Back in the day of the quarter (vs. semester) season, when finals were over in December, we did some sledding. The lack of sleds didn't pose a problem; a few cafeteria trays disappeared for an hour and then returned with stories to tell.
All flushed and breathless, I dropped by to see my favorite professor, whose office was in this wonderful historic building. He looked up from his desk and said in his quiet, Parkinson's-colored voice, "I have never had a student who's written with more insight than you. It was an honor to read this.”
Sometimes the greatest gift you can give is genuine praise. It won't hurt the budget at all.
Introduction to Folklore 101, Austin E. Fife