Hanukkah Gift?

December 9, 2017, 6:23 PM · Okay, so I have a newish violin teacher (less than a year). I really like her and would like to show my appreciation (as I have with other teachers in the past) with a Holiday Gift.

However, she is a conservative Jew. I don't know much about Judaism other than knowing Hanukkah is usually celebrated around the same time as Christmas.

Is it still appropriate to give a Holiday (what would otherwise have been a Christmas) gift?

Replies (20)

December 9, 2017, 8:10 PM · Idk I got a music cup for my piano teacher and that was good. I think though I'm answering the wrong question and if you're asking if it's okay to give gifts as a Haunakkah presents, it's fine. I give gifts to my Jewish friends and they don't mind. Of course, you put the term 'conservative' before Jew, so I kinda don't know
Edited: December 9, 2017, 8:43 PM · "I got a holiday gift for you. Sorry if my timing isn't perfect."
Edited: December 9, 2017, 8:25 PM · music cup - that's what I got my teacher along with a cup holder that mounts on the music stand-- I was looking for one with a frog(as in reptile) part of the design but no luck with that- "frog", it's her music room theme kind of thing- don't ask

might be a good thing to stay away from religious gifts - cup is great idea, I may be bias though

December 9, 2017, 8:44 PM · Huge bunch of mechanical pencils. :)
December 9, 2017, 11:09 PM · A card will be nice, said my Jewish husband. Gifting apparently is not as common for Hanukkah as for Christmas. Children may get some small gift each day, but not adult.
Edited: December 10, 2017, 12:56 PM · Thank you all for the responses. And yes the question is is a gift appropriate.

Normally, I would err on the side of a gift (truffles from Vosges) that is wrapped in Hanukkah colors (white and blue?) and a card saying happy holiday's.

My hesitation arises from the following incident. My last lesson as i walked in and the student before was packing up, I in a festive mood said "Merry Christmas", the student smilled and replied in kind. My teacher said nothing. I immediately realized my mistake and said Happy Holidays to which she replied in kind.

This leads me to believe she maybe a bit sensitive to even a well intentioned gift at this time of year. Of course I've already ordered the truffles :(

Yixi, good ideas about the card. Paul thank you for the idea about timing. Maybe instead, I'll disguise it as a New Year's gift?!. Otherwise we will be stuck eating the Truffles ourselves at home.

December 10, 2017, 1:57 PM · I can't speak for your teacher, but as a Christian I would not be at all offended to receive truffles for Hanukkah, or New Year's, or Eid, or Chinese New Year, or Diwali, or....
Edited: December 10, 2017, 4:16 PM · Mary Ellen ... in my case my teacher is one of those super health-conscious people, but I can win extra points by bringing mechanical pencils for him ... and chocolates for his wife.
December 10, 2017, 4:35 PM · Some years ago, my friend gave a postcard to his male coworker on International Women’s Day. Apparently his joke wasn’t very well-received :)) if it was on me that would be completely fine. But I think how the recipient perceives the gift depends a lot on their personality too. If I were the OP and I weren’t sure how the teacher perceived the gift, I would simply wait till new year (which is only two weeks away) which AFAIK is a universal occasion.
December 10, 2017, 6:12 PM · Hi Ginger, The usual way this is handled in professional settings is to "go neutral." In your case, here is an easy suggestion. Give her the truffles accompanied by a card--use any kind of neutral blank card that you think she would like or some "Seasons Greetings" card with a nature-inspired picture, and include a note thanking her for being such a great teacher in your own words. Give it to her any time between now and whenever, but before the truffles go stale. If she is on a diet she can re-gift it. Don't worry at all about your seasonal outburst of enthusiasm, it sounds like you handled it very well.
December 11, 2017, 9:23 AM · Even better if the message in the card can double as a testimonial that they can use on their web site. :)
December 13, 2017, 11:26 AM · Since Hanukkah started last night, and your teacher is jewish I see no problem with a gift anytime starting now and ideally the next 8 days with a card that says "Happy Hanukkah". It would be a fine gesture. As Hanukkah card may be hard to find dependent upon location of the country or even what suburb/city you are in, it is perfectly acceptable to get a generic card (that has no writing of any kind), and write your message.
Likewise not providing a card and just a verbal Happy Hanukkah is fine as well. If he/she finds anything offensive in that, there is something wrong outside of your control.
December 14, 2017, 8:17 PM · As a general rule I don't buy cards that have something written on them already, such as "Thank You." Emily Post and Miss Manners both agree that it's better you write this message yourself in your own hand.

The big question is whether your teacher celebrates Hanukkah or Chanukah.

Edited: December 14, 2017, 9:29 PM · Thank you again everyone. Your suggestions gave me the info I needed. Ultimately what does this season represent - among other things gratitude.

The Vosges truffles arrived, today. My next lesson is tomorrow, Friday. I purchased a beautiful blank card into which I have written a short personalized (but non-religious) message sharing my appreciation of having the opportunity to experience her excellent teaching.

I will present her with the truffles and card tomorrow.

Edited: December 15, 2017, 10:00 PM · Well all went well. I got a pleased, "thank you, that was very thoughtful", followed by an "ooooh chocolate!"
Seems she follows in your footsteps Mary Ellen G.
December 15, 2017, 10:05 PM · :-)
December 16, 2017, 7:36 PM · One issue if you are buying truffles or other food as a Chanukah gift for a conservative Jew is to make sure that the food is kosher.
Edited: December 18, 2017, 4:36 AM · Hi,
I am jewish violinist (not orthodox) Hannukah is not like a christmas, it is not so "gifty". But greeting or showing your respect and heart would be nice. Orthodox people are full of love and heart too :) And do it now, because hannukah will be over soon.


P.S. about new year tips, jewish new year (rosh ha shanna) is at the autumn time :-)

December 18, 2017, 12:47 PM · No gifts at rosh hashanna though...its a serious time...
December 19, 2017, 11:40 PM · Yes, thanks for adding important note Arnie.

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