Christmas gift to teacher

carleneDecember 21, 2001

The class mom in my daughter's class collected $5 from those of us who wanted to contribute towards a gift certificate for the teacher.

Now I have a question: Those who contribute to a group gift, do you also still buy a separate gift for the teacher?

In the past, I would contribute towards a group gift and then buy a little something extra but this year I was cutting down on costs so I didn't spend any more other than the $5.

My daughter came home today and said most of her classmates had a gift for the teacher. I know for a fact that only one mom did not contribute towards the gift certificate so that means that alot of those who gave also bought a separate present.

Am I being cheap by only giving the $5? I really feel bad now.

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I wouldn't, unless it was some homemade treat or craft made by my kids with a little help from me.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2001 at 2:33PM
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I wouldn't feel bad at all ... the gift you chipped in for was plenty, and I am sure the teacher knew that was enough. The only thing is ... was your daughter embarassed? That could be the tricky part. Although I still don't think you should have to feel guilted into buying something that isn't in your heart.
Maybe next time, let your daughter decide if she wants to give something extra. Then she can be in charge of figuring out what to buy (or make).
I know as a kid, I never cared what I gave the teacher ... but some kids do.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2001 at 2:45PM
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This happened to me this year, but a little differently. The 3 teachers at my son's preschool sent a note home saying that while they appreciate the gifts every year, this year they would appreciate everyone who wishes to contribute, to contribute a toy to their toy drive instead of a gift for them.

We donated 3 toys, but then on the last day before break (yesterday) I noticed some parents with wrapped gifts for the teachers. I felt a little badly, as if I should have given something extra.

PS I did also make a donation in the teachers' names to Save the Children, but still feel like maybe I should have bought them a token gift.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2001 at 3:14PM
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I think it was plenty to contribute only to the group gift.

Especially in the case where the teacher has requested that you donate to charity instead, it is a gift in itself to respect their wishes not to get them anything else! Many teachers have more trinkets than they know what to do with and would honestly prefer not to have to mess with it.

The only thing I would do additional is to give a card with a personal note in it thanking the teacher for all they do during the year.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2001 at 3:36PM
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As a third grade teacher, I can honestly say that I would really rather not receive any gifts for the holidays from the class. If someone feels very stongly about giving a gift, a card or drawing done by the child is a wonderful gift. I don't open the gifts I get in front of the class because there are families who simply can't give the teacher a gift. Those children end up feeling terrible and left out.


    Bookmark   December 21, 2001 at 10:53PM
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I agree with Janet, teachers end up with way too many things, its not that the gift is unappreciated, its just that a gift to charity would be much more meaningful.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2001 at 9:46AM
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I agree with the previous two posts. Teachers end up with lots of very well intentioned- but often kind of useless gifts. Don't feel bad for not buying a small 'token' gift- the class gift that was purchased should have been plenty. Next year, find out in advance if your daughter would like to make something special for the teacher- some cookies, or maybe a christmas tree ornament that she could sign on the back. Christmas isn't about how much we spend on people, but rather on the thought that goes into a special gift.
I think that would be a really special thing to share with your daughter.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2001 at 4:39PM
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You are not being cheap, most teachers I know wouldn't want to you spend more than your budget. When all is said and done I think they appreciate a note from the heart or a gift their students make more than any other gift.

If the class decides to do a group gift, we still send in a gift for the teacher, only because my children want to give their "own" gift. If it was left up to me the group gift would be fine. We get an inexpensive gift - this year we got a mug (on clearance at Target for about 50 cents), filled it with homemade hot chocolate mix, marshmallows, Hershey's kisses, candy cane stirrer, and a poem.

I think the suggestion that the children decide if they want to give a separate gift, and letting them be in charge of what they give or make, is an excellent suggestion.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2001 at 4:42PM
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What I did last year when they collected for a big gift (and I knew that the other kids would be giving a gift) was to get a Christmas coffee mug at the dollar store and put candy in it (hershey kisses in Christmas paper (had them anyway for making cookies) Then I put that down inside a Christmas gift bag (that I allready had but could have picked up for .50) and put some tissue paper on top. The teachers here do not open the individual gifts in front of the kids because of time issues and making a child feel bad if one got a more expensive gift but they always send a Thank you card. This year there was no collecting money for a big gift so I got a 5.00 gift certificate to the steakhouse and put that along side the mug of candy inside the gift bag :) I know that a lot of teachers spent more but I had 4 teachers to get for (my son is in kindergarden and has 2 teachers)so I am not in the position to spend over 40.00 on them.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2001 at 5:19PM
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I think chipping in was enough. It's not the custom at DS's school to collect for gifts, so what I get for teachers is always something consumable - no "teacher junk". One year, I got a Drost chocolate orange & book of stamps for each teacher, another year I gave them jars of homemade raspberry jam (DS helped pick the berries), and this year I gave them long distance calling cards - I got a multipack of 45 min. cards at Sam's Club. I also made little quilted heart garlands, and DS wraped them together. I vote for chipping in only, or if there is no group gift, consumable gifts!

    Bookmark   December 24, 2001 at 12:43PM
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