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AIBU to give a v. small Christmas gift to DD's Muslim teacher?

(69 Posts)
bowerbird Sun 02-Dec-12 16:39:56

Just that really. Have usually given a very small gift (a little bauble for the tree, or some homemade ginger biscuits) with a card made by DD to the teacher at Christmas break. DD's teacher this year is fantastic and an observant Muslim.

Would like to give her something, if only to mark the holidays and say thank you, have a nice break etc., but don't wish to offend. Any advice, particularly from Muslim MNers?

whois Sun 02-Dec-12 18:17:10

People at work handed round sweets for divali, eid etc and aren't offended by Christmas connotations. It's nice to involve others in celebrations.

I think giving a gift and a 'thanks' card would be appreciated.

natation Sun 02-Dec-12 18:20:27

Given the place in Islam of Jesus, why on earth would you think and observant Muslim would not be happy with a gift?

PS have to be the BEST dates if you're going to buy some.

honeytea Sun 02-Dec-12 18:28:51

I think she would be happy with a gift.

I made the mistake last year of not getting the jewish children I teach a gift (I teach them in small groups and all this group was at a jewish school so it wasn't like the kids saw the gifts I gave to the other children.) The parents bought me a Christmas gift, it was a jewish star candle holder I was very touched.

GrrrArghZzzzYaayforall8nights Sun 02-Dec-12 18:54:01

Because some are uncomfortable with it. One Muslim woman already shared so on this thread. I know some who would be cool with it and others like mato3 who don't. This is why we should always ask the individual. We will have different histories with it within and regardless of their faith and wiki and what other people feel they should and should not be uncomfortable with.

I know I (Noachide, Judaism) would feel uncomfortable if someone gave me Christmas present rather than simply getting me a present. I know it's likely because of Christmas, but the effort to recognize my identity and that I don't really means a lot to me when for me Christmas is an all-encompassing in-my-face-in-all media-and-public-space-and-a-lot-of-rude-people really uncomfortable zone. I'm not offended, just uncomfortable and as I would try limit the discomfort in others I appreciate when others do the same for me.

Theicingontop Sun 02-Dec-12 18:59:50

OH's best friend is converted Muslim and a teacher, and is very devout, but still gets presents from his primary school students. He doesn't mind. In fact, he's grateful that the parents view him as open-minded. He rings us and wishes us a happy Christmas, gives DS a present. I'd say go for it.

FranticBanana Sun 02-Dec-12 19:21:47

I work in a school which is about half Muslim. I have never had any comeback from giving presents or cards to non Christian children, and all my Muslim colleagues are quite happy to accept Christmas cards & gifts, just as I am quite happy to accept a parcel of leftover Eid goodies!

Most of my class tell me they will be putting a Christmas tree up at home, and many exchange presents. I was told by a young man on Friday (while making paper chains) that Eid is only good for money and clothes - if you want new toys & games then you have to ask Father Christmas for them. grin

dinkystinky Mon 03-Dec-12 06:33:41

chandon - I dont think it is offensive (I am hindu a d ot offended by christmas gifts/cards) - I'm merely suggesting as I do which is to wish everyone a happy festive period as IME it definitely doesnt cause offensive, which is what the P was worried about causing. MadamFolly - was your comment aimed at dinkybinky?

ripsishere Mon 03-Dec-12 07:14:28

I hope not. DDs BFF hmm is an observant Muslim. They are exchanging gifts and both are part of the secret santa in their class.

beeny Mon 03-Dec-12 07:21:01

I am a practising muslim i always give gifts to my non muslim friends and colleagues.I dont celebrate christmas at all.

Latara Mon 03-Dec-12 09:04:05

YANBU; she will probably like the fact that 'her' children have thought of her & given her a small gift.

BartletForTeamGB Mon 03-Dec-12 09:09:53

I am an evangelical Christian. I have never been offended at Muslim friends giving me Eid cards or presents and have always been really touched. I'd be thoughtful about the picture on the card but would happily give a gift/card to Muslim friends & colleagues.

SomersetONeil Mon 03-Dec-12 09:26:49

There's no way any one of us can say definitively whether she would be offended - as far as we faceless, random MNers can advise - it could go either way.

You know her better than any of us - go with your gut instinct.

Madmum24 Mon 03-Dec-12 09:27:18

I am a muslim and would prefer to receive a non-xmas related present. If I did receive one though I would accept it out of politeness, and I would be touched that they had thought about me.

