It’s the most wonderful time of the year! You, dear parents, get to try and find a suitable gift for your child’s teacher(s).
It’s hard, I get it. You want something meaningful, something useful, and something that doesn’t break the bank.
First, some gifts to avoid:
- Homemade Food: teachers have allergies or their spouse/child might have allergies. Yes, on occasion, it is ok to break this rule. My own mother famously made homemade fudge for my teachers and bus drivers every year. I can also guarantee you that some of those teachers threw that yummy fudge right into the trash. So, skip the cookies, candies, fudge and DIY hot cocoa in a jar this year.
- Cutesy Teacher Theme Stuff: the boxes, the decorative rustic wood plaques, the mugs…oh, the mugs.Think about it. There are 20+ kids in every elementary class yearly. If just 25% of those kids buy a cute teacher theme thing, that’s 5 things per year. Over a 20 year career, that’s a lot of tchotchkes. Multiply those 20 kids by four or five classes per semester for middle and high school teachers. It’s a lot.
- Anything Scented: unless you KNOW a teacher loves a particular scent, skip those lotions and candles. Again, the allergies issue arises. Also, some people are very sensitive to certain smells.
Best Gifts for Teachers
Personalized Water Bottle
I’m making an exception on the teachery stuff for this item. I love these water bottles from Royal Banana! They are both useful and beautiful. As a bonus, you can choose from a TON of colors and add your teacher’s name. Since these are priced starting at $15.00, it’s also affordable to buy one of these beauties for all the teachers on your list!
Teachers LOVE to read, and what could be better than to show off their favorite book or author on the daily. And there are so many options: scarves, necklaces, rings, earrings, prints, and more. Just a quick Etsy search brought up hundreds of results. Ask your kid to do some quick recon on their teacher’s favorite author, and starting trolling the internet for unique finds.
Have you ever been in a classroom during indoor recess? It’s nutty. Get that teacher a few board games to help out. You can go with the classics: Scrabble, Monopoly, Clue or Trouble. Bring in more modern games like Settlers of Catan or Masterpiece. There are always cool games on Zulilly, on sale at big box stores or on Amazon. Get one, grab a few. Either way, you will make at least one teacher very happy this holiday season.
Wine, Just for Teacher
One of my very best things after a stressful day is a nice glass of wine (or beer or tequila..just kidding, kind of). Why not grab a bottle for your favorite teacher? Better yet, make it personal with a custom label from Wine Shop at Home! Yeah, this one is a little pricier overall. But if you have more than one teacher or if you know your kid is a little stinker at school, it could be worth every single penny.
Want to give the gift of relaxation, without the scents? Get a gift card to a local nail salon or spa! This is a great way to support a local business AND make sure that your child’s teacher feels special all at once. Not sure where to go, or are shopping for a male teacher? Use SpaFinder to find a spa near you or buy a gift card!
Books, Books, Books!
There are so many books out there, and they make awesome gifts for teachers. Whether you are stocking up the classroom library through Usborne or Scholastic, or grabbing a gift card to a big box bookstore, the teacher will love it! Trust me, building a great classroom library isn’t cheap, especially when books only last a few years due to wear and tear. Plus, books make kids smarter and everyone wants smarter kids!
Yes, this is easy. Yes, the teacher will ADORE it (and your child)! As a bonus, you can pick your poison from a huge variety of choices: restaurant, office stores, Amazon, big box, clothing, bookstores, or even just straight cash cards. Whatever you choose, your teacher will thank you. And she will probably end up buying something for the classroom, so it’s really the gift that keeps on giving. Whiteboard markers aren’t cheap…
What are you giving to your teachers this holiday season? Tell me in the comments!