Last night, I asked my daughter if I'll eventually find out what the "secret" is, and she beamed with a smile and said "Yes."
So I'm thinking it really is just a CHristmast present, and everything is actually okay. I may mention it to the teacher at some point, but I won't raise any alarm bells.
And I'm going to keep my eyes out for anything out of the ordinary, but I also don't want to scare my daughter.
Good for you for dealing with this "rationally" as you put it. That said, I agree with another poster who said that phrasing it as a 'suprise' would be better than a 'secret.'
I am not a parent, but there was a time when I thought my niece was in trouble, and believe me, there was NOTHING I wouldnt have done to clarify that she was in a safe environment. That also being said, should this happen again, and your little one seems less willing to talk about her 'secret', (a classic sign of guilt/shame/fear) I would see it as only proper that as a parent you ask the teacher to clarify the purpose of whatever activity has you concerned. Each child is different, and you dont want to give yours (general you) the impression that keeping 'secrets' from mom and dad is ok, or that just anybody should be taking pictures of them. But again, only you know your child well enough to know if s/he can determine if s/he has been violated, or even what behavior you consider violating. Some young'uns are very perceptive, others, it takes longer to develop this instinct. Asking a teacher to clarify what *could* be construed as inappropriate behavior is not irrational.
I am glad that it was nothing to worry about. I hope your Christmas present ROCKS!