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Being Present is the Present

At this time of year, mentors often ask “May I give my mentee a holiday gift?”.  Seedling believes that you are the gift, along with the time and undivided attention you bestow on your mentee each week. However, if you elect to give your mentee a holiday present, we strongly encourage it to be relationship focused and to cost no more than $15.00-$20.00.  In choosing to give a gift to your mentee, mentors must also keep in mind that receiving a gift may not necessarily be comfortable for mentees. They may be unaccustomed to opening a wrapped gift or may not know how to express gratitude.  Additionally, and most importantly, the mentee gets to choose what to do with it.  It may be that your mentee doesn’t use the gift as intended or it becomes lost or broken. As a result, mentors must not let negative feelings enter the relationship and harm other parts of the mentoring experience.  Finally, in considering a gift, it is important to know your mentee’s family practices, allergies, etc.  If you have any questions or concerns, please call your Mentor Director.

Still feeling strongly about giving a gift?  We have put together a list of low or no cost ideas that can be tailored to reflect the special nuances of your individual mentoring relationship:

  • Puzzles
  • Board games
  • Mechanical pencils
  • Gel pens
  • Something knitted or crocheted together
  • A small plant in a pot you decorate together
  • An “I appreciate you because” jar – fill a nice jar with slips of different colored paper, each with a reason of appreciation
  • Legos
  • Peruse the on-line school store for reasonably priced items with school logo like t-shirts, pencils, caps or the like
  • Sports balls
  • Hula Hoop
  • Frisbees
  • Nail polish
  • Lip balm
  • Fun socks
  • Coloring books
  • Books (with or without a personalized inscription)
  • A journal
  • A craft you can work on together
  • Do-it-yourself frame with a picture of the two of you
  • Make a card or piece of art to give
  • Crayons, pencils, or markers and sketch pad
  • Drawing pencils or special paper
  • A blank recipe book with some of your favorite recipes
  • A letter, hand-written on nice paper from you, with heartfelt reasons you appreciate the other person
  • Good homemade bread or muffins
  • Once or twice a year Holiday/Special Occasion food treat or lunch
  • Photo album or scrapbook with memories already included
  • Personalized T-shirt

If you are meeting virtually, you can still make your last meeting in December special.  Always follow your mentee’s lead regarding what is comfortable and interesting.  You might share traditions with one another, read a story together (holiday themed or not), or perhaps you could set positive intentions together for the New Year.  Finally, if you are still waiting to be reconnected, know that we are working diligently towards that goal!

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