I’ve been reading amazing stories of Secret Santas paying off layaway bills for strangers and listening to heated debates over how much moms had to pony up for the teacher’s gift…it must be Christmas!
About the teacher’s gift—I know it’s too late now to help you decide ‘how much’ because the gifts have been bought and distributed in most cases. But I still feel the need to weigh in here. I understand that some people feel strongly about thanking the teacher with a generous gift and that’s great. Teachers work hard, they put up with our kids all day long and they are due a little holiday bonus. So if you’re buying a gift, the amount you spend is all up to you. There are no limits to what you can give. If, however, there is a class gift that everyone is contributing to, the limit should be $20. If some people want to contribute $5 or $10, that’s fine too. There should be no pressure over the amount to contribute as everyone has different budgets. If you feel like you’re not getting your ‘Thank you, you mean a lot to Johnny’ message across, have Johnny make a card or buy another gift yourself. Nobody needs to know.
Gift giving is personal and it should be kept that way.
Speaking of gift giving, I was touched by the generous actions of some people who are paying toy bills for families with hundreds of dollars on layaway at major retailers in the US. These Secret Santas are reportedly walking into the stores and asking to see the layaway bills. They find ones that have toys on the list and pay the bills anonymously.
I think it’s lovely. It’s generous and completely unselfish. But I was surprised to see some of the cynical comments in the Globe and Mail as a reaction to this story.
Here’s an example: “The problem with this story is these people who buy on ‘layaway’ think that Christmas is about ‘buying stuff’. It’s not.”
I agree wholeheartedly that the spirit of Christmas is in the giving—but we need to be clear about who we are giving to—it’s the kids. You either buy into it or you don’t. I’m not sure how someone can be cynical about such a generous act during the holidays.
I think the Secret Santas are as savvy as they come.
What do you think? Savvy or not so savvy?