MrsTwankey Mon 03-Dec-12 10:58:10

I would. I don't think of it as a Christmas gift but more of a thank you for being a good teacher.
Friend who is a teacher in an inner city school with a high proportion of Muslim famillies. Well they all buy her 'Christmas gifts' at the end of term

SooticaTheWitchesCat Mon 03-Dec-12 11:25:59

My husband is Muslim and he gets Christmas cards and presents form work. We celebrate Christmas at home too.

Get her something, I'm sure she will appreciate it.

LoveYouForeverMyBaby Mon 03-Dec-12 11:31:20

I second the happy holidays type present.

joanbyers Mon 03-Dec-12 13:33:24

Dates are a good idea.

I have been in Indonesia at Eid, and as far as I know they do not grow dates in Indonesia, but there are LOTS of people selling them on the streets, specifically as an Eid/'holidays' item.

I think dates are referenced numerous times in the Koran/by Mohammed, which is why they are consumed by Muslims all the world over.

Agree that you need to buy good ones, when I bought some in Indonesia they had about five or six price grades, and yes the pricey ones are the best! In this country you are just as liable to pay good money for cheap ones, but I suspect an Asian grocers would have a proper selection.

LoopsInHoops Mon 03-Dec-12 13:38:50

I wonder if one might be more likely to be offended were they the only one not to receive a gift?

Seriously, what are the chances of all the other staff being Christians?

becstargazeypie Mon 03-Dec-12 13:42:02

When DS had a Muslim teacher I gave her a gift along with gifts to the Christian TAs and labelled them all as something like 'thanks for your hard work, this is just to let you know we truly appreciate all that you do and hope you have a lovely holiday'. I put non-Christmassy wrapping on all of them. She was delighted and gave me a huge hug.

Alitoomanykids Mon 03-Dec-12 13:45:56

I think I agree with the majority of posters - a 'happy holidays' type gift rather than any specific Christmas reference, would probably be welcomed. I saw a lovely craft on pinterest recently. Standard choccy bars, wrapped in plain white paper, wrap red ribbon round 2/3 of way up as a scarf and then kids can glue on orange paper carrot nose, sequence for buttons and eyes etc to make a snowman. That's what my kids will be doing for their teachers this year - a wee (almost handmade) gift to say thank you for all the hard work teachers put in during the run up to christmas.

goralka Mon 03-Dec-12 13:47:35

I'm a Muslim and although I would accept the gifts, card out of politeness i would be very uneasy to do so
I have no wish to be offensive but I find that really odd. Imagine if I was living in a Muslim country and said Eid made me 'uneasy'.

GaramMasalaGirl Mon 03-Dec-12 13:48:27

I'm a liberal Muslim and love to give and receive Christmas presents. I also insisted that we do a secret Santa at work.

I HATE dates though so not too sure about ALL Muslims loving them...I don't really think that they would make a suitable Christmas present.

Date chutney on the other hand...(starts drooling)

LettyAshton Mon 03-Dec-12 14:05:35

Dates?! Frankly I find that a bit confused . Why would all Muslims like dates? Would you give a Jewish person a pound of chopped liver? I'm sure a candle/box of chocolates/standard teacher present would be fine - perhaps just avoid the bottle of wine (although this is a generalisation too!).

Dd has a girl in her class whose family are clearly very strict Muslims. She was the first to hand out Christmas cards - Christmas cards.

I don't know anyone - Sikh, Muslim, Jew who doesn't celebrate Christmas as a cheerful holiday festival. In fact I think the only people I've come across who don't do Christmas are Jehovah's Witnesses and the sort of grumpy moneysavers who like Watchdog.

starfleet Mon 03-Dec-12 14:23:54

Another Muslim here - we have a Christmas tree (albeit a very small one)/Christmas dinner and presents! Funnily enough DS's name is the Muslim name for Jesus smile

I should think that she would probably be very appreciative of a gift and the thought behind it and you don't have to worry about offending - most other Muslims I know seem to enjoy Christmas just as much as they do Eid.

GaramMasalaGirl Mon 03-Dec-12 14:29:38

Letty thank you for speaking out about the dates! grin

I've just spent the last few minutes thinking how disappointed I'd feel if I got dates for a Christmas present.

Seriously OP, I think it's a lovely idea. Just steer clear of any alcohol or non-halal food items and dates

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