What does your child’s teacher want this holiday season? Don’t be tempted by those ornaments or tchotkes proclaiming World’s Best Teacher. Put down the apple paraphernalia. And please no baked goods! After years of watching my mom open gifts from her students and then bringing home a box of goodies from my own class each December, I know how important it to give your child’s teacher something that will show that you appreciate them for instilling knowledge in your child and their hard work all year long even though you aren’t quite halfway through the year.
What do teachers really want? Please no more mugs! In his new book, Close Encounters of the Third Grade Kind, teacher and author Phillip Done reported that he had 37 at last count and that teachers at his school call the week before winter break Mug Week.
To answer the question of what teachers would really love as holiday gifts, I went straight to my colleagues. Between bites of lunch, grading papers, and dishing about the previous night’s tv shows, they came up with fabulous suggestions based on gifts they have received during holidays past.
The #1 thing that teachers want are gift cards or gift certificates. Neither is impersonal if you know your teacher well. Here is a comprehensive list of ideas for gift card or gift certificate that include with a thoughtful gesture to make it a little more personal and allow them to remember your child.
- The stylish teacher who wears the latest trends would love a gift certificate to the mall. Stuff the gift card in a pair of gloves or wrap it in a scarf (I like the affordable line of Thermacheck accessories from Lands’ End) to keep them warm when they are outside doing bus or recess duty.
- Help your teacher keep track of their classroom things with personalized gifts. A gift certificate to a site like Tiny Prints or an order of personalized stationary or business cards from Cardstore.com was said to always be appreciated. Both sites allow you to customize text and order for arrival in 3-4 days even if you are a procrastinator. I have been quite impressed with the speed of delivery and high quality products from both companies this holiday season including Cardstore.com’s Happy Orange Thanks cards (pictured above). Add a set of personalized pencils so there will always be a set of teacher pencils free from kid germs so your child’s teacher will stay well.
- Keep your teacher organized and hang on to their belongings with Sticky Labels ($18.50 for 45) or Skinny Minis ($18.50 for 80)from Mabel’s Labels so their stapler, tape dispenser, hole punch, etc. so it won’t get mixed up with their colleague’s next door.
- One of your child’s favorite books for the classroom library paired with a gift certificate to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, or your local independent bookstore is a dream.
- Pamper your child’s teacher with a gift certificate for a manicure or pedicure at the local spa or salon. After obsessive hand washing and being on your feet all day, nothing is better than a manicure and pedicure. Pair a gift certificate with a cozy pair of socks or slippers for lounging at home or when the kids aren’t at school like my colleagues do!
- Coffee drinkers will love a gift card to a nearby coffee joint so they can pick up a cup of joe on their way to work to help them get through the long days and pair it with a great insulated mug like my favorite one from Oxo (doesn’t count since it isn’t of the ceramic variety!) so that caffeine fix will last almost to lunch time. Non-coffee drinkers might appreciate specialty teas. Adagio has a great selection and if you aren’t sure what they might like, order a sampler and get a nice tea infusion mug to go with it.
If the parents at your child’s school generally take up a collection to provide your teacher with a gift from the class, here are some ideas that make perfect group gifts.
- Find out your teacher’s favorite restaurant, one close by to school, or use Restaurant.com to purchase a gift certificate that they can use on those days where it is just too much to go home and make dinner. Everyone has those days and teachers do too! Put it inside a great lunch bag (like the one I bought myself from Built NY as pictured right) so your teacher can carry their leftovers to school in style.
- A gift certificate to the movies is a great way to help defray the cost of a night out. If your teacher likes the convenience of delivery, send 2 movies a month to your teacher’s house so they can unwind at the end of a long day with Netflix’s $5/month plan. For $60 you can give your teacher a month of movies!
- Have a teacher with family far away? It is hard to travel on a teacher budget especially since winter break days likely fall on blackout days where fares are higher. Help offset the cost of travel by taking up a collection to send your teacher away on a real vacation or be home with their family for some real TLC with an airline gift certificate.
- If your teacher loves fresh fruit, send an Edible Arrangement to school or check out Harry and David’s fruit clubs where you can have as little as 3 months of fresh fruit delivered for $79.95. 6-12 month fruit of the month clubs are also available depending on your budget
- Flowers always brighten anyone’s mood especially when they are a surprise. Teachers swoon when they see beautiful bouquets delivered to the office and hope they are meant for them. 1-800 Flowers.com has a great selection of flowers for under $30 that are available for same day delivery. Flowers.com offers 3 months of flowers ($139.98) or 3 months of plants ($129.98). Another perfect gift from the class or a collection of families!
I hope that this post has inspired you to get creative in your gift giving for your child’s teacher this holiday season. If I have taught you anything, please don’t give your child’s teacher a mug! Take it from the teachers!
Huge thanks to my colleagues for helping me compile this list of ideas!
For more gift ideas for everyone on your holiday shopping list, check out the rest of my gift guides that are designed to provide thoughtful suggestions for everyone on your list and product giveaways that will make holiday shopping a little easier on the wallet:
This post was inspired by Phil Done’s new book, Close Encounters of the Third Grade Kind and was designed to provide alternate gift ideas for families reluctant to buy mugs and any item featuring an apple.
I received a review copy of Close Encounters of the Third Grade Kind from the publisher as part of the Silicon Valley Moms Group book club. If you would like to win a copy of Close Encounters of the Third Grade Kind, I am giving one away here.
Cardstore.com provided me with a gift certificate to try their service and products and I received a Tiny Prints gift card while attending the Clever Girls Collective Sweet Suite at Blogalicious. No compensation was received for any of the other mentions. Photos courtesy of the companies whose products were mentioned thoughout the post.
Thanks for reading Tech Savvy Mama through your feed!
Original post by Tech Savvy Mama