In my article yesterday I discussed having Christmas parties at school. I also talked about the complications that can come with exchanging Christmas gifts among the students in your classroom.
There are other options for teachers who wish to continue to carry out the tradition of student gifts but feel that a variation is needed from drawing names or bringing boy or girl gifts for exchange.
One such variation is asking parents to send a small item for each child in the class. For example if your classroom has 18 students, each child will bring 18 of the same items. All of the items will then be placed into a Christmas goody bag. The items can be very inexpensive. Parents can purchase things such as 18 Christmas pencils, erasers, or stickers. Most of these packs can be purchased for fewer than two dollars.
This method of gift giving ensures that every student receives the same thing. Therefore the complaining and longing for another’s gift is taken out of the equation. In addition it also takes the worry of a child not bringing a gift away from the teacher. During the gift exchange methods, teachers must always fear a child not bringing in a gift. Teachers often go out and buy gifts in case a student does not have one.
Using the small item for each child method, every child can still get a gift even if he/she does not bring anything from home. The goody bags will just have 17 items instead of 18.
Other teachers ask students to bring in items for needy people rather than for each other. They may collect for soldiers, nursing home residents, or children from the angel tree. Teachers may also elect for students to bring items such as these instead of buying gifts for the teacher.