What Should I Consider When Buying Holiday Gifts for Teachers?

Sherry Holetzky

Practicality is an important consideration when buying holiday gifts for teachers. Many teachers end up spending a great deal of their own money to purchase extra supplies for students and for the classroom. They not only provide educational materials and art supplies but also frequently provide snacks and even items of clothing such as socks or gloves for underprivileged children. Buying nice gifts for teachers can be a great way to show appreciation for all that they do.

Apple-themed items are a common but cliched gift for teachers.
Apple-themed items are a common but cliched gift for teachers.

When shopping for gifts for teachers, consider giving school supplies or art materials, or gift certificates to stores where such items can be purchased. These items may not seem to offer a personal touch, but they will allow the teacher to save more of his or her own money, which will be appreciated. If you favor something a little more personal, try to learn about the teacher’s interests, hobbies, or favorite author and give gifts that reflect those preferences.

Cookies and other snacks can be a nice holiday gift for teachers.
Cookies and other snacks can be a nice holiday gift for teachers.

It is best to avoid overly personal gifts for teachers, such as perfume, cologne, aftershave, or bath products. If you would like to give something of this nature, it is better to give a gift certificate or gift card. Select a shop that carries quality items and purchase a gift certificate or shopping card so the teacher can choose fragrances him or herself. Request a small gift box or logo envelope along with your purchase to enhance the presentation.

A gift box containing tea bags may make an excellent holiday gift for teachers.
A gift box containing tea bags may make an excellent holiday gift for teachers.

For another source of inspiration when choosing gifts for teachers, think about the types of things you keep at the office or items you like to have available to you when working. A nice gift basket with lotion, hand sanitizer, a stain remover pen, and a sewing kit, will come in handy. A gift box containing tea bags, envelopes of hot cocoa, and a tin of instant flavored coffee might also be nice, as would a selection of snacks to nibble on during the day. A container filled with individual packets of cookies, crackers, pretzels, and candies may give the teacher a little pick-me-up as the day wears on.

A gift card can be a simple way to say thanks to a teacher.
A gift card can be a simple way to say thanks to a teacher.

Another thing to keep in mind when selecting gifts for teachers is the many items they receive each year from their many students. This means most teachers already have quite a collection of typical gifts for teachers, such as desk accessories, “apple for the teacher” knick-knacks, and mugs that bear classroom inspired messages. Opt for something unique and creative instead. You might even want to consult with other parents so you can chip in and purchase nicer gifts for teachers instead of everyone giving a bunch of little trinkets.

Hand sanitizer is aways a welcome gift for teachers.
Hand sanitizer is aways a welcome gift for teachers.

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Discussion Comments

anon53206

Anon, your gift sounds very nice and useful, so don't take this the wrong way, but -- I don't know where people got the idea that teachers love apple motifs.

I've never met a teacher who has apple decorations all over their home. In fact, apple gifts were one of the biggest "no gos" in a poll we did on gift ideas for teachers.

anon52711

I disagree that it is always a bad idea to give teachers "typical" gifts such as apple themed items.

I found handmade oak kitchenware featuring original photographs of apples and I'm planning on giving my son's teacher one of the Kitchen Fork's cutting boards as a holiday gift this year. Its gorgeous, and when she is not using it to cook she can hang it up in her kitchen as decoration.

I think as long as the gift is useful and unique it doesn't matter if it's "typical."

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