And with a bang Christmas season is here. Our tree is up (our rule is once it’s past Charlie’s birthday is open season on festivities), our presents are being bought and hidden away, and it’s time to start thinking of what we are going to get or make for the people who keep our kids alive/ educated/ put up with them during the day. Lets face it for me these are the people that make my life that much easier- they care for and love my children, they look after them when I can’t and they are teaching them and putting energy into them almost every day- I know I appreciate the people that spend so much time with my kids and so I really want to show them that by getting them a nice gift, here are some ideas that aren’t a new coffee mug or a box of chocolates;
1. A Christmas Ornament
Whether it’s hand made or a really nice store bought one, an ornament for their tree is something they will probably really like! My Mum was a teacher and she still has Christmas decorations she received from students that she puts up every year. Last year we bought glass baubles and wrote on pretty pieces of paper special thank you’s to the teachers and then put them and some glitter and little decorative bits inside.
2. A small plant
This one is cute and practical and I love the idea of it! You have a few options with increasing degrees of difficulty (effort) with this one. a) Buy a cute plant (think succulent, aloe vera is a winner, or a herb plant to avoid allergies and high maintenance levels), give said plant to teacher with base wrapped in cellophane so the soil doesn’t go everywhere. b) buy a cute plant, put in equally cute pot, give to teacher. c) Buy terracotta pot, paint and decorate then put plant in, and give to teacher. No matter what amount of effort you go to, a plant is a different but appreciated gift- it’s unlikely to get thrown out, at worst it will die over the holidays after being forgotten on said teachers desk (or in the bus, daycare etc)
3. A bottle of good wine
Don’t buy a bottle of shitty red and expect appreciation. A nice middle or upper quality bottle will go down a lot better (see what I did there). Added points if you find out what they like to drink ie sweet,dry, red or white. You could even print out and affix your own label of “Our child is probably the reason you drink, so have one on us”, or something along those lines.
4. A gift voucher
This one doesn’t have to be as expensive as you might think. Mention to a few fellow parents and suggest they get the same thing, or put some money together and buy a group gift. Whether it be for a spa, nail salon, hardware store or gift shop, this one will get used for sure!
5. A personalised pen or notebook
A nice pen with their name engraved in it is a winner! Lets face it, most people have to write something down a few times a day, why not get them something they will use a lot. It’s not flashy or hugely exciting, but its a nice and thoughtful gift, that says you value them enough to think about what they might use. A sweet notebook with “Mrs Smith’s” or a nice message like “Thank you for everything you do” or a quote, will be used and enjoyed. I spoke to a retired principal who said her favorite gift when she left a school was a notebook filled with messages from past students, parents and staff- so if it’s a retirement present (and a whole lot of work) you are searching for, that’s a winner, meanwhile for a simple end of year thank you, a personalised notebook will suffice. If you don’t have time to order something like this, a nice blank notebook, with a handwritten message from your child will be met with plenty of ‘aw how cute’s’
6. A gift to someone in need
Now this sounds a little kooky, but bare with me, World Vision and the TEAR foundation both do gifts that you buy for people who have nothing in third world countries and you get a card to give to the person you bought it on behalf of. Some of the things you can buy are a cow or chickens, a small fuel efficient stove, a well for a whole community or you can train someone as a teacher or health worker. These gifts are sweet and useful and can be fun. My Grandpa loved to tell people his daughter bought him a cow for Christmas, he would watch their faces and laugh and laugh, before finally explaining that it was in a village in Africa or Asia somewhere. This is something beautiful that spreads some good in the world- I love giving the cards to someone who will understand and appreciate the sentiment behind it.
So there you have it- a few idea for you if you are stuck, do you have anything to add to the list?