When giving teachers gifts, it really is the thought that counts

As school calendars wind to a close across the United States, a child's imagination is wrapped in thoughts of summer, but a parent's concern quickly turns to finding a way to show appreciation for the teachers who've shepherded their little ones through the year -- and doing it without blowing all your summer vacation cash.

I, too, feel that growing angst. Three little boys with lovely teachers and a lot of experience writing about parenting are my qualifications. Two siblings and many friends who teach are my advisers. I can say with this authority: When it comes to gifts for teachers, the thought truly is the thing that counts. Just don't do candles.