In case you’ve been living under a rock, here’s a newsflash: Christmas is coming. And while it’s easy to remember the family members who will be on your shopping list, many of us draw a blank when it comes to our children’s teachers. Let me tell you … a little Christmas gift for a teacher can go a long way!
Your child likely spends more waking hours with their teacher than they do with you. Their job is one of the toughest out there, right up there with our active duty military, police, firemen, and first responders. Between lesson plans, after-school activities, grading papers, and student drama, they deal with some STUFF. And if your tot is of the four-and-under set, there’s a strong possibility that teacher has wiped your child’s derriere at some point this school year. They deserve a decent Christmas gift.
I was a teacher for five years before becoming a mom, so I have compiled these ideas based on my own authority and the advice of many teacher friends who are still out there fighting the good fight. Below, you will find a few different gift categories – your budget and your child’s behavior will help you to determine which list you need to pick from. Now, get to shopping!
The Limit Does Not Exist
If you are lucky enough to have extensive funds to work with, I highly suggest investing some of your merry money into the wellbeing of your child’s teacher.
Manicure/Pedicure Gift Certificates
Teachers are on their feet a lot. Give them a chance to put their feet up and get pampered!
This is a good option because one size fits most, and kimonos are so easy to throw on! One less thing for Teach to think about. I love the selection from Tonya at Adele Elise Designs.
Remember to shop leauxcal. Jewelry designers like Mimosa, Laalee, Rebl Creative, Nannie Pearl and M Collectives are sure to be hits. There is some great local art at The Cajun Picasso, and your little one can even assist in the creation of the art! Parish Pallets and Gold Moss Designs are also beautiful options. And who doesn’t want a sign from Bearly Bayou on their front door?!
Spend a few minutes perusing Pinterest, and you’ll find thousands of punny gift basket ideas. A favorite of mine is the “For a Poppin’ Good Teacher” popcorn bucket filled with a variety of popcorns, seasoned salts, and a movie theater gift card.
Teachers get exposed to a trillion germs daily. (It’s a scientific fact.) Some Thieves oil will help them stay healthy, lavender oil will help them relax, and lemon oil is a great wake-up call.
Ballin’ on a Budget
Working with a little less cash? You can still make Santa proud with these options.
Super cute and affordable. I received one from a student when she was in my fifth grade class, and she’s now a freshman in college. The scarf is still going strong!
Starbucks Gift Cards
For a measly $5 you can provide a cup of caffeinated joy to an educator in need. Gift cards are especially great as your kids get older and begin having multiple teachers- For only $35, seven high school teachers get a Starbs run on you. Yesss!
Amazon/Target/Restaurant/Cash Gift Cards
Cha-ching. Need I say more? Dress it up with a cute pun card like “You have a PIZZA my heart” and your kid will be golden.
It’s the Thought that Counts
If your balance is zero, it doesn’t mean you have to give your child’s teacher a Blue Christmas.
If you follow through, these can be even more welcome than a monetary gift. If you are a stay-at-home-mom, offering to volunteer at your kid’s school with a “This coupon entitles you to one half-hour of sitting with the class” can save a teacher’s sanity come May.
Some of my most treasured gifts were the heartfelt letters and cards I received from students and their parents. I kept them all in a box that’s now tucked inside my bedside table. I still pull these out from time to time when I need a smile- so never underestimate the value of the written word
There are teachers out there who will tell you a day of good behavior is worth its weight in gift cards!
The following items could go either way. Some teachers would be all about it, while some may take offense. These are total judgment calls, but if you KNOW your child’s teacher would appreciate this kind of stuff, you could possibly win Christmas AND their admiration for the rest of the school year.
These can get a little sticky. Literally. Sometimes the homemade treats are a huge hit, and sometimes they’re petri dishes of who-knows-what. Err on the side of caution and include a (hopefully true) disclaimer: My child did NOT assist in the creation of this!
Many teachers have to buy their own supplies throughout the year, so a basket of Expo markers, colored pencils, and a donation to their classroom library might just put the jingle in their jangle. However, please remember that teachers do have a life outside of school and Christmas should be a little bit about them, not just their classroom.
Scented Body Care
Scents are pretty personal, so if you go the lotion route, make sure it’s relatively neutral and doesn’t smell like your grandmother’s closet. The right scent for the right person can be a winner, though!
If you child’s teacher enjoys the occasional glass or four, a bottle of the finest Kirkland’s Signature Sauvignon Blanc (or their copycat Grey Goose) can melt the heart of a teacher who has reached the end of their Goodwill toward Men (i.e. students). Putting up with your special snowflake’s antics may have given them cause to pop many a cork since August. I am pretty sure my child’s teacher will be getting the biggest bottle Costco has to offer, with this gift tag attached.
Oh! One more thing:
Don’t forget support staff and administration! They also deserve a little love. Bring some breakfast treats or one of those giant Starbucks Travelers or CC’s catered coffee containers. I always liked knowing the parents cared about everyone who interacts with their child.
I hope this post gave you some good ideas. If you follow these handy tips, you’ll be sure to make the season bright for your children’s teachers, no matter what kind of budget you’re working with.