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?

bowerbird Wed 05-Dec-12 18:43:01

Crescent thank you for saying that - really made my day!

Baking, I know obviously about no alcohol - but gelatine? Is gelatine a pork derivative perhaps? I didn't know that. Thank you for pointing that out.

Many thanks to all who have kindly posted here.

Bakingnovice Tue 04-Dec-12 08:08:40

The only thing I would add is that the gift should be appropriate. No alcohol or alcoholic chocolates or sweets containing gelatine if the teacher is Muslim.

peppapigpants Tue 04-Dec-12 00:02:04

About half of my class are Muslim, 2/3 of the rest Hindu or Sikh. There are fewer Christians than any other faith. We are doing a nativity play and the children talk about Christmas and what they are planning at home. They also talked about prayer mats when we studied patterns in RE and about how they celebrated Divali. We made divas and every child, regardless of faith, took one home. I will write a card for every child in my class. They all know who Santa is but most are quite clueless about Jesus smile.

narmada Mon 03-Dec-12 23:51:44

I have no problem accepting and giving xhristmas presents despite the fact I am an atheist. Obviously I am therefore very broad minded and multiculti grin. Christmas is different things to different people. To me it is an annual cultural and family event.

I would give the presents.

WorraLorraTurkey Mon 03-Dec-12 23:49:29

That's it Fanny I've never asked anyone's religion when giving a Christmas gift or card.

It's none of my business anyway and I'm not particularly interested in any religion.

FannyBazaar Mon 03-Dec-12 23:47:10

I am neither Muslim or Christian and find my Muslim friends are just as likely to give Christmas presents as anyone else I know. We give presents to the teachers at Christmas and don't bother asking the teacher's religion first but do chose something I think would be fairly acceptable to anyone.

The children all seem to exchange cards at Christmas regardless of religion.

mato3 Mon 03-Dec-12 23:41:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WorraLorraTurkey Mon 03-Dec-12 23:40:38

If anyone is offended at being given a thoughtful gift, chosen, bought and wrapped with good intention, they are very easily offended and quite frankly up their own arses imo.

I would give the teacher a gift and if they're offended there's nothing you can do about it OP.

Though I suspect MN contains more PO's than real life does...or let's hope so anyway grin

Bakingnovice Mon 03-Dec-12 23:32:23

I always give the Muslim teachers a pressie and card. In fact at our school all the Muslim mums help organise the Xmas fair. They get more excited about the nativity/Xmas choir/ Santa than anyone else. And they also have wonderful recipes for spicing up Xmas dinner. A few years ago the Head tried to call the Xmas fair 'happy holidays fair'. It was the Muslim parents who set up the campaign to restore the word Christmas and impressed on everyone that no one need be offended in their name.

mato3 Mon 03-Dec-12 23:23:53

goralka i didnt say christmas made me uneasy i said receiving gifts or cards would make me feel uneasy. The op asked muslims view on it and i gave my view on how i feel. I also wouldnt mind if u said that you were uneasy about being given eid presents as its your choice and how you feel. Personally i would feel like a hypocrite in taking part in christmas or giftgiving/receiving or any other religious festival because i have chosen another faith and i cant just pick and choose the best of all faiths. It just wouldnt be right to me.

I dont mean any offence to you or others by this, its just how i feel.

Bonbonchance Mon 03-Dec-12 15:23:34

I work with lots of Muslim children and lots of them celebrate Christmas with tree, presents etc as well as Eid. Have worked with someone who was Muslim and her family always celebrated Christmas as a cultural thing as well as doing Ramadan, Eid etc as their religion. She got lots of Christmas presents from children & gave cards, little gifts etc to her class, it wouldn't have occurred to her to be offended I don't think!

