Originally Posted by philosophe
Don't go overboard. Most professors are uncomfortable accepting more than token gifts from students. What really counts is knowing that we have made a difference for our students.
I agree. A small token is fine. Although many students tend to see letter writing as a favor, it's one of the most important duties of a professor. Most are very conscious that the letters they write can have an enormous impact on a student's life. Although at times burdensome, writing timely and thoughtful letters is a critical component to the job and not something to be taken lightly or perceived as optional. Updates on your life and news of successes are far more rewarding than small objects, especially if it's a year or two down the line.