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How to Get an “A” on a Teacher’s Holiday Gift

How to Get an “A” on a Teacher’s Holiday Gift

My mom was a teacher. Every year, when the holidays rolled around, she’d get lots of gifts from her students and their parents. While appreciative, I remember her saying, “I feel like they must think I smell bad because almost every gift is something with an aroma: soap, perfume, lotions.”

As the saying goes, it’s the thought that counts. But a lot of these gifts weren’t necessarily thoughtful…at least as far as the recipient was concerned.

I’ve also asked teacher friends about what they like – and don’t especially like -- to receive. It seems a lot of parents think it’s all about “Do It Yourself” or DIY. Some parents might think it’s cute for their kids to make it an art project. Remember that teachers see that stuff every day. So instead of DIY, think DDIY (“Don’t Do It Yourself”) and BIY (“Buy It Yourself”). If items are too personal or subject to the recipient’s personal style or taste, they may miss the mark.


Some Teacher Gift Don’ts:

  • Scarf, socks or other piece of clothing
  • Jewelry
  • Coffee Mug
  • Ink Pens or Pencils
  • Excessive or cheap chocolate
  • Flowers (a plant is better)
  • Artwork
  • Homemade Food


The Smart Choice for Teacher’s Gifts:

When you’re shopping for your child’s teacher, principal or other school staff, think nice, but practical. Teachers spend a lot of their own hard-earned cash every year to make their rooms better for students and teachers often need to subsidize the budget for supplies. When it’s time to recognize teachers for their hard work, celebrate them with a thoughtful, practical gift. 

Gift Cards: Amazon, Target, movie theater, PostMates, Target

Personal Services: if you know where your teacher gets their hair styled, nails done or has a facial, purchase a gift card from the merchant

Subscription Service: to Audible or a music streaming service

Subscription Box: Birchbox, Sephora and Dollar Shave Club, among others, offer boxes for under $15 per month. 

Check out Amazon’s Interesting Finds for lots of great, reasonably-priced gift ideas. 

Themed Gift Basket: for the Coffee Drinker, Traveler, Yoga Enthusiast, Gardener or a selection of items for a Home Spa Treatment (mask, scrub, hand cream), Home Organization Products or a selection of Gourmet or Organic Snacks.

Here are some great online gift sites to check out: 

Think ahead when you’re shopping for teacher gifts. You want to say “Thank You” in a way that shows your appreciation for the teacher’s efforts and respect for their personal likes and dislikes. Happy Holidays!


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