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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Top Ten Christmas Gifts for Teachers

As a teacher, I have always appreciated receiving an extra thanks around the holidays.  Whether it is an extra hug, a smile, a hand written note, a Christmas card or something else it has always been held close to my heart.  Now I also sit on the other side of things and have kids whose teachers I would love to thank around the holidays.  I have already started thinking about what I would like to give my son's teachers this season and started thinking about my favorite gifts from the past 10 years.  

Praise for a Job Well Done

Two years ago, I received the most wonderful holiday gift and it cost the giver nothing but a few minutes of her time.  It was an email addressed to me and copied to the principal and school board explaining how this family's child benefited from my services and what a difference I had made in this child's school experience.  This is something I treasure to this day and I can refer to when my job seems overwhelming.  

Group Gift

This Chocolate Caramel Crunch basket was a bit hit!

Some students work with many adults in their daily travels around the school building.  Depending on how many teachers, assistants and support staff your student works with, trying to thank them all with a gift can get expensive and time consuming quickly.  Several families I know have solved this problem in a fun way.  They put together a gift basket or special snack and leave it in the staff room along with a card thanking staff members for their work with their children.  Some families have made this a tradition and do it every year.  The two gift baskets our staff looks forward to every year are a fruit basket an a chocolate lover's basket.  

School Supplies

Teachers love school supplies and often spend their own money on things for the classroom.  Fun supplies like scented markerspost-it notescute staplers or other themed items can add to a teachers decor or collection.  Classroom necessities that are always running low like pencils and dry erase makers also make great gifts.  If you want to give your child's teacher something that will last for a very long time, invest in a quality pencil sharpener or 3 hole punch.

Oriental Trading Gift Card

When I asked about holiday gifts on my Facebook page I learned that Oriental Trading offers personalized gift cards.  I know many teachers who use Oriental Trading for small items for their classrooms and a personalized gift card looks like a fun way to say thanks.   They also have an emailed gift card option for those who leave shopping to the last minute or want an easy way to have their gift delivered.

Coffee or Tea

My favorite coffee of all time!
Most teachers I know drink tea or coffee every day.  With a bit of research (aka asking your child) you can find out if your child's teacher is a coffee or tea drinker.  Look around their classroom the next time you are there and you will probably see or smell some evidence that helps you see if it is tea or coffee they prefer and you might even find out what flavors or brands are their favorites.  


What could be better during the busiest time of year than having dinner planned for you?  I have received gift cards to the local pizza place or take out restaurants several times and have loved them.  Another reader on my Facebook page suggested a dinner to go basket.  I love this idea.  A cute basket and some pasta and sauce and maybe a bottle of olive oil or a loaf of bread from a local bakery and this would be ready to go.  There is something about gift baskets that I find so appealing.  Having to not think about dinner would be a great gift to give (and receive!) 

Gift Cards

If you know a few things about your child's teacher than you will probably have some idea about the types of things they like to do.  If you know something they are interested in, you can pick up a gift card to a local store that matches their interests.  Even if you never go to that type of store, you can always pick up gift cards online or at the grocery store.

Pampering Items

Teachers tend to be well groomed and many use lotions and such on a daily basis.  I know many teachers who keep a favorite bottle of lotion near their desk so this is a great place to look to get a favorite scent.  Lotions and soaps make great gifts and are easy to arrange into a gift basket or to wrap in cellophane for an easy to give gift.  If you are not sure about what scent to go with, I find that vanilla is a fairly universally loved scent and usually is a safe bet.

Something Local

Whether your child's teacher loves home knit scarves, maple syrup or farmstead cheese, receiving a locally made gift is wonderful.  You can honor your child's teacher while supporting the local economy, farmers and craftspeople.  This is really a gift that gives back to the community in many ways.  If you are not sure what to give, do a quick internet search for local gifts in your area and you might be surprised what you come up with.

Amazon Gift Card

This is a default gift you don't know your child's teacher that well or you want to be sure they find their gift useful.  Amazon is the go to store for many busy teachers to get supplies for their classrooms or books and other things for themselves.  They sell cards in many designs and you can decide if you want them packaged in a card or box or sent by email.  Quick, easy and painless.  

I still have a few weeks to decide what I will be getting my son's teachers.  I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!  What are the best gifts you have ever received or gave to a teacher? Check out my Facebook page where I will share my decision in a few weeks! 

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