originally published in the December, 2011 Issue

Giving a loved one a continuing education course for Christmas says something special to them. It tells them that you see them as a dynamic, learning, creative person. You could find a course that the two of you could take together-quality time together.

It is known but not well publicized that many a romance has begun or been enlivened in a continuing education class or over a coffee and conversations after.

Need some ideas? Have a look a the Learning Curves Web Site and check out the December 2010 issue for creative courses or the March April 2011 issue for liberal arts courses.

The winter courses start in early January and registration is on now. So grab a calendar from your local college, or school board. Cultural Centres offer courses the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Royal Ontario Museum, the Ontario Science Centre. Even retail stores offer courses like Home Depot in renovations, Loblaws in cooking, St. Michael’s in arts and crafts. Pick up a copy of Whole Note from your local library where lesson in music or music appreciation are promoted. Look around you neighbourhood bulletin boards for local artists or musicians who offer courses.

There are ways you can give gifts to support your loved one’s learning. Give them time by offering to babysit, a home cooked meal ready for the microwave after class or before. You could offer to tutor in a course. You could buy stocking stuffers from Business Depot or Gwartzman’s like project supplies or art supplies. A gift certificate for Best Buy could help buy a tech tool or an enhancement for their computer that would help them with a digital media course. And that old stand by a gift certificate from Tim Horton’s could finance those after class coffees.

My Christmas wish list is this: from the TDSB Learn4Life calendar, a beginner course in painting; from Humber College, Liberal Arts and Sciences, Philosophy of Love and Sex, from Whole Note, lectures on What is Opera by the Canadian Opera Company, and from the Royal Ontario Museum, Lectures, Courses and Events a course like Hands On Ancient Civilizations. What’s your Christmas Learning Wish List? Make one up and pass it around.

Toronto, Canada