So here we are… its December! No matter what you and your family celebrate it is the season of giving. We give to our friends, our kiddos, and our favorite charities (if you haven’t done the last one you have until 12/31/14).
I love this time of year!
I love browsing my local stores and finding the perfect item for each person on my list. This might be why I start in October because I’m so painfully thoughtful. I hate giving things just to give things. I want the person who receives my gift to feel like I thought of them.
As I’ve perused my social media sites lately the topic of “Teacher Gifts” has come up. This seems to be a stumbling block for a lot of people. I get it. Often you have more than one teacher to buy for. You want it to be thoughtful but not break the bank.
As a teacher and a parent who has given many teacher gifts I’m here to help.
The first thing I want you to know is this: Your child’s teacher is NOT EXPECTING A GIFT. They will not treat your child differently if you do not gift them something. A token of appreciation is wonderful but in no way mandatory. That said if you are reading this and I teach your child my favorite color is purple and I like coffee. KIDDING!!!
So give yourself a break and consider one of these easy AND thoughtful gift ideas.
Five teacher approved appreciation gifts ideas:
1: Treat and a Handmade Card: This is such a nice and personal gift. I think parents think it is so simple that it doesn’t have value. Let me tell you it does. A plate of cookies, a chocolate bar, a soda you see a teacher drinking all the time. Honestly if you’d like to receive it then so would they. Have your child make a card and ask them the question: When you think of insert teacher name here what do you think of? Simple has value. I once had a parent bring me a hot decaf coffee when I was terminally pregnant and I almost cried. Okay who are we kidding I totally cried.
2: A Gift card: It’s a truly appreciated gift. As the receiver I love them. As the giver I feel kind of lame. I still give them I just add a little pizazz. My trick is to stick a gift card in a Junie Babie Zip Pouch. A Mason jar filled with candy and the gift card hidden inside is always a hit . The Gift card can be as little as $5. $5 to a local coffee shop is enough for a little pick me up. That moment when he remembers the coffee he planned on buying is on the Smith family thanks to the gift card in his wallet? He will smile
- A DIY: This does not have to be a crazy elaborate Pinterest worthy gift. It can be as simple as making a bath soak (If I can do it so can you). A movie night kit is a fun idea. Grab a bag of popcorn, box of candy and a Redbox Code. Teachers have lives too and a night in on you will be much appreciated. Have your child decorate an ornament. Hanging on my tree today is an ornament a little boy painted me in 2001. I think of him every year. He’s 13. I’m old.
4: A gift for their classroom: The real true story is teachers spend their own money on supplies and books. A parent brought me in a school supply catalog once and asked me to pick out $25 worth of supplies I wanted. I spent hours finding things that fit the interests of my students and curricula I was planning. Those hours and the knowledge that I was getting new supplies made my year.
5. Group Gift: If you are a good organizer and you know your child’s teacher would love a pass to a local yoga studio or something out of your price range, you can invite other parents to chip in. Ten dollars goes a lot further if you multiply it. You might not have the perfect group gift idea but Sarah’s mom might, so ask her. Two brains are better than one. And many parents love to not have to think about it so they will gladly chip in.
The long and the short of it is this. The fact that you are even considering adding your child’s teacher to your gift list is awesome. Know that what you give is valued because it really is the thought that counts.