Gifts for Teachers

Timken Roller Bearing Co., calendar, September...

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When Oldman started school, I was embarrassed to find out that you’re supposed to give a gift to the teachers for Christmas. It never occurred to me for some reason. It’s not that I didn’t appreciate her and it’s not that Oldman didn’t love her because he did. I just didn’t know the etiquette behind gifting to teachers. I made sure not to make that mistake for the end of the year gift!

Over the past 5 years we have done a variety of gifts, but in talking with a number of teachers I have found the following to be gifts that are truly appreciated:

~Gift Cards to a bookstore/supply store (unfortunately a lot of things in the classroom come from their own pockets)
~Food baskets (the kind of food that can be shared)
~Christmas ornament (and I’m not talking about a Charlie Brown bulb!)

A few things I was told by teachers they would rather not have:

~Apples (unless it’s a Mac!)
~Perfumed lotions (apparently they get a lot of those)
~Candles (they get a lot of those too)
~Christmas Ornaments (the teachers have gotten some crazy ones!)

I used to do the ornament, but if you don’t know the personality of your child’s teacher, it can be inappropriate.  What we do now is give a Gift Card with a card made by the child with a note of thanks and appreciation from us.

I would love to hear some other ideas…what do you guys do?  And any teachers out there…your thoughts?

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  • I was slow on the draw last year with my first kindergartener. I searched through the “extras” stash & gifted a Bath & Body works hand sanitizer. I thought it was a great idea until I read your “scented lotions” no-no. Not so sure now if it was good or not. lol

    This year we are doing a handknit hot pad/dishcloth with a letter on it & a cookie mix.

    I’ve heard so many do cookie/bread mixes. That really is a great idea. They can open and make it when they’re ready for it. I’ll have to remember this one too!


    I made this for my kids teachers last year and they all went gaga over them. I was a little embarrassed and thought it would be frivolous. They all went on and on about how much they loved to write. Whoda thunk?? the covers are nice because they fit on regular composition books and can be taken off and put on another one.

    Wow, Cheri. What a unique idea….I’m bookmarking that!

  • @Jenny86753oh9 But seriously…for our homeschool co-op teachers, we’re actually giving them each a jar mix with a ribbon tied around it.

  • My parents were both teachers, and the most meaningful gifts they received were letters from parents and students who appreciated their work. Especially the ones who wrote about specific things they appreciated.

    Maybe that’s not so popular in our materialistic society, but my parents still have those letters, while the other gifts are gone.

    Very good point, Angela!

  • OK….so coming from “the former teacher” that I am…. The best presents were gift cards that I could use to buy my family presents. The pay for a teacher is jack-squat…. and now a days you can even get pre-loaded visa cards…. there is a little stress relief when other burdens are relieved. Believe me, making the teachers life easier, makes his/her day. Understanding that most teachers don’t get bonus checks, most of them are poor, the good ones really do LOVE your kids, doing something for them that helps their “other life” is so appreciated. One year a mom gave me a basket with all the things to decorate Christmas cookies with my kids…cookie cutters, sprinkles, mixes…. it made me smile because I would have never been able to purchase those things and I WANT to make memories with my family…. we still use the cookie cutters! I have a million tips is ya really want them

    That’s neat, Jenn. Thanks for the insight! You always have great ideas… 😉

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