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 Post subject: Holiday gifts for the people in your kid's life
PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 11:20 pm 
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Nooch of Earl
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So Violet loves baby gym and next week is the last class before the holidays. I'd like to get a little something for the instructors, but it's kind of tricky because the instructors change their schedules a lot, and there is sometimes just 1 and sometimes there are 3. There's one or two instructors in particular that she's worked with a lot and have really helped her, but they weren't at class this week and may not be next week.

So, what would you do in this situation? Bring one thing (like a big food type gift) that they can all enjoy while they're there? Bring a few little gifts and then give them to any teachers who are there that day? Bring specific gifts for the teachers she's seen the most of? the latter two options together (ie, gifts for whoever happens to be there plus a few for the teachers she's seen a lot of over the last few months if they're not the ones present)?

Also, anybody have suggestions? I know there are some people who work with kids out in playgroundland..


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 Post subject: Re: Holiday gifts for the people in your kid's life
PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 9:33 am 
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Because Bob Barker Told Me To
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I would pick the first one because it sounds the easiest and I need more easy in my life! When I don't know someone well enough to pick out a gift, we like to give food or something D has made himself (last year we did pinecone elf ornaments).

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday gifts for the people in your kid's life
PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 10:53 am 
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The Real Hamburger Helper
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I think it's ok to bring the gifts for the specific people even if they are not there. Someone will pass them on to them. It's nice to get that kind of acknowledgement from a parent. But I don't think you can go wrong either way.


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 Post subject: Re: Holiday gifts for the people in your kid's life
PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 2:45 pm 
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Butternut wrote:
I think it's ok to bring the gifts for the specific people even if they are not there. Someone will pass them on to them. It's nice to get that kind of acknowledgement from a parent. But I don't think you can go wrong either way.


Agreed. I used to work in a drop-in childcare situation and I got more $5 Starbucks gift cards than I could count but it was awesome because I got paid so little and free coffee was so appreciated.

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday gifts for the people in your kid's life
PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 4:13 pm 
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The Real Hamburger Helper
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Ditto.


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 Post subject: Re: Holiday gifts for the people in your kid's life
PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 4:58 pm 
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I teach dance classes for kiddos, and I would be very touched if a parent left something specifically for me when I wasn't there. Presents the kids make are always very sweet, as are treats (although the treats are often not vegan, so I share them with other teachers.)


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 Post subject: Re: Holiday gifts for the people in your kid's life
PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 5:19 pm 
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Whatever you do, don't give teachers mugs or Christmas ornaments. As a child of a teacher the amount of these I saw enter our home yearly was overwhelming. Better something to eat or that will be used up - gift cards, candles, notecards/stationary.


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 Post subject: Re: Holiday gifts for the people in your kid's life
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 2:05 am 
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erynne936 wrote:
Whatever you do, don't give teachers mugs or Christmas ornaments. As a child of a teacher the amount of these I saw enter our home yearly was overwhelming. Better something to eat or that will be used up - gift cards, candles, notecards/stationary.

I second this. I would also avoid toiletries/smellies: I used to get tons of these from my students and always had to regift them as I am allergic to almost everything toiletry-wise.

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday gifts for the people in your kid's life
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 4:42 am 
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we did individual bags of cookies, 1 for each teacher plus a few extra for the secretaries/whomever else might want some, and put them in a basket and brought them to the school. That way some can get saved for anyone who's not there, some can get enjoyed right now, etc etc. It also put the onus on the school to find the people and give them to them, instead of me or my kid having to track down everyone.

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday gifts for the people in your kid's life
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:44 am 
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I have an etiquette question. In kindergarten, there is one teacher, one teacher's assistant, and the one other assistant who isn't really assigned to the class (she's assigned to a child in the class) but she helps out pretty often in the classroom. Is it okay to give the teacher a slightly bigger gift? I was thinking baked good for all three but a little extra for the teacher. She's done a lot for my daughter and really gone out of her way to address some of my concerns, even though it ultimately means more work for her.

eta:

I'm super crafty, but I don't really want to do cutesy crayons and apples type stuff. I have plenty of random supplies (mostly fabric) so I could totally make them something...suggestions?


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 Post subject: Re: Holiday gifts for the people in your kid's life
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 11:00 am 
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My parents are both teachers, and I'd say it's normal to get the teacher a slightly larger gift. As the child of teachers, we always liked when they came home with food. My mom loves gift certificates to book stores (and usually funnels into books for the classroom) and coffee shops. The mugs/ornaments/etc got crazy. We could easily have a tree decorated entirely in apple ornaments.

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday gifts for the people in your kid's life
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 11:05 am 
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The Emperor is in a preschool classroom with three main teachers and a fourth teacher who helps out in the late afternoon (2 of the other 3 get there early to setup and leave a bit early). I should bring something little for all 4 teachers, right? Do people normally give gifts to preschool teachers? He really loves them a lot, and we do too, so it seems like a good thing.

The Magician's in the baby room with like 8 different aides and I am embarrassed to admit I don't know all of their names. I'm thinking maybe a cookie plate for them to share?