Go for it, I'm sure your child's teacher would appreciate the sentiment as a thank you and have good holidays type thing.

mmm halal turkey...with date chutney...(starts drooling again)

crescentmoon Mon 03-Dec-12 15:20:04

I think you are really nice OP.my children just started at a new school and both their christian (i think) teachers have been so kind and really eased them into settling in. Above and beyond.I missed the chance to give them Eid presents - didn't realise I could do that until weeks after! I also Don't want to wait until next summer as I really want to show them our appreciation now. I'm going to borrow the lines from some of the posters here and put that in the card and attach to the gifts we are giving to them both before the end of this term. I find Christmas time exciting as its the only time you can buy halal turkeys too- most butchers are taking orders now. It's the only change from chicken, lamb, beef all year!

grovel Mon 03-Dec-12 15:18:47

Perhaps we should remember that Muslims believe in Jesus and in the Virgin birth. They may not have chosen to have a festival to celebrate his birth but it is still good news in their religion too.

"Muslims respect and revere Jesus .They consider him one of the greatest of God’s messengers to mankind. The Quran confirms his virgin birth, and a chapter of the Quran is entitled ‘Maryam’ (Mary). The Quran describes the birth of Jesus as follows:

(Remember) when the angels said, “O Mary, God gives you good news of a word from Him (God), whose name is the Messiah Jesus, son of Mary, revered in this world and the Hereafter, and one of those brought near (to God). He will speak to the people from his cradle and as a man, and he is of the righteous.” She said, “My Lord, how can I have a child when no mortal has touched me?” He said, “So (it will be). God creates what He wills. If He decrees a thing, He says to it only, ‘Be!’ and it is.” (Quran, 3:45-47)"

giveitago Mon 03-Dec-12 15:07:04

I don't celebrate eid, non christmas catholic festivals or any jewish festivals at all but I certainly recognise them as they are in calendar and I wouldn't be offened to be included in someone elses celebration of them.

I just don't feel discomfort.

littleducks Mon 03-Dec-12 14:58:28

We are muslim and dont celebrate xmas.

I wouldn't mind receiving a gift. I might feel uneasy/uncomfortable as I wouldn't reciprocate (at xmas time) and would worry that it would appear rude.

I would prefer a less religious card, like snowmen or robins rather than a nativity scene but at the end of the day wouldnt be offended.

giveitago Mon 03-Dec-12 14:49:37

I'm from a multi religious family but I'm not particularly religious (my side is cofe and hindu and my h is a devout catholic).

Quite a clash.

Having said that the majority of my friends are from other religions.If I were a teacher I'd be happy to receive anything from the parents by way of thanks for hard word done with kids. But I'm not a teacher.

I think we overthink things too much. If something is given with genuine gratitude to a teacher (in this case) by way of thanks for a good job done at a time when it's normal (like UK is a country with a christian tradition) to give a gift then the issue is with the receiver. These days it's possible to give accompanying cards that are not not overly religious (aka rubs someone's nose in someone elses religion/culture). Can't say I've ever felt it (someone once gave me some candles - they turned out to be relgious candles but I didn't mind at all) but then again I'm not from a culture that says that my way is the right and the other way takes away from my culture.

Dunno. I guess at the end of the day would a) not want to give a dear teacher a present because you're giving it at the time of year that they do not recognise b) leave a dear teacher out because of fear of offence.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Mon 03-Dec-12 14:48:52

Could you write her card/present the gift in an end-of-term way ie 'Thanks for everything this term and have a lovely break from school', rather than it seeming like a Christmas present?

I'm not sure how you'd convey that, admittedly.

As a bit of an aside, I think it's lovely if schools celebrate, or just make pupils aware of, major festivals and holidays in non-Christian religions (as dinky mentions upthread), especially in schools where other religious backgrounds are represented. I didn't have a clue about Hannukah or Eid or Holi or anything when I was a kid but I'm sure I would have loved to learn about them (and to get the associated presents smile)

BridgetBidet Mon 03-Dec-12 14:40:23

Why don't you ask her? My old boss was a very religious Muslim and preferred not to join in with Secret Santa or card giving but was happy to come out for the Xmas meal.

I think it's individual, I would ask or just go ahead. Most people don't get offended at being given a present.

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

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.

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.

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)

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'.

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.

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