wish to tell her what a good boy he is, and how proud I am of him ...
Getting into my classroom is the surest way to clear up a bad mood.