If, like me, you’re spending a lot of time making your list and checking it twice, please don’t forget the teachers. Our children’s teachers; the unsung heroes who we entrust to instruct, develop and shape our children during most of the hours that they’re not with us. Isn’t that worth more than the $5 contribution to the group gift? (not that the group gift isn’t appreciated; I’ve heard from many teachers that one big gift is so much nicer than 25 bottles of cheap perfume!)
My sister’s a grade three teacher and has always done very well by her students when it comes to holiday giving. She has received lovely jewelry, purses and thoughtful cards. So I asked her what the hot trends were, and what teachers really admitted to wanting when they chat in the staff lounge.
A gift card for a coffee shop is a lovely idea; but make sure you go the extra step and find out whether your child’s teacher is a Starbucks fan or a Timmie’s girl. As grateful as I am for the fistful of Starbucks gift cards that I inherit from my Tim Hortons-loving sister every year, I’m sure her students would rather she was using the cards they gifted her.
A group gift of a donation made to an appropriate charity is always a wonderful idea, especially when it’s something that the kids can get involved with. Again, do your homework and find out whether there’s a cause that’s particulary dear to your child’s teacher’s heart. My sister planned and hosted a pancake breakfast for her class last year to raise awareness for breakfast programs in underprivileged schools. Thoughtful parents made a donation in her name to the program.
I was recently given an Indigo gift card, and I spent a lot of time drooling over the new lifestyle products that Heather Reisman’s stocked on the website. Give a teacher an Indigo gift card and she can choose that
hardcover novel she’s been dying to get…
or a box of Godiva chocolates…
or a baked brie maker for hosting over the holidays!
Rather than giving the teacher a bottle of your favourite Shiraz, and then finding out she’s allergic to wine, give a gift certificate to the liquor store so that she can pick out something special for herself over the holidays. Even a teetotaler is bound to need a bottle of something to take to a New Year’s Eve party!
Gift cards in smaller denominations are a lovely gesture for the school secretary who calls to tell you when your child has fallen off the monkey bars, for the librarian who recommends a book other than the Big Book of Gross Stuff, and for the gym teacher who tires your kid out before sending him home!