Like all years, many of my students gave me Christmas gifts. While I appreciate all the gifts since they are acts of kindness, I must admit that some gifts are more, uh, liked than others. (I'm just being honest here).
I know that not all the children I've taught could afford to buy me nice things, and I truly don't expect any presents at all, but if you're going to buy your child's teacher a present, try to make it something useful. Oh, and try to make it new. I once received a used candle accompanied by a used bottle of nail polish. (This is a true story).
I've also received a........get ready for it..... fiber-optic bonsai tree. What does one do with a fiber-optic bonsai tree except turn it on, watch the pretty colors, and listen to it whir?
I also received a "crystal ball" containing a rose suspended in some sort of strange-smelling liquid (I only know that the liquid was strange-smelling because I broke it - accidentally, I swear!).
I've gotten god-knows-how-many "World's Greatest Teacher" ornaments, pins, earrings, etc. I shoulda saved all of them and opened my own store.
Then there are the useful presents. The most popular are gift cards (Borders, restaurants, etc.), socks (I would never have thought to get my teacher socks, but who doesn't need socks?), and body lotion/soaps/scrubs. This year, however, for the first time in my career, I did not receive any of the latter (soaps/lotion/scrubs). This is a good thing because I'm still working on depleting my accumulated stock from years past. I'm not kidding. In the past 1o years, I don't think I've ever been without some kind of specialty shower gel and I have never EVER bought any for myself. Hmmm...I hope I get some next year! I don't want to have to break my streak of never having bought shower gel!