by Kayla Hedman ’14 / Champlain College News
In the days leading up to graduation, in honor of the Class of 2014, here are 14 fun ways to show kindness to those who have made attending Champlain College possible. These gifts of gratitude are also great ideas for underclassmen to share with those who made a positive impact on this academic year.
Professors and mentors really appreciate thank you notes or gifts in any form. If you look forward to future recommendation, giving them a gift to remember you by is a great tactic!
Champlain Swag. Gifts from bookstore are sure to please! Champlain College mugs, pennants, and apparel will please any family member or high school guidance counselor that helped you get where you are today.
Phone a friend. Support your friend’s craftiness and throw them a few bucks for a one-of-a-kind graphic print. Senior marketing major Kate Young has a knack for integrating maps and photos to create custom collages. You can buy one of your own for $15 at her Etsy shop, ASoulOfPaper.
Localvore. Although the Burlington Farmers’ Market does not resume until May (no April markets), there are plenty of local shops and vendors still available to sell you their great artisan crafts, homemade candles, and more. Many local shops and cafes also feature paintings and illustrations from local artists; the small prints can be affordable and make great gifts.
Snail Mail. Buy handmade greeting cards to send or hand-deliver from local illustrators like PsychicPaper on Etsy.
C-H-O-C-O-L-A-T-E. Another thoughtful local gift is chocolate from Lake Champlain Chocolates! Visit their storefront on Church Street or the factory on Pine Street for some truffles or turtles!
Thanks, honey! Champlain’s apiary, a gift from the class of 2013, produced some delicious honey last year! Unfortunately last year’s batch is sold out, but look out for it next fall and stock up! There are other great local honeys available to buy at City Market and Healthy Living.
Fill a mug! Picked up a Champlain mug from the bookstore but feel it’s a little uninspired? Fill it up with Hershey’s Kisses, hot cocoa, tea, or other goodies.
Cute Cupcakes. There are a lot of local places that make decadent mini-cupcakes. Check out My Little Cupcake, or if you’re looking for something gluten-free or vegan friendly, visit New Moon Cafe on Cherry Street.
Make something custom with 3D printing! A gift from the Champlain College Maker Lab, Burlington’s new Generator maker space on Main Street, or Blu-Bin on Church Street offer a variety of 3D printing options and more.
A little goes a long way. Ask a graphic design friend to help make a custom designed photo card; relatives that you don’t see often would love to see what you’re doing. Even make signs that give an individual shout-out, like “Thanks Mom!” There are plenty of picturesque spots on campus to take the photo from. May I suggest the third floor balcony in the Miller Information Commons? This can also make a great little ‘thank you’ video. Have a filmmaking student help you out, or simply shoot a 15-second video to share on Instagram.
Baked goods. Ask a friend who lives in Spinner, Quarry, or off-campus to use their oven and bake cookies or other baked goods for a fraction of the cost of buying them. You’ll be able to gift more cookies when you make an entire batch. Better yet – you get to sneak tastes of batter.
April showers bring May flowers. Select a flower arrangement at The Bloomin’ Dragonfly Florist on Main Street or Kathy & Company Florist on Colchester Avenue. Want something more lasting than a bouquet? Consider building a terrarium with succulents. Wishing someone luck? If you want to grab a fellow graduate a gift, consider a bamboo plant. It represents luck and is the ideal plant for someone with no green thumb.
Upcycle. When trotting around local shops like Barge Canal Market, look for postcards, picture books, lonely board game pieces, or obsolete cassette tapes that could be turned into something else. Do some decoupage paper crafts to make custom magnets, light switch plates, etc. Let your imagination run wild. Not feeling creative? Visit Trinket on Church Street and check out upcycled crafts made by Recycle Moe. (http://www.recyclemoe.com/www.recyclemoe.com/stores.html) (http://trinket-vermont.com)
YES SUMMER! Grab a bottle of organic lemonade, a couple fun straws, a bow, and a note card that reads, “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. Thank you for supporting my college career! I did it!”
Any other creative ideas you can think of? Let us know in the comments.