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday gifts for the people in your kid's life
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 11:17 am 
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Drinks Wild Tofurkey
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Speaking as someone who has received a lot of care packages over the years (and right now), cookies are great but they will get a ton of sweets. Healthier type things are appreciated too. We just got some boxes, and the nut mixes, wasabi seaweed, and dried cranberries went first.

To be fair, the fudge was close behind, but you get my point.

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday gifts for the people in your kid's life
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 12:19 pm 
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Things I've gotten from families that I liked: blank notecards, hard-living plants, gift certificates to restaurants they know I like, coffee gift cards, book store gift certificates, $, class gifts that are a usable item with all the kids names on them (like a lovely trivet I now keep a plant on - I think if I had gotten more than half a dozen of these over my whole career it would be too much, but the couple of times it's happened I've been very touched), nice teas and coffee.

Things I have gotten that I have not liked: food (it's never vegan, everybody knows I'm vegan, wth), candles (allergies and I have no use for random candles in my life), lotions (allergic and animal testing), clothes of any sort (so many wool scarves), mugs (except for a huge awesome one), tchochkes - *the worst*, cut flowers.

This year I bought gifts for a teaching staff of 18 and about 10 aides. I got the teachers all the same very cute book and a nice card and the aides all got coffee gift cards.

I think it's appropriate if your kid interacts with a lot of people to get them all something small or something for the group. I'd probably give a beautiful fruit platter instead of cookies, though.


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 Post subject: Re: Holiday gifts for the people in your kid's life
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 12:57 pm 
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So is Reno's Kindergarten expecting a gift from each kid in the class? I don't remember ever bringing my teachers a gift but it now seems like a thing. I always thought there was a rule against giving gifts. I don't know what to do. I'm not against giving something but also don't want to be the only person to give something. Preschool was so much easier because there was always one parent who was in charge of the class and always asked for a few bucks and took care of all gifts etc. I think I'll just feel out the other parents and see what they are doing.

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday gifts for the people in your kid's life
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 1:12 pm 
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Homemade bread is a nice option of you don't want to do sweets.

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday gifts for the people in your kid's life
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 2:37 pm 
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Nooch of Earl
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RE preschool: My mom was a preschool teacher for 30 years and I would say gifting is definitely common but I don't think my mother would have expected it or been offended if someone hadn't given her a gift. The gifts varied widely though we too could have had an apple ornament tree!! My mom usually passed the Starbucks and movie theater gift cards onto us because she didn't use them, but this teacher's daughter appreciated them. ;) Sometimes people would give things to just her if she was their main teacher, sometimes they would be for all the teachers in eg the 3 year old room. I don't know what the aides usually got, if anything, but I don't think it would be weird at all if it were slightly different/less than the teachers.

So I'm wondering if I should just go with starbucks cards. Baby gym is in a suburban area, pretty far from where we live (so I don't know anything about local businesses there). I think the workers there are 20-ish, don't know if they are over age or else I would totally consider a Bevmo gift card (though that's probably completely inappropriate.. but might be more appreciated than the eleventy-millionth coffee card!!). It's also just about a mile away from a Trader Joe's, which might be great if they shop there anyway and kind of annoying if they don't. Panera? Some kind of bakery/dessert place? I just don't know.


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 Post subject: Re: Holiday gifts for the people in your kid's life
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 4:05 pm 
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JENNA wrote:
So is Reno's Kindergarten expecting a gift from each kid in the class? I don't remember ever bringing my teachers a gift but it now seems like a thing. I always thought there was a rule against giving gifts. I don't know what to do. I'm not against giving something but also don't want to be the only person to give something. Preschool was so much easier because there was always one parent who was in charge of the class and always asked for a few bucks and took care of all gifts etc. I think I'll just feel out the other parents and see what they are doing.


It's common in my area for the class parent to collect cash from everyone and then give one gift to the teacher, something smaller for any assistants. They do this K-5. It's so much easier for everyone this way and better for the teacher, too.


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 Post subject: Re: Holiday gifts for the people in your kid's life
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 5:04 pm 
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I am one of the class parents but there are two other Mom's who are "THE" class parents and I would think if they were going to do a group gift something would have been said already.

I've decided I'm going to make brownies and package them for the teacher and two aides.

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday gifts for the people in your kid's life
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 6:02 pm 
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Thanks for the thoughts about what particular foods to send. We've settled on little bags of homemade pecan spice granola, because it's not exactly a sweetie, I can make a shiitake ton at once (it's in the oven now in fact), a single serving is like one nice little treat breakfast, and the Emperor could actively help me make it. We'll dress up the bags with some bows and stickers.

Their babysitter who comes Tuesday afternoons will get a Starbucks gift card because I know she'll use that shiitake.

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday gifts for the people in your kid's life
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 6:23 pm 
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All of the people in DD's life are getting boxes of home made cookies. In addition, almost everyone is getting a gift card to Barnes and Noble, but her main teacher is getting a larger one than the aids. One of her therapists happened to tell me she just recently became a vegetarian, and is having trouble knowing what to cook. I immediately gave her my stack of Vegetarian Times magazines that had been collecting dust in the pantry, but I decided to get her a cookbook for the holidays.

In a situation in which I'm not sure how many people I'll be giving gifts to, I get a whole bunch of gift cards to somewhere I would like, and carry them around with me. If I have any left at the end of the season, I just use them myself.


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