What’s a good Christmas gift?

What’s a good Christmas gift?

Here’s a stupid dilemma, but I still need help.

I’d like to get my fiddle instructor a Christmas gift. Nothing extravagant of course, just something extra to show my appreciation for all his help and effort this past year. He spends a lot of time with many students, and charges a nominal fee, almost a token. It’s clear that his motivation is the love of the Music and passing on the tradition. He’s helped me with everything from bow grip to repertoire, all with infinite patience towards this dullard of a student.

At first I thought a bottle of wine would be a perfect gift – it’s not an imposition, it’s impersonal enough suitable to our relationship etc. However, I’ve noticed on occasion when at lessons in his home that his wife had several friends over and they sat around the kitchen table holding hands and praying. This was explained away as a “meeting”. They’re not otherwise a demonstrably religious couple. Which makes me wonder if his wife is in AA, then of course the wine is totally inappropriate.

I was thinking that maybe I could take one of the other students aside and ask them if this was the case, but I don’t want to start unfounded rumors, nor do I want to make the other student feel as if they too should give a gift. I just want to make a quiet gesture.

Sorry for this long explanation. I have the social skills of a toad, and a tendency to careen between thoughtless insensitivity and way overthinking things.

Any thoughts on a suitable gift?

Re: What’s a good Christmas gift?

Just ask your friend if the instructor drinks. Explain that you’re not sure and you wanted to check first. Chances are if he doesn’t your assumptions may be correct.

Other than that, how about a subscription to a music magazine? Or a card with gift vouchers for a music shop.

Re: What’s a good Christmas gift?

Tickets, fidkid, for next decent upcoming trad. gig, if any, in your area?

Joe

Re: What’s a good Christmas gift?

Gift card for the local coffee shop or bakery.
Gift certificate for restaurant or bookstore.

Re: What’s a good Christmas gift?

lingerie usually goes down well.

Re: What’s a good Christmas gift?

Particularly them there edible panties.

Re: What’s a good Christmas gift?

Well, good for you, fidkid, for at least thinking about it. If you’re nervous about the alcohol, try a be-ribboned box of four really fancy truffles from your local chocolatier, or find a nice ornament for the tree (or other appropriate holiday decoration), or think about any discussions you’ve had about what your instructor does outside of music and get something related to that.

I love giving and choosing gifts. It used to be part of my job, I was a personal shopper/bridal registry consultant for Bed Bath and Beyond. I don’t miss the hours, but I sort of miss that job.

This year, though, I’m making most of our gifts, because this year I have more time than cash. My dining room table is currently covered with things I’m making (largely jewelry and knitted scarves — thank god for knitting machines — and these cute little Chinese takeaway boxes I’m making out of Chinese brocades and putting handles on to make purses). Anybody else making their gifts this year?

Re: What’s a good Christmas gift?

Oh, chocolate is always good. But yeah, Zina, I have two more balls of nice mohair to turn into lacy scarves before the day. And one bag left to felt. Making things for people is like getting a present yourself—you get to choose the materials and futz around with it before it goes to a new home.

Re: What’s a good Christmas gift?

Perhaps a donation in his name to a local arts organization?

Re: What’s a good Christmas gift?

And then there’s rocking bow, who makes other people’s Christmas gifts so they can give them to other people… 🙂

Re: What’s a good Christmas gift?

A banjo!

Re: What’s a good Christmas gift?

fidkid, never underestirmate the social skills of toads …

a simple, thoughtful gift to your fiddlle teacher should surely be some fine-quality ‘rosin’ _i know a decent bow can cost more than the instrument

i can never find a pick when i need one, so a present would be a great plectrum to me

Re: What’s a good Christmas gift?

Tea, coffee, homemade cookies, fruit basket, a cd your teacher doesn’t have, a Christmas tree ornament, a plant, fancy cheese, flowers….those are what my fiddle students have brought me in the past and those kinds of things are always a thoughtful surprise.

Cara

Re: What’s a good Christmas gift?

It’s not too late to order some nice woolens for Christmas. Thanks for the plug, Zina.

Re: What’s a good Christmas gift?

Any time! 🙂 Hey, here’s another gift idea…get our Nell to send you one of her new CDs to give as a gift… ;) (Er…sure, yeah, I was joking, but just in case… http://www.helenroche.net ;)

Re: What’s a good Christmas gift?

I thought cash was a nice gift. Don’t most music teachers live sort of on the edge? I am giving the amount of one lesson. Oh, and a box of 8 Godiva truffles.

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Re: What’s a good Christmas gift?

yeah making stuff yourself is always good… I’m just doing xmas cards right now. But thinking of "fiddlish things" for your tutor how about the rosin idea but in a wee wooden box. I resorted to baking a tray of what we call "nice" …pastry layered with homemade very aloholic mincepie filling and then cake on top… It sort of helps with fiddle playing too…if you don’t eat too much 🙂)

Re: What’s a good Christmas gift?

but not with spelling of alcoholic obviously …..^ hic

Re: What’s a good Christmas gift?

Oh the knitting of scarves… especially the one ball really big needle kind!!! I’m on my third. When it comes to gifts… it really is the thought that counts. I go for the food gifts, .. especially the chocolate kind … or a really nice gift basket.

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Re: What’s a good Christmas gift?

Hash Brownies

Re: What’s a good Christmas gift?

english lemon curd

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Re: What’s a good Christmas gift?

Lemon curd! Oh yummy. Somewhere I have a recipe for that that is absolutely stellar…

Re: What’s a good Christmas gift?

Listen, learn and practice. A teacher will never get a better present than that.

Re: What’s a good Christmas gift?

Except for…. CASH.

Re: What’s a good Christmas gift?

Money

Re: What’s a good Christmas gift?

I notice in your opening post you say you have the skills of a toad.

Teach him to catch flies with his tongue.

Re: What’s a good Christmas gift?

Thanks for all the great advice and ideas! Maybe now I’ll win the apple polisher award for being the teacher’s toadie! ;)

Re: What’s a good Christmas gift?

Hey fidkid, if your teacher is male and tech inclined, and if you have unlimited funds, check out this bad boy: http://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/tools/6b3b/ — it is TOTALLY fabulous! (Anyone answering the unlimited funds description is welcome to buy one for me. 🙂