Holiday Gift Giving: One Private School’s Guide


When a friend forwarded me this message from her kid’s school to all parents, I had to post it, of course. While I’m not mentioning the school name, I will say it this gift list is clearly not voluntary, despite claims to the contrary. But, most of all, the ranked order of staff and dollar amounts for their gifts is cringe-worthy. If it were me, I’d double triple the gift amount for the facilities staff. Take that, posh Westside private school! 


From the school:


We invite you to participate in the holiday gift-giving program for our faculty and staff. This program is designed to give them monetary gifts instead of presents to show our appreciation for their dedication to our children.

Attached is a list of our faculty and staff (except for XX and XX few staffers), who are not eligible for cash gifts).

Your gifts are completely voluntary, and you can give any amount to as few or to as many people as you wish. Some parents have also asked us for a gift-giving guideline:

Lead Classroom Teachers: $50-$75
Lead Specialist Teachers
(Spanish, Technology, Music, P.E., Art, Science, Library):
Assistant Teachers (both classroom and specialist assistants): $15-$25
Staff (office staff, facilities, administration): $10-$15



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Christina Simon: Los Angeles, California, United States I'm the mom of two kids who attended The Willows School in Culver City and Viewpoint School in Calabasas. My daughter is a graduate of Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism ('23) and my son is a sophomore at UPenn/Wharton ('26). I live in Coldwater Canyon with my husband, Barry, and our dogs. Contact me at

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