Search This Blog

Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas Gifts

It's that time of year when everyone is distracted by the glittering decorations and twinkling lights, the holiday music, and the scent of special baked goods and favorite recipes. Whatever holiday you celebrate during this time probably involves giving gifts. I thought it would be fun to talk about giving gifts.

As a teacher, it is pretty tricky to budget for gifts for everyone of my students since I have quite a few. I usually provide everyone with a candy cane or other holiday treat and a small Christmas tree ornament. Even those students who do not celebrate the same holiday as I do still opt to select a decorative ornament, such as a snowman, One year I gave miniature photo albums. During the year I collect items that I keep in a "prize box." There is something for students of all ages. During the year, the students earn opportunities to pick something from the prize box. This year, everyone gets to pick something from the prize box during this holiday season.

As a parent, I suggest that there are several things you might consider as gifts for your child. Ask your child's teacher to suggest recordings. My students love to get recordings by Joshua Bell, Rachel Barton Pine, or Hilary Hahn, but there are many other possible recordings that your student may enjoy. I particularly enjoy those CDs with a theme, such as "Mozart for Meditation" or "Beethoven for Book Lovers." There are many such theme CDs available, and your child's teacher may have many others to suggest.

You child's teacher might also recommend particular pieces of music that the child might need. These are usually more comprehensive collections of music that an older student might need, such as the complete Bach sonatas and partitas or the Galamian scale book series. For younger students, there are several fiddle,  popular, or religious music solo books that come with CDs for listening.

Grandparents also like to get in on the act of gift giving. Do not overlook the student's need for instrument supplies: new strings, rosin, metronome, tuner, etc. I recall one student whose uncle gave him the gift of new Evah Pirazzi strings, which are expensive. The student really appreciated this gift!

As a teacher, I do not expect gifts from my students, but I receive them nonetheless. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Picture frames with a picture of the child inside
  • School picture of the child
  • Large picture frame with photos of the child's group class
  • Starbucks gift card (yum!)
  • Target gift card (I spend hours thinking about how to use this!)
  • Home baked goodies
  • Hand lotion and soaps
  • Special coffee or tea mugs
  • Christmas ornaments (especially the handmade kind)
  • Homemade soap mix (just add water!)
  • Homemade cookie mix (just add water!)
I especially enjoy the homemade gifts. One year I made up little candy treat bags and wrapped them inside empty toilet paper rolls. Then I wrapped the rolls up to look like firecrackers. Another year I made homemade bubble bath. Another year I made up special practice bags filled with counters, colored chip or plastic animal counters, dice, and instructions for several practice repetition games.

I hope these are helpful ideas for the holiday season. 

No comments:

Post a Comment