This is the first year I’ve had my very own school bus route and I don’t know the etiquette of gift giving to students.
There are many practical considerations:
- Food allergies and sensitivities
- Giving them all the same thing or similar things
- Finding something that is reasonably priced
- It can’t crush easily cause they may have to carry it around all day (some aren’t on in the afternoon)
- It has suit girls and boys
If I were rich I’d spend a fortune on them but I not so I won’t even consider all the fun I could have with that. If I had lots of time I’d make everyone a scarf and mitten but I don’t have lots of time.
Then there is the matter of personal taste. I don’t really get to know them very well except from little snippets they share with me and the things I can overhear going on in the back. One is a skater, they all like music, one likes to read fantasy, one likes makeup and hair stuff.
I’m fortunate I only have nine students on my little bus. It must be terrible for the big buses that have 60 on them.
Mine are a pretty nice bunch. They are high school age. A couple of them are in foster care, all have some learning issues but they are generally pretty sharp kids. They don’t know it likely but they have all gained a special place in my heart mostly because I take their lives in my hands every day and that matters to me.
Tonight at the grocery store I did some looking. Candy canes filled with Skittles should work for all. Travel mugs might cut down on the spills in the bus though they have gotten better about that. Gift certificates would run into big money.
So I’ve decided it’s just all too much and I lose at every turn so I’m going to buy them something I want. I’m going to the Canadian Wildlife Federation page and adopting a Snowy Owl. Each kid will get a card with a picture of the owl and an explanation that our bus has adopted a snowy. Then when
I get the plus toy they send it can be our mascot and sit in the front window watching out for its kin over the winter. I saw four of them on this route last winter when I drove it for a while. Maybe we will see them again this year.
It is not a perfect gift I’m sure but I hope they will have some sense of having done something worthwhile and contributing to making a world for all of us. That is what Christmas should be about so I hope they agree.