There's no downplaying the mammoth role teachers play in our kids' lives. So how do you show gratitude to the person you entrust not only with your child's education, but with their wellbeing every single day?
If you're Stacy Dutton, you buy them a nice bottle of vino.
The Portland, Oregon mom-of-two, who runs a stationary company, ventured beyond the generic gift card and designed a personalized wine bottle. The label featured a photograph of her child with the slogan: "Our child might be the reason you drink, so enjoy this bottle on us."
Even though the gift was intended to be tongue-in-cheek, many felt her offering was wholly inappropriate.
"People either love it or they hate it," admitted Dutton after her post on Reddit generated a lot of attention, both good and bad. "All it was ever meant to be was just a nice, funny, light-hearted gift."
Though Dutton was careful not to deliver the alcohol on school property, some saw her choice as setting a poor example to students - namely, by implying that booze is a go-to way to deal with job stress.
With teachers generally maxed out on mugs and Starbucks vouchers, it can be tricky for parents to dream up a gift that is unique and also meaningful. And besides, not everyone drinks coffee...
Dutton doesn't advocate gifting wine to each and every educator. But if there is a personal relationship established, why not?
"I know my son's teachers very well," said Dutton. "... I knew they were going to find the gift funny and humorous. And, since he had kind of just started his terrible two's, I thought it would be a fun, appropriate gift."
While I have never given a teacher alcohol as a gift, I see no great harm in giving a nice bottle or LCBO gift card to a teacher if you know their tastes. A former employer always gave staff a box of wine at Christmas.
I'm not saying booze makes the perfect gift. Still, Dutton doesn't deserve the pitchforks. It's not as if teachers are going to cork the bottle at their desk over lunchtime.
After all, educators are human beings, too. They deserve to let their hair down like everyone else once the bell tolls, and wine o'clock rolls around...