I actually sat down to write a piece about teachers’ gift ideas, but once I’d done my research (which consisted of asking my sister who has been teaching for about 15 years what she likes to receive), I realized the preferred teachers gifts fall into two categories: safe (gift cards to shopping malls, Starbucks or Tim Hortons, Chapters/Indigo or a local restaurant) and personal (she’s received some lovely jewelery, clothing, trinkets and books that were perfect for her because the parents knew her and put some thought and effort into it). Just stay clear of “World’s Greatest Teacher” mugs and you’re guaranteed the teachers’ gratitude.
Instead I thought I’d offer up some ideas for grad gifts. At this time of year I hear from parents who are going to graduation ceremonies for children from everything from preschool to university. Each milestone that our children pass is lovely and special, and an appropriate opportunity to pause and say, “I’m so proud of who you are, and what you’ve accomplished.”
Cold, hard cash is always appreciated and there are some really unique ways of giving cash equivalent without handing over a wad of bills. For great one-stop shopping, consider the Shoppers Drug Mart Gift Card Mall. You’ll find cards for all their needs and desires from iTunes to Club Penguin, to Shoppers Drug Mart itself (for the kids heading off to university for the first time, this card will be gold!). These cards never expire and there’s no handling fee.
If I had a girl to buy for this year, she’d be getting the Dream Pendant by Birks and Jenn Heil. Designed by Birks and Canada’s Olympic champion, this sterling silver pendant is inspired by the Because I am a Girl campaign instelf, and 50% of the proceeds go to that Plan Canada initiative. On top of that, it’s pretty, comes in a beautifully wrapped blue Birks box, and the butterfly is a great representation of the graduation ceremony.
Instead, I’m buying for a male graduate this year, and all he ever asks for is sports equipment. But instead of simply buying him a new catcher’s glove or a new pair of hockey skates, why not consider a contribution in his name to Right to Play Canada? A tribute donation in his name could make him recognize the the importance of sport and play in his own development, and will allow him to share that with a child in a disadvantaged area of the world.
If you still want to throw in a little something tangible to commemorate the occasion, how about a framed, autographed photo of your grad’s favourite athlete? Signature Authentics is a Canadian company with a fantastic selection of sports memorabilia, presented uniquely. I know my boys would love one of these autographed Blue Jay bats.
Still looking for the perfect gift? Fall back on that wad of cash, but tuck it into a new wallet (this one’s from Quicksilver)
or purse (this one’s from Roots).
Whatever you decide to give, please pass on our congratulations to the grad in your life!