Secret Pal Ideas from Author Chelly Wood

Need an idea for your secret pal's next gift? Here you go!

Easy-to-Print Generic Card for Your Secret Pal

printable card for secret pal or office buddy

Image: iClipart

Yeah, I’ve made an easy-to-print, pretty much generic card for your secret pal (and mine). Its theme is about as basic as it can get: a smiley face, with the words “Have a nice day!” How much more simple can you get? But hey, it works for everybody, whether your secret pal is a teacher or the guy you play tennis with.

Here’s the card. Just click on the highlighted words, and you can download it and print it at home on your printer. Fold it in half, then fourths, and voila! You’ve got a basic generic card for your secret buddy.

This week I’ll be giving my secret pal teacher friend a set of classroom letters. Now if you don’t have a lot of money to spend, find a friend who has a Cricut paper-cutting tool, and cut out your own letters, using various fun papers. Then put them all in little envelopes labeled A, B, C, etc… Some teachers like to put up bulletin boards, but most think the chore of punching out letters is tedious. To have it done for you is such a blessing!

I purchased my classroom letter set from Ready Letters on Amazon, and I’ve provided a link there. But you can buy them in a lot of office supply stores. They range in price from two dollar sets to fifteen dollar sets. Most teachers have a few sets already, but if you work in close  proximity to your teacher-secret-pal-friend, then you’ve probably seen which sets he/she already owns. It wouldn’t take much to find a set in a different color.

If you own a Cricut, or you know someone who does, then you could spend an hour or two cutting out shapes to go with your secret pal’s letters: a schoolhouse, boy and girl shapes, or shapes that remind you of the subject he/she teaches. I’ve provided links to the Wikipedia article of Cricut and the company’s actual site here,  so if you want to learn more about this fantastic cutting tool for teachers, that’s where I’d look.

Don’t forget that I also run a journal-writing prompt blog for English teachers at (check it out).

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A quick emergency gift for your Secret Pal–I forgot!

Mother's Day Gift

Image: iClipart

Don’t you hate that? It’s time to give that once-a-week gift to your Secret Pal, and–oh crapperoonie! I totally forgot! Now what?

I just experienced that feeling myself. I wracked my brain. Let’s see… I’ve got that brand new box of crayons I was going to give the kids–no, that’s too cheesy. I could burn a CD of a bunch of music I own–nah, that’s just plain illegal.

I’ve got it! Grandma’s canned applesauce! My Secret Pal will never know that Grandma canned it instead of me! YAY!

And voila! I have an instant gift.

You know that can of home-made sweet peaches /jam /salsa /applesauce that Grandma gave you for Christmas? I know, I know, you were actually looking forward to eating that, right? It’s gotta be good.

Which is why it’s the perfect re-gift. Because it’s so yummy.

Wrap a ribbon around it, top it off with one of those rainbow curling ribbon bows, and you have an instant gift for your Secret Pal. And you don’t even have to feel guilty about it, because it was something you really treasured anyway.

But if Grandma asked you how you liked her canned whatsit, be sure and sing its praises. Don’t tell Grandma what you did!

If you’re an English teacher, like me, and you’d like to see all my cool assignments and stuff online, here’s the link to my academic blog. I hope you get something good there.

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A Meaty Treaty for Your Secret Pal (Thanks to Caveman Ingenuity)

secret pals secret mates office secret santa vegetarian vegan

Image: iClipart

Last Friday I gave my Secret Pal teacher friend a package of Old Wisconsin beef sticks. They’re an easy snack to keep in your classroom, because they don’t go bad very quickly at all. A package of beef jerky is another tasty treat for your Secret Pal for the same reason. It has “stay power” (if you can keep your students out of it)!

Now you’ll want to make sure your Secret Pal isn’t a vegetarian, of course. If so, I recommend a different route. Homemade pastries can be a special treat for vegetarians, and you can find vegan mixes in health food stores, if your Secret Pal is really careful about not eating dairy or eggs.

If your Secret Pal is a guy, they’ll probably love a spicier jerky/pepperoni stick, as this is manly food. And let’s face it, guys love anything that’s going to show off their tough side in the staff room. Why? I dunno. I’m a chick, so I don’t get it. I only know my husband will eat anything that even has the word “pepperoni” on the carton, because for some reason he associates this with man stuff.

It must go back to the caveman days:

Caveman: Me make meaty thing. You eat.

Cavewoman: Seriously?

Caveman: Try meat. It good.

Cavewoman: Okay, but it looks a lot like that stuff our chihuahua leaves on the lawn.

Caveman: You eat. You like.

[Cavewoman takes a small nibble.]

Cavewoman: Huh. This isn’t too bad… What did you put in this?

Caveman: Meat. And… other stuff me find.

Alright, so maybe that looks more like a conversation between Hilary Clinton and Cookie Monster, but we all know Cavewomen were the brains of the establishment. Cavemen were just kept around to… uh, open the pickle jars. Right ladies?

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A card to print for your secret pal!

printable card with poem for secret pal gift

Image: iClipart

For our Secret Santa gifts, I often included a little poem I wrote. That seemed to be quite popular in December. So I think I’ll do the same again, throughout the year, for my secret pal, but I’m going to step it up a notch.

How about if I include a poem and easy-to-print gift card, made in Microsoft word? It’s very easy to adapt the poem that way. If, for example, I’m giving a New Year‘s gift this week, but if you stumbled across my website closer to St. Patrick’s Day, then you can just type the words “St. Patrick’s Day” where I had typed New Year’s. It’s as easy as that!

If you’re unfamiliar with printing cards in Microsoft Word, please note that it’s normal for the graphic to be upside down. The poem, though, will be right-side-up. That’s because you’re going to fold the card in half, then again in fourths. Once folded, the card’s graphic image appears to be right-side-up, as is the poem too.

The graphic is copyrighted, so please only use it once. I get my graphics from iClipart, and I highly recommend it. The variety of images you can use range from relevant photos in all different spheres of life to color or black-and-white computer-generated images, like the one on this card.

Here’s the card to print. Just click on the link and download.

Incidentally, I’m re-gifting a DVD for my secret pal this week. I tried to take the DVD back, but couldn’t figure out which store it came from; therefore, a re-gift it shall be.

If you’re an English or reading teacher, please visit my creative writing blog, englishemporium.wordpress.combefore your visit is done. You might be surprised by all the inventive ideas I’ve shared there as well!

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