Weird, funny, best and worst: What teachers get for Christmas

From dancing plushies to half eaten chocolate boxes, educators spill the beans on unusual Christmas presents they have been gifted by their students. MARIANNA CALLEJA snoops around the classroom Christmas tree

As the school term wraps up, parents start pondering the age-old question of what gift best befits the teachers and LSEs who have nurtured their children throughout the school year.

While not obligatory, Maltese parents have made a tradition of sending their little ones to school on the final day armed with small treats, beautifully wrapped presents, or thoughtful vouchers as tokens of appreciation for the boundless patience, respect, and love bestowed upon their children.

As the children eagerly await the chance to dash from their classrooms adorned with tinsel and baubles to kick off their holidays, we turned to their mentors to explore the intriguing array of gifts they’ve received over the years.

From the downright weird to the sidesplittingly funny, and the surprisingly touching to the not-so-spot-on, these teachers had stories to share with us.

Armed with curiosity and a touch of playfulness, MaltaToday spoke with a group of primary and secondary school teachers to ask them about the presents they’ve received.

Join us as we unwrap these gifts with them and discover the festive surprises that brighten up a teachers’ holiday season.

The questions we asked

  1. What is the weirdest present you’ve ever received?
  2. What is the funniest present you’ve ever received?
  3. What is the most surprising present you’ve ever received?
  4. What is the best present you’ve ever received?
  5. What is the worst present you’ve ever received?

Secondary school female English teacher

Weirdest: “The weirdest gift but in the best way, is a handmade key chain of my name that a boy told his mother to make for me. It’s still with my key bunch till this day.”

Funniest: “A dancing cactus plushie.”

Surprising: “A long time ago in the beginning of my acting and teaching career. I got a sweet Christmas mug and a lovely note from a student who really appreciated the little but numerous things I did for their production.”

Best: “A gold necklace with my initials on it. It is so lovely, and I still wear it often.

Worst: “The worst is probably a home-made jam tart, although I appreciate the effort it wasn’t the tastiest thing!”

Male drama teacher

Weirdest: “A woman’s perfume!”

Funniest: “A blade for my beard, because according to this student I don’t look good with a beard. Later I got the suspicion it was her father’s blade.”

Surprising: “A personalised mug, with my name on it and pictures related to drama.”

Best: “A framed picture of myself with a particular Form 5 class. They gave it to me to keep as a memory of them.”

Worst: “A small wooden deer. It was broken, and visible wear and tear clearly showed it was used.”

Primary school female teacher

Weirdest and worst: “A candle, as much as I appreciate the gesture, I don’t like candles that much.”

Funniest: “A box of chocolates, but... with missing chocolates!”

Surprising: “A €20 One for All gift voucher. It was not the voucher itself that surprised me, but rather the giver. It was a family that could not afford much, so I could imagine the sacrifice behind such a gift.”

Best: “Anything jewellery. I just adore jewellery.

Secondary school female Maltese teacher

Weirdest: “Lemons?”

Funniest: “Plastic earrings. I think they were from Shein.”

Surprising: “A handwritten note from a student thanking me, but it was written in perfect Maltese.”

Best: “Christmas dish towels!”

Worst: “I once got a pre-lit candle, but I’ve heard worse from colleagues. One teacher got a card with a previous name scratched off, and hers written above it.”

Grade 5 female teacher

Weirdest: “A set of used hand and body lotions.”

Funniest: “A dancing cactus plushie.”

Surprising: “One particular student gifted me a handmade clay angel decoration for my Christmas tree.”

Best: “A handmade card from a student, with a thank you note from his family. I still keep the card in my teaching bag with me.”

Year 6 male teacher

Weirdest: “An empty frame.”

Funniest: “A heart-shaped pillow.”

Surprising: “A personalised decoration in the shape of a star with an inspiring quote.”

Best: “A One for All gift voucher.”