Last Minute Gift Idea: DIY Of-The-Month Club

Inject yourself into someone's life each month for a year with a club of your own design. Or "How to stay connected while saying goodbye on the heart-breakingest last day of the nanny job."

Today is my real last day of nannying a precocious wunderkind.

Those 90 days since giving my notice vaporized. I've cried an average 4 times per day, with the most extended being right after I drop her off at school.

This holiday, as the last I will have helped her prepare for, with craft project presents for grandparents and a snowflake costume for her first nursery school winter pageant, carries an importance I didn't anticipate.

I racked my brain for a gift that would have a lasting impact, and remind her that I'm her pal, no matter what.

The girl loves peanut butter and jelly. Who doesn't?

Online searches yielded legit "PB & J-of-the-month" clubs, and I loved the idea of my girl getting a special surprise in the mail every month, but I thought they were 1) too pricy and 2) not personalized enough for my tastes.

So I decided to put 12 little boxes of hand-selected treats and geegaws together myself. Not even exactly geegaws, but I was LOLing that "geegaw" popped into my head and I went with it.

Here's what I decided on: Each box would contain a peanut butter and jelly selection, including but not limited to Goober Grape and Nutella that may not otherwise be introduced by mom and dad, a beginning readers' book (with the last 6 months of the year advancing to "Junie B., First Grader" books), and either a little craft project or cute Hello Kitty lip balm and socks.

Each box was lovingly wrapped in brown mailing paper and labeled with month-name cut-outs I picked up as part of a teachers' calendar bulletin board kit from a craft store.

Probably not unlike other 4-year-olds, she's super into keeping track of months and days, and it makes me really happy to think of her waking up on the first of each month of 2012 and heading to the closet for the latest Rach-of-the-Month gift to remind her I still think about her.

You can come up with your own club. Fill little jewelry boxes, or recycled granola bar containers or salsa jars. Shoe boxes. Fill them with whatever is special to the person you want to think of you each month. It's so not about money.

Mail them off one at a time, or give them all at once with labels and instructions.

Make your thoughts count!

And don't worry about me, I'll be nannying the hell out of some grown people in an office until I feel better (or until I get knocked up, which I AM OFFICIALLY TRYING TO DO NOW. Move over, Michelle Tea!).