Great Gifts for Teachers at Christmas
FIRST, LET’S ASK A TEACHER
Teachers work hard all year long teaching our kids and we want to say thank you! What do we buy them for Christmas? With the input from other teachers, my husband (high school teacher), and my good friend, Joani Bell of Utah I offer some choices. My friend, Joani, teaches kindergarten at Oak Hollow Elementary in Draper, Utah. She is also a mom to 3 kids of her own. In talking with her about what she gives her kids’ teachers she says, “I always give teachers a gift card at Christmas and at the end of the year. I feel that since it is public education and tuition free, the least I can do is provide a nice gift for the teacher!”
- Everyone agrees the top of the list – gift cards!
The amount of the gift card is insignificant. This way the teacher can buy something they want and will really enjoy. Ideas for locations for gift cards are Target, any restaurant, Barnes and Noble, Bed, Bath and Beyond, Starbucks, or Kohls. Next are gift certificates, such as for a massage, pedicure, manicure or some sort of spa treatment. Along the same line, an iTune card would be great!
- A class gift card. Every child contributes what they can and the end result is a nice gift card from the entire class with a card they all sign.
Other great gifts:
- “A card with a nicely written sentiment inside or a picture drawn by the student. Maybe put it in a special frame!”
- Personalized stationary or note paper with the teacher’s initial on it.
- Brown sugar scrub (both Dinah and I have written about this one!)
- Lunch totes, insulated lunch bags, and/or lunch food keepers.
- Mugs with gift cards inside or drink containers with drink packets inside.
- Nice lotion and/or soap sets.
- Recipes in a jar. These are good because usually all the ingredients are there, except maybe oil and/or eggs. You can make it (or not) when you wish.
BAD AND THE UGLY GIFTS!
- Fruitcake! This tops the list, no matter who I asked!
- Homemade candy.
- Homemade baked items
- Any kind of Christmas décor that is outdated.
- Bad smelling perfume. Best to stay away from this period, because what smells wonderful on you, may not on someone else.
- Floral pillows.
- A mug with nothing in it.
- Knick-knacks. They are cute, but year after year of “cute” eventually becomes clutter.
DIY CHRISTMAS PROJECTS
There are fantastic ideas from Dinah at DIY Inspired , magazines, and more that provide NUMEROUS great gift ideas for teachers. Having some guidelines now may help you find the perfect gift for your teacher. For instance, if your teacher is a gardener, a basket filled with seeds, a trowel, and a new pair of gloves would be appreciated. A teacher who has a penchant for Oreo Cookies would love to receive a Costco size box of them!
Christmas gifts for teachers are pretty much limited to elementary students. They start to wane by the time students reach junior high or high school. My husband has received many Christmas gifts over the years and the ones he appreciates the most are those gift cards!
By the time students reach college age, Christmas gifts for teachers have pretty much gone by the wayside. But, over the years I too have received my fair share of gifts from students as have my fellow colleagues. All of us agree those gift cards are the best and at the very top of the list.
One thing we all agree on, cards from students are precious to receive. I have a professor friend who has saved every one of the cards she’s ever received from students and keeps them in a scrapbook.
A GOOD TIME TO GIVE BACK TO TEACHERS
Teachers help mold the future citizens of our nation. They work extremely hard day after day and are not compensated well, contrary to popular belief. Speaking for myself and my friends at least, we do it because one, we love what we do and two, we love your kids. Thank you for giving back to us at Christmas, we appreciate the effort you put into the gifts. But, please no fruitcake!