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Copyright 2005

Children saying Thank You at Christmas

Christmas is a time of giving and caring. Itís also a great time to show some appreciation to those who have done things for you during the year.

At the end of the school year, many teachers, child carers, coaches and others who regularly deal with children are given little gifts by the children and parents.

Why give them gifts?

Although these people are usually paid for their work, they often do more than the basics and truly care about  the children in their care. These people play important roles in the development and growth of the children.

Giving a gift to a special teacher or coach is a great way of acknowledging the extra time and effort they put in throughout the year.

It is also an important way to teach our children generosity, respect and gratitude. And children love giving things to make others happy, unless we teach them to have a 'give me" attitude.

What gifts should we consider?

Obviously, it depends on your budget, but there is no need to spend a fortune on gifts for these people Ė they donít expect it.

However, there are only so many little soaps and chocolates that a person needs to get at once. So what can you give that isnít expensive and is a bit original?

Here are some ideas:

Get together with others and make a combined gift. All the children in one class donít need to contribute much money for the teacher to get a massage voucher or a simple hamper.

Be altruistic. Visit Tear Australia and buy some cards as thank yous. Think of how far $5 can go for poor people, but how little it buys for a gift and the card becomes highly valuable.

Make a special certificate for the teacher or carer. To make it really special, grab a self laminating pouch and protect it.

Get the kids to make some chocolates or biscuits and present them in a nice box or basket. A gingerbread person is another great idea - the child can make one for each teacher/carer.

Give a home made gift voucher. Let the kids offer to clean the teacherís blackboard for a week or bring an apple every day!

If you know the teacherís hobby, some little pieces would be appreciated. For instance, stickers for a scrapbooker, a bookmark for a reader, a CD case for a music lover or gloves for a gardener.

Instead of sweets, why not make up a basket of fruits? Maybe a collection of fresh and dried fruits would suit.

Put together a small hamper with some biscuits, an avocado, some cheese or dips.

A bottle of wine or spirits can be a nice gift, but there is the risk of the teacher not liking it and there are legal issues about alcohol on school premises.

Speciality shops now sell some interesting flavoured teas, herbal teas and coffees and they make lovely little gifts.

Look around the classroom. Is she struggling for pegs to hang art work? Maybe her cushions need new covers or a tablecloth is ripped. Replacing some of these little items wonít cost much, but could make her teaching life much easier.

We all love pampering, and you can give a pampering gift quite economically. Various shops sell items such as thumb massagers, massage rollers, massage oils, eye cushions, bath salts, manicure sets, moisturisers and so forth.

Get your child to plant some herb seedlings in a pot. If they are creative, get them to paint the pot first, too.

Give a small vase as a gift, and fill it with home grown flowers to present it to the teacher.

Nice foot creams are a treat for tired child care workers at the end of a long day chasing kids.

Christmas decorations are another idea. They could be added to the classroom or taken home for personal use.

Make some toffee apples for the teacher!

Give a notepad or post-it notes with a cheerful or positive message on each page.

Give a double pass to a movie - it doesn't cost much if you buy them in bulk and use them as gifts for a few teachers, carers, coaches and relatives!

Candles can make a lovely gift, and as they last it doesn't matter so much if someone gets lots of them!

Tash Hughes is a Mum of two in Melbourne. She is also a writer and owner of Word Constructions. Tash is available to write articles and profiles for any business, as well as doing other business documentation projects. You can see her site and services at





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