Somehow or other, December is upon us and as the Christmas lights start to flicker and flash in streets and houses across the country, my thoughts turn, once again, to Christmas gifts for teachers.
I had a conversation with a teacher about this at the end of the last school year, proudly telling her all about the lovely homemade bouquets of tissue-paper flowers which my children had taken in for their teachers and the homemade biscuits they’d painstakingly decorated at Christmas. She laughed and told me how funny it is that parents think the teachers will prefer a cute little homemade gift, but actually, all they really want is a nice bottle of wine or anything in a Brown Thomas bag.
I left the conversation feeling more than a little disheartened.
Surely, with belts being tightened even further than they were last year, teachers don’t really expect parents to buy an expensive Christmas ‘thank you’ gift – do they? Do they? Surely, they can see the ridiculous situation parents find themselves in when there may be two, three or more teachers to buy for. Surely something personalised and made by the child they see five days a week means more than a bottle of hand cream from some fancy boutique?
Or am I getting this totally wrong?
Before I start breaking open the kids' piggy banks or rolling out cookie dough, please let me know what you think – parents and teachers alike. Are gifts necessary at all or is a simple ‘thank you for doing your job’ sufficient? And if gifts are expected, do they have to be of a certain value, and will my homemade efforts continue to be ridiculed in the staff room?