To teacher, with love: Students' holiday gifts memorable, sweet, unusual

By Sharon Noguchi

San Jose Mercury News

(MCT)

On the day before Christmas break, my students gave to me:

A disoriented mouse. Pre-tasted goodies. A single gold earring (the librarian got the other). And a marriage proposal — with mom's borrowed jewelry to try to seal the deal.

There are the favored presents: gift cards, movie passes, homemade lunches. And the ones guaranteed to be saved: hand-written letters from parents.

She carefully opened the box, and inside was a seemingly drugged baby mouse.

"My first reaction would have been to scream," Bliss said, but seeing the child's smile and sparkling eyes, she said instead, "Oh, how adorable!"

"You say, 'Thanks so much, how nice! and 'Did you make these?'" he said.

And, he advises, unwrap the gift in class because the kids are dying to know and because, in fact, you never know what's inside. Once he tossed a See's candy box in the freezer, only to unwrap it months later and find ... a tie.

Other memorable gifts for teachers include:

"To this day, it is one of my favorite Christmas ornaments," Lawson said.

Teachers also fondly remember the thoughtful gifts.

Another teacher rule: Always wear what your students give you.

Well, except for the Santa boxer shorts that a student gave Done one year.

She said no.

"We had a phone call from the mother soon after, asking for her jewelry back. It turns out, when he was sadly rejected by me, he gave other jewelry, chains, necklaces and bracelets to the girls on the bus. We had to call all the girls' parents and ask that they send the jewelry back.

"Mother came to school personally to get her valuables," Latz recalled. "I hope she also purchased a jewelry box with a lock."

———

(c) 2009, San Jose Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